Low lipase level. I'm scared.

Posted , 12 users are following.

Hi everyone. A little about me first. I'm a 35 year old woman. 133 lbs. Non smoker. Occasional wine drinker.

So in the past 2 months or so I've been very dizzy and weak off and on. In the past 3 weeks I have been very sick with diarrhea and still have the extreme dizziness, fatigue and weight loss. 15 lbs in 3 weeks. Abdominal discomfort. Ive had numerous blood tests and everything has always been normal. I have also had CT of abdomen, ultrasound of abdomen. All they found was gallstones. Ive been treated with flagyl because my PCP thought maybe giardias was the cause. My stool samples came back negative.

My TSH has always been normal until two weeks ago. I'm all of a sudden very HYPER. TSH fell to .126.

Yesterday I was back in the ER for extreme dizziness and worsening diarrhea. My CBC was normal, hepatic function was normal but my Lipase level was 8. With the standard range being 11-82. Ive searched symptoms of lipase deficiency and dizziness, diarrhea are symptoms.

But what causes it?

I'm worried now about pancreatic malignancies. After doing a ton of research I cant find what would be any other reason would cause low lipase levels.

Please help.

0 likes, 17 replies

Report / Delete

17 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi I don't really have any advice for you but if your on Facebook please join 'chronic pancreatitis support group' so much great advice from people on there that seem to know a lot more about the pancreas than any doctors! You will get a reply day and night as people on there from all over the world. Hope you get some answers.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    If you've had the full range of tests I think pancreatic cancer would have been picked up already.  I read that low lipase can indicate gall bladder issues so having found stones that makes sense.  Were they removed or are there plans to remove them?  If not could they be causing your symptoms?  What did the doctor say about them?  

    So what does your doctor think about what's going on generally?  Is he/she concerned about your lipase level of 8?  Has your doctor indicated what the next step is?  If you aren't happy with your treatment find a new doc that you trust more.

    Stress exacerbates everything so try to control your fears and go on a low fat diet as well and see how you feel.  I hope you get things sorted soon.

     

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes you're right. Stress and constant online research is ruining my life and diagnosing me with all sorts of horrible things. I'm stopping and focusing on getting healthy.

      So my gallbladder will be removed soon. As soon as my thyroid gets under control.

      My doctor wasn't very concerned about the lipase being 8. She said the range used to be 0-82 then 5-82. She said ultresound is very good at looking at the pancreas.

      You're right. Im worried for nothing. I need to calm down. Thank you

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi lynds214, I just had my gallbladder removed. It was the easiest surgery--4 little tiny holes, they removed it through a tube, and I was out cold; very little pain afterwards.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Lynds214,

      Are you feeling any better ? Dis you get a final resolution to your pain?  I am hoping that the gall bladder removal has helped, I am facing the same situation and I am curious now that its been several months how you are doing now ?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi there it's obviously different for everyone who gets their gallbladder removed. I just had mine removed Dec5th. Yes four little incisions and it's out. First few days great no pain there anymore but after 5th day, it changed. The incisions in belly button area got infected. The far lower incision below gallbladder area there was a pulling and ripping sensation. Then I have had diarrhea for 8 days straight and a pain at that incision spot that has left me screaming to get up out of chair, or bed or toilet. Ended up in ER Saturday. Found I also had kidney infection and a possible tear in muscle under lower incision. I see my surgeon tomorrow am. I had heard it was such an easy thing to get removed but I have been in more pain since after. I'll be anxious to see what he says tomorrow. Don't want to live like this with so much pulling and ripping pain in my lower stomach. Glad yours went well.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      My lipase level was also 8 U/L, the range is 13 - 60 U/L and blood work, ultrasound, ct, they all came back negative.

      I also read the internet article about low lipase level being a sign of chronic pancreatitis.

      Were you able to get your lipase checked out again since last time?

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    You certainly have had a rough time and I understand your concerns. I went to the ER the end of May after 2 days with a high fever (reaching at least 105.1 an hour AFTER I took two 500mg Rapid Release Tylenol), back pain, nausea, vomiting. The ER Doc ran several tests including a CBC, Urinalysis, and lipase. I was diagnosed with a UTI.

    I saw my lab results online today. At my hospital the normal Lipase range is 44-232 U/L; mine came back as <10 U/L (he didn't run my Amylase). Now the UTI was the correct diagnosis, but it's disconcerting he walked away from the abnormally low lipase level. I am not set tosee my GP until next Friday so I've been trying to determine some possible causes of abnormally low lipase levels. It seems like the majority of the focus is on abnormally high levels.

    It is frustrating that there are not industry standard normal values with regards to blood tests. What is considered normal varies from one lab to the next. UNC says Normal Lipase is 44-232 U/L; Healthline and other sources say its 0-160 U/L; and other sources say something else.

    CT Scans are one test used to diagnose something like Pancreatic Cancer. The good news in your case is also the bad news: they didn't find a lesion/tumor.

    "A low level of lipase in the blood may indicate permanent damage to the lipase-producing cells in the pancreas. This can occur in chronic diseases that affect the pancreas such as cystic fibrosis." (as well as Celiac's disease, Crohn’s disease, etc.)

    https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/lipase/tab/test/

    My Mom has a chronic disorder that has nearly killed her more times than I can count and after 17 years they still can't figure out what IT is. Something I have learned along the way between researching her complicated chronic health issues and my own is when researching symptoms for a potential cause it's good to keep in mind a symptom can be primary, secondary, or tertiary:

    PRIMARY symptoms are symptoms that are intrinsically associated with a disease.

    SECONDARY symptoms are complications or consequences of illness and disease, arising from the primary symptoms.

    TERTIARY symptoms include the emotional, social and vocational impact of the disease on the patient, family and community.

    Given the "chronic" diarrhea and worsening dizziness the longer it continued, I'm more inclined to think that the diarrhea (primary) caused dehydration (secondary) which made you feel increasingly dizzy.

    Have you been tested for things like Crohn's or Celiacs disease? HYPERthyroidism can occur in either of them.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I know this is old but has anyone tested you for the C Diff infection? 
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hey kristina.. I am new to this group and am actually currently in the hospital for the 3rd time fighting cdiff.. my lipase levels are 12 with a range from 22 to .. I am curious though what association you made with the low lipase /cdiff diagnosis. . Hope to hear back soon. smile
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi, heather don't leap to associate your C Diff infection to your lipase level.  It can be triggered by some antibiotics so check those out and it's contagious so you could have picked it up anywhere really.  

      My grandson is in and out of hospital with serious acute episodes as a result of chronic medical issues and gets C Diff everytime he's admitted.  It happens within hours, probably because he's usually extremely sick, life threateningly so upon arrival and this sometimes deadly infection is active within the hospital. 

      Despite being one of the top paediactric hospitals in the world I've witnessed very shoddy cleaning practices which will keep the infection active and my protests and chat about training cleaners falls on deaf ears.  I have at times cleaned his room and banned cleaning to prevent him getting it but I can't disinfect staff who argue the gown, mask and gloves are enough (not when they walk in and out without taking them off and returning after being with other patients).  I wish I could set up a decontamination shower at his door. 

      Make sure you're washing your hands thoroughly, wash bed linen and clothes and wipe down surfaces at home to get rid of the bug once you're out of hospital.  Don't forget the car internal surfaces and the steering wheel.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Pancreatic cancer is scary, but statistically unlikely given your age and the fact that you don't smoke.  However, the low lipase is definitely worth being checked into further.  There has recently been published a couple of articles that discuss low lipase as a symptom of chronic pancreatitis, including an article that came out from an Indianapolis hospital a year or so ago on using low lipase to diagnose chronic pancreatitis.  The article suggested that values of lipase and amylase below the lowest number in the reference range for either enzyme are highly specific for chronic pancreatitis, but not highly sensitive.  In other words, if you have low lipase and amylase, it is highly likely that you have chronic pancreatitis, but the test is not sensitive because there are people with chronic pancreatitis that do not have low lipase.  Usually, the lipase drops as your pancreas becomes more damaged.  They can also run a fecal elastase test to determine whether you have pancreatic insufficiency.  I would definitely demand that your doctor run further tests to get to the bottom of your low lipase tests.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I know this is an old post but by chance do you know where I could find the article you referenced on low lipase by the Indy Dr.  My GI dr is in at IU Hospital in Indy and would like to read it;  I’ve been dealing with chronic pancreatitis for 5 years.  Thanks any help is appreciated.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Sorry for the slow response. I didn't see I had a reply to the thread. The article is called Low Serum Pancreatic Amylase and Lipase Values Are Simple and Useful Predictors to Diagnose Chronic Pancreatitis by Glen Lehman and several other doctors. You should just be able to google the title and pull it up. In my experience, doctors are quick to treat acute pancreatitis, but most of them do not want to mess with someone with chronic pancreatitis. Many of them would rather handle a live rattlesnake than have to actually treat someone with a chronic illness for which continual care and followup is required. Plus, a lot of them don't know much about chronic pancreatitis or act like you must be a drinker or someone who did something nefarious to cause the CP. In other words, you really need to find a good, knowledgeable, and caring doctor to address the problem if that is what you are dealing with.

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up