The amylase test is a simple blood test ordered by your physician to measure the level of amylase in your blood. Amylase is a digestive enzyme that helps the body to break down carbohydrates and starches into sugar. It is vital to have normal levels of amylase in the blood. Elevated amylase and low levels of amylase can lead to serious health complications. So, we highly recommend everyone to get tested for amylase levels if you experience any unusual symptoms that are caused by high or low amylase levels.
The article below covers all the important topics that are relevant to the amylase blood test such as amylase test cost, what is amylase test, normal amylase levels, pancreatic disorder symptoms, test procedure, preparation, risks, and how to get tested for an amylase blood test.
- Amylase test cost.
- What is amylase?
- Why is an amylase test done?
- Pancreas disorder symptoms.
- Normal amylase levels.
- How is the amylase test done?
- Is there any preparation required before the test?
- Are there any risks in the test?
- What does the amylase test result mean?
- Providers Locations.
For our readers, who are very much interested in knowing the amylase test cost beforehand, we would like to begin with that section.
How much does an amylase test cost?
Amylase test cost ranges between $28 and $57 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. No prior appointment is required. Compare the price, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days.
The following table shows the cost of the amylase test at 2 of our partner laboratories (CLIA – Certified) located across the U.S.
Name of our Partner Labs
Amylase test cost with insurance
Most of the health insurance policies in the U.S. cover the cost of the amylase test. However, the coverage offered by private health insurance companies and national health insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid varies widely. So we recommend you to check the coverage of your health insurance plan with the insurance company before getting tested for amylase levels.
Our amylase testing providers do not accept any kind of health insurance plan. But if the insurance company accepts to reimburse you, they can provide you with an itemized receipt containing all the details like the name and code of the test, and CPT code that is necessary for insurance reimbursement purposes.
What is amylase?
Amylase is a digestive enzyme that is produced by the pancreas and salivary glands. The pancreas is a narrow, flat organ that is about six inches long and located behind the stomach. It secretes digestive enzymes in the pancreatic duct to help intestines break down foods that you take. Amylase enzyme is released through the pancreatic duct into the intestines to break down the carbohydrates and starches into sugar during digestion.
Why is an amylase test done?
The amylase test is done to measure the levels of amylase in the blood. Most of the amylase present in the blood is produced by the pancreas. So amylase test can help to diagnose pancreatic disorders such as pancreatic cyst, pancreatic inflammation (pancreatitis), and pancreatic cancer.
Your physician will order an amylase test if you experience the following symptoms that are caused by pancreatic disorders or if you are at a higher risk of getting pancreatic diseases.
Pancreas disorder symptoms
- Severe pain in the upper abdomen
- Belly pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Foul-smelling stools
- Loss of appetite
- Rapid pulse
Risk factors for a pancreas disorder
- A family history of pancreatitis
- Gall stones
- Excess consumption of alcohol
The amylase test is also done to monitor the effectiveness of ongoing treatment for any pancreatic disorder. Sometimes, this test might also be ordered to monitor an existing condition like
- Pancreatic cysts
- Problems in the gastrointestinal tract
- Digestive problems
- Recent kidney transplant
- Kidney disorders
- Eating disorders
- Mumps (an infection in the salivary glands)
Normal amylase levels
Generally, normal amylase levels are required to maintain normal digestive and cell function. The normal amylase levels vary between labs and from person to person based on age, gender, and the method of testing. Many labs consider the standard amylase levels in adults to be between 19 to 86 U/L (units per liter of blood). However, we recommend confirming the result of your amylase level with your concerned physician.
How is the amylase test done?
The amylase test is a simple test that can be done with a sample of blood. As a small amount of amylase is present in the urine, sometimes a urine sample can also help to measure the amylase levels.
1. Amylase blood test
An amylase blood test is also known as serum amylase test or amylase serum test. During this test, a lab technician or a phlebotomist will cleanse the area to be injected with an antiseptic and wrap an elastic band around the upper arm to make the vein visible and swell with blood. He/she then injects a needle to draw a sample of blood and collects the sample in a test tube. After the blood is drawn, he/she will ask you to apply pressure on the puncture site with a band-aid or a cotton ball to stop bleeding. The collected blood sample is sent to the lab for further testing.
It takes less than 5 to 10 minutes to perform this test.
2. Amylase urine test
For an amylase urine test, you will have to provide a “clean-catch” sample. To provide a clean-catch sample, you must wash your hands and clean your genital area with a cleansing pad given by the provider. Men should wipe the tip of their penis and women should open their labia (either side of the vagina) and clean them. Then collect at least an ounce of urine in the collection container and give the sample to your health care provider for testing.
Is there any preparation required before the test?
There is no special preparation required for the amylase blood test or urine test. There is no constraint on the diet but you should avoid drinking alcohol before the day of the test.
Your physician will also ask you to stop certain medications and drugs that include asparaginase, aspirin, birth control pills, cholinergic medications, ethacrynic acid, methyldopa, opiates such as codeine, meperidine, and morphine, and thiazide diuretics such as chlorothiazide, indapamide, and metolazone. Because these medications can influence the amylase levels and result in an inaccurate diagnosis.
Are there any risks in the test?
There are no possible risks or complications in the amylase urine test. In some cases, when the blood sample is drawn, you might feel dizziness, slight pain, bruise, or redness in the injected area for a very little period. If you have any abnormal bleeding in the injected area, inform the phlebotomist or your physician immediately.
What does the amylase test result mean?
Abnormal amylase levels can indicate different medical conditions.
If your test results show lower amylase levels than normal, it indicates the following medical conditions.
- Chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas which can worsen gradually and result in permanent damage)
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Cystic fibrosis (a hereditary disorder that causes the production of thick mucus resulting in the damage of pancreatic ducts and intestines)
- Preeclampsia (a dangerous pregnancy complication characterized due to high blood pressure)
If the results show elevated amylase levels, it indicates several conditions such as
- Acute pancreatitis (sudden inflammation of the pancreas)
- Pancreatic cancer
- Blockage in the pancreas
- Ovarian cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
- Tumors in the salivary glands
- Poor kidney function
- Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder caused by gallstones)
- Macroamylasemia (a condition where macroamylase, amylase that is attached to the protein is present in the blood)
- Gastroenteritis (inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract)
- Peptic ulcer
- Ectopic pregnancy (a condition where the fertilized egg grows outside the uterus)
If appropriate and necessary, your physician will also order a lipase blood test which is another important digestive enzyme and other imaging tests such as MRI, CT, and ultrasound to look at the pancreas.
The amylase test can be done in any of the following locations across the U.S. by visiting the nearest lab. To know the amylase test cost, refer to the first section of the article.
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions
Will insurance cover my testing cost?
No, insurance will not be covered in the billing. However, they will provide you a receipt for insurance reimbursement purposes.
How should I book my appointment?
You can choose the most suitable provider from above and make an appointment by following the instructions mentioned by them.
Can I cancel my lab test order?
Yes, you can cancel your lab test order anytime before your testing. A refund will be initiated after deducting the cancellation fee. However, cancellation is at the discretion of the provider.
Do the providers offer result interpretations?
Yes, a few providers may provide doctor consultation who will take you through the results and provide clarification if needed.
How do I receive my report?
To ensure your privacy, the test report will be mailed to you by the provider.
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