Incidental Elevated Lipase Level Found

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Last week I went to the emergency room after a night of pains in the center of my chest.  I’m pretty certain it was acid reflux,  but I was making sure it wasn’t heart related.  Heart enzymes returned normal, but my Lipase levels came back slightly elevated at 67.  Normal high is 60.  My GP and Gastro docs both say they’re not worried about the level.  I, on the other hand am very concerned. My gastro said if I wanted, she’d order a CT with pancreas protocol,  but she thinks is going overboard, and wants to wait three months and re-test blood.  My ALT and AST have also been slightly elevated for about 4 months.  I was a daily beer drinker for many years, but quit drinking all together this past February.  My question is, could my pancreas be inflamed, or damaged from years of drinking?  And why else would my lipase  be elevated?  Tumor, Cyst?  I don’t know. I’m worried to death about this.  Would you guys have a CT or wait a few months?   I’ve had two head and neck CTs in the past four months, and 5 chest X-rays as well. Im scared I’ve been over radiated already.  Thanks in advance for any comments or recommendations 

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  • Posted

    Oh I forgot. My A1c is in normal range at 5.3.  And my mouth has been more watery than usual for about 3 weeks  ???  Any connection?  
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  • Posted

    Your Lipase do not elevate for no apparent reason. However, if it is your pancreas, that’s one organ that’s really difficult to diagnose problems due to its location. It took the doctors over a year to diagnose my pancreas issues. Your liver enzymes can stay elevated for weeks even if it’s not related to your liver. Most GI doctors don’t understand the pancreas, I recommend looking for a specialist who does. Usually pancreatitis develops from heavy drinking (the way my pancreas specialist explained it to me made it sounded like you had to drink either hard alcohol everyday or a couple of 12 packs everyday for years). Either way, if you’re not drinking now, I don’t think that’s the issue. There’s many more symptoms when it comes to the pancreas. Acid reflux is a part of it but you can take over the counter medication. The biggest symptom is pain after eating … the pain can be so bad you’re literally scared to eat. If you manage to eat then it’s a matter of it staying down. There’s many reasons your Lipase can elevate. You can have sludge in your duct, a stone or an acute pancreatitis attack. Do you have a gallbladder? I would get either a CT or MRCP to look at your pancreas. Those are the only tests that revealed anything for me and I was born with two pancreatic ducts that never fused together which caused chronic pancreatitis. I had blood, ultrasound and endoscopy all come back normal. We’re all unique and will have different symptoms but hopefully you will find answers. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Shortie79.  Yeah I don’t understand why my alt and ast were in normal range all the years I drank beer, but a month and a half after I quit drinking they elevated.?  My doc has no good answer for that.  And of course they don’t check lipase levels during annual physicals, so no telling how long they’ve been slightly elevated. I’m just concerned/worried and don’t know what to do.  I guess I’ll tell the GI doc to order the CT.   My mouth watering a lot is freaking me out to, and thinking it’s my pancreas.  I’ve only had a couple of times where I had pain in the middle of my chest and neck area.  It wasn’t horrible pain. 
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    • Posted

      I get mouth watering but that’s a sign I’m about to vomit. I also get pain in my shoulder/neck however, it’s actually “referred” pain from my pancreas. My blood work has never shown pancreatitis but my liver enzymes will elevate. Usually you have to have an acute pancreatitis attack before you can develop chronic pancreatitis. Once it’s chronic, your blood work won’t show elevated lipase. In fact usually it’s the opposite, it’ll go down. Since you’re showing elevated lipase, that’s actually a good sign. It means your pancreas is still working and producing digestive enzymes. I was experiencing debilitating pain, nausea, vomiting, itching, hair loss, migraines, extreme weight loss and constipation. Even after my Pancreas Divisum condition was found (two pancreatic ducts) my GI thought my symptoms were IBS related. I knew they weren’t so I saw a pancreas specialist. I’m now to the point where I’m going to have an abdominal block done then I’ll have to have my pancreas removed. I’m only 38 but I can still live a long life without a pancreas. Unfortunately I will be solely dependent on digestive enzymes and insulin. If you haven’t started a journal, I would start to write down your foods. People with pancreas problems have to stick to a low fat and sugar lifestyle. Furthermore, as we age we can also develop food intolerances. You may want to try eating six small meals rather than three big ones. They’re easier to digest. Foods can trigger pain. 
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    • Posted

      Wow. I don’t have any of those symptoms, but I’m still worried.  I just messaged my doc and asked for a ct.  I hope I’m not over radiating my self with all the other X-rays and two head CT’s I’ve had this year. Lol.  

      I wish you the best, and I’m sure all will work out for you.  You’ve got a lot of years ahead of you.  Thanks for responding.  I’ll keep you updated. 

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    • Posted

      I’ve had probably over 20 CT’s or MRIs, etc. I’ve had to have at least one surgery every year for 16 years. I think you will be fine regarding radiation. Since you still have your gallbladder, it can actually be that causing your symptoms. I had to have mine removed a long time ago. I wish you the best. 
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    • Posted

      I got my lipase and amylase retested today. Both are in normal range at 33 and 55.  My alt is down to 71 and ast is 31.   Alp is 104.   Idk what happened a couple of weeks ago for lipase to elevate but I’m a little more at ease.  I started drinking 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar   Maybe help my liver and cholesterol out.  
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