Lipase is an enzyme released by the pancreas necessary for normal fat breakdown and use by the body. Lipase levels are mainly used to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, but levels can also be used to diagnose kidney disease (since kidneys clear lipase from the blood) or acute (current) intestinal disease, although levels are much lower than those seen in diseases of the pancreas. Lipase levels are a better indicator for acute vs chronic illnesses. High lipase levels are also seen in people with gall bladder disease, stomach ulcers, or the mumps. Normal values will vary depending upon the lab that is doing the testing.
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