What is a lipase test?
Lipase is a type of protein made by your pancreas, an organ located near your stomach. Lipase helps your body digest fats. It's normal to have a small amount of lipase in your blood. But, a high level of lipase can mean you have pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas, or another type of pancreas disease. Blood tests are the most common way of measuring lipase.
serum lipase, lipase, LPS
What is it used for?
A lipase test may be used to:
- Diagnose pancreatitis or another disease of the pancreas
- Find out if there is a blockage in your pancreas
- Check for chronic diseases that affect the pancreas, including cystic fibrosis
Why do I need a lipase test?
You may need a lipase test if you have symptoms of pancreas disease. These include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe back pain
- Severe abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
You may also need a lipase test if you certain risk factors for pancreatitis. These include:
- A family history of pancreatitis
- High triglycerides
You may also be at a higher risk if you are a smoker or heavy alcohol user.
What happens during a lipase test?
A lipase test is usually in the form of a blood test. During a blood test, a health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
Lipase can also be measured in urine. Usually, a lipase urine test can be taken at any time of day, with no special preparation needed.
Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?
You may need to fast (not eat or drink) for 8–12 hours before a lipase blood test. If your health care provider has ordered a lipase urine test, be sure to ask if you need to follow any special instructions.
Are there any risks to the test?
There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruise at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly. There are no known risks to a urine test.