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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Elevated Lipase Levels...??? Is This Serious?

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Author Topic: Elevated Lipase Levels...??? Is This Serious?
jwick25
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Hi there,

I recently went to my primary care doctor because I've lost TONS of hair over the past year.

I had bloodwork done and recently got the results.

While I don't see anything on there related to iron, thyroid or vitamin B - which is weird because I know he wanted to test for that - I see that my lipase levels are way high.

I read that this can be related to gallbladder or pancreas.

A few weeks ago, I had a really sharp pain in my upper abdomen...directly under my chest. It only lasted about 10 minutes, and I have not had it again.

I advised my doctor, which is probably why he tested for lipase, etc.

He said I could've passed a gallstone.

I am awaiting results from upper abdominal ultrasound.

Being that my lipase levels were so high - about double the highest end of normal - I am a bit freaked about what might be wrong.

My levels for another enzyme (forget the name) that typically determines if there are diseases of the pancreas are in normal range.

I've been getting this weird, almost stretchy feeling in my sides (sometimes also back or abdomen).

My diet had gotten fatty, but fearing another candida overgrowth, I recently got back on the candida diet.

Has anyone experiened anything similar?

I really hope this is nothing serious because my anxiety has been bad enough as it is.

Any insight is appreciated! Thank you!

Posts: 711 | From Bucks County, PA | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steve1906
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Some info.....

Lipase is a special enzyme in the body that is used to break down fat into smaller fatty acids. Produced by the pancreas, an elevated level of lipase typically denotes a problem with the pancreas itself; However, elevated lipase levels can also be a symptom of a host of other disorders as well.

Pancreatitis
The most common reason why a patient may have an elevated lipase level is if they are suffering from pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. Within the first 48 hours of acute pancreatitis, lipase levels can increase three times or more their normal levels according to a 2006 study in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

During pancreatitis inflammation of the tissue makes the pancreas more permeable. This allows more of the lipase enzyme to exit the pancreas into the bloodstream.

Duct Obstruction
Levels of lipase may also become elevated if the pancreatic duct becomes obstructed.

This can occur from stones, edema, or in serious cases, tumors. Once the duct become obstructed, pressure increases inside the duct forcing the lipase into the spaces of the pericapillary. This in turn increases the amount of lipase enzyme in the blood.

Medications
Certain medications may also cause an increase in your lipase levels. Before taking a lipase test you should inform your doctor if you are taking the following medications: codeine, morphine, methacholine, indomethacin, cholinergics, meperidine, or bethanechol.

Each of these medications can cause an increased reading of lipase in the results of a lipase blood test.

Other
When lipase levels increase by less than five time their normal rates, other disorders or disease outside of the pancreas may be the cause, according to the Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health.

In these cases an elevated lipase test can be a sign of bowel obstruction, renal failure, or a peptic ulcer. To validate these possible theories of diagnosis, further testing must be done.

--------------------
Everything I say is just my opinion!

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jwick25
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steve1906:

Thanks for this information.

It's maddening when you get results back late on a Friday....and can't even call the doctor again until Monday.

I know that I have gallstones, so maybe there is an obstruction? Who knows?

I just fear something being very wrong with my kidneys, liver or pancreas.

I'm scared that something really serious might happen between now and the time when I can talk to my doctor and figure this all out.

I'm basically sitting here waiting for something to put me in the hospital.

I'm hoping that these things can happen....and not be severe or life-threatening. [Smile]

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lax mom
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Take a deep breath. A LOT has to happen in the meantime to get you so bad off that you get hospitalized.

You said that you had been eating fatty foods. Lowering your fat intake will only help.

Your Dr has the same results that you do. AND I bet he has your ultrasound results too. So he has the complete picture. If it was something life threatening, you would have received an urgent phone call.

BTW, if it was something life-threatening, I don't think you would be wondering if you had something life threatening going on...you would have more symptoms.

Even with the liver (an organ that doesn't give too many symptoms), you would have other body symptoms that would point to a problem that was serious (ex.jaundice, itchiness, etc) AND your liver function tests would show a problem.

I know because I've been there recently with my own liver/pancreas/spleen issues/bile duct issues...but I'm fine, you will be too.

Take another breath. You are going to make it until tomorrow when you can call your Dr. [Wink]

--------------------
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jwick25
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Thanks, lax mom.

It's one of those doctor's offices that is always so busy and overbooked, I can't help but wonder whether he's even taken a look at the results yet.

Also, my results seemed incomplete. I didn't see liver or kidney results. It's like the lab just left those out.

Ok....deep breaths.

I'm glad that you're fine after dealing with whatever issues you had.

I'm dreading being told, "You need surgery."

Noooo! [Wink]

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lax mom
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Yeah, it can become a slippery slope with all of the "What if's".

As of this very moment, you haven't been told that you need surgery.

I can really get myself scared with the "What if's". One night I was actually thinking about how scary it would be to need open heart surgery. I terrified myself...and I didn't need open heart surgery!!! [Wink] I think you can understand. It's all anxiety.


Worst case scenario tonight= you don't know what the results are and you will be ok.

Even if you eventually needed your gallbladder out, it's actually not that bad.

I seriously only needed 2 Tylenol afterward when I had mine out 2 yrs ago.

Keep us updated tomorrow when you get the results. I bet they aren't nearly as bad as you fear.

It always seems that the things I worry about never happen and the things that actually happen, I was never worried about.

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jwick25
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OMG...I can totally relate! I actually freaked myself out about heart surgery once too!

I called the doctor's office first thing this morning and spoke to a staff member about my need to speak with the doctor about my results.

I didn't hear anything back today, but I pretty much expected that.

I'll call again tomorrow afternoon if I don't hear anything by then.

It's funny, I never want to be a bother. I don't want to call a second time.

Yet, I'm the patient, and I should be able to reach my doctor when I have abnormal test results.

I'm sure I'll hear something tomorrow.

You are SO RIGHT.....most things I've worried so much about never happened. The things that did happen caught me by surprise. [Wink]

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Lymetoo
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You're probably fine. If you are not having severe pain (often and a lot) then you won't likely need surgery. And like lax mom said, GB surgery is pretty simple.

Relax, girlfriend! [Smile]

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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surprise
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I had stomach attacks come on where I would be on the floor, unable to move, my H and I wondering if we should call an ambulance.

They would pass in about 20 minutes- during, my lower right side and stomach would completely seize up.
1st LLMD said: yes, this is Lyme disease.

2nd LLMD, when I finally got around to telling him because they started happening 2x a month/ more frequent

had me get liver and gall bladder ultrasound (and more blood drawn)
I was having major anxiety waiting for results, sure I was to have my gall bladder removed.

Nope, all came back perfect.
When I started treating parasites regularly, and got rid of a lot of them and liver flukes,

didn't have an attack again. It's been about 6-7 months of treating parasites, seeing results, and no stomach attacks.

--------------------
Lyme positive PCR blood, and
positive Bartonella henselae Igenex, 2011.
low positive Fry biofilm test, 2012.
Update 7/16- After extensive treatments,
doing okay!

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jwick25
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Wow....surprise....that's really interesting.

I need to learn more about parasite treatment.


My tests showed some blood in the urine...and I've been having discomfort where I think my right kidney is located. This freaks me out.


But....as Lymetoo said....I need to relax!!! [Smile]

If only I could have a nice glass of wine.

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jwick25
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So my doctor got back to me and said that he is not concerned about the elevated lipase levels.

His guess is that I might have passed a gallstone - or some sludge? - which could have triggered the pancreas to release more lipase.

Had my blood been taken the day I had the pain, it might have shown lipase levels that were quadruple the norm. They might now be on the way down.

I hope he's right.

We'll see. [Smile]

I'm just hoping that the aches in my sides/back are muscle related.

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steve1906
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That's just your doctors assumption!

I hope you requested a follow-up blood test?

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Everything I say is just my opinion!

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jwick25
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Hi steve1906,

No, I didn't.....but I believe that I should. You make a good point.

I'm always paranoid about insulting a doctor by seeming to question his or her actions.

But I would feel better having a follow up.

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Clint31
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I have similar symptoms and pain and have had gallbladder surgery. My belief is our pancreas (or mine is) fired up and the doctors are not finding it.

--------------------
DX'ed Lyme Disease: 7/7/2008
DX'ed Babesia, Epstein Barr, Liver Parasite 8/15/2013.

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Nula
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Never mind. Just realized this is an old post.

--------------------
I appreciate all your replies. If it takes me a while to respond, it is either because I'm too sick or because I am unable to log in. From European servers, Lymenet is very frequently inaccessible for days at a time ...

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