Trypsin is an enzyme made in the pancreas that helps you digest protein foods you eat. In cases where the pancreas is inflamed suddenly – called pancreatitis – enzymes that were made by your pancreas are now found in the blood.
Pancreatitis causes pain in your abdomen that is often severe. It can occur immediately without warning or after eating and last for hours or even days. It’s often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever, and irritability. If the pancreatitis becomes chronic and doesn’t go away over time, it can cause fat malabsorption and even lead to glucose intolerance.
The trypsin lab test is also called the trypsinogen test. This is because trypsin enzymes are created from a precursor compound called trypsinogen. Once the trypsinogen enters the small intestine, it releases trypsin. Thus, the two names are used to mean the same thing when it comes to lab tests.
This test is the most accurate indicator for acute pancreatitis.
Normal Ranges for Trypsin in ng/mL:
During acute pancreatitis, levels may increase to anywhere from 700 to 17,000 ng/mL
Low Trypsin levels are associated with:
- Pancreatic insufficiency
High Trypsin levels are associated with any of the following:
- The pancreas is producing higher amounts of enzymes than normal.
- Acute pancreatitis
- Cancer of the pancreas
- Cystic fibrosis
- Alcohol abuse
- Bile duct obstruction
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