If your aging relative has had a heart attack, you may have heard the doctor talk about them having “elevated cardiac enzymes.” That can sound alarming and confusing, especially if you don’t know what it means. Learning more about cardiac enzymes can take away some of the mystery and help you to know how to move forward with your loved one’s care.
About Cardiac Enzymes
An enzyme is a kind of protein that the body produces to make certain chemical reactions occur more quickly. When a person has had a heart attack, or the doctor thinks they may have, they measure two kinds of cardiac enzymes:
- Troponin T (TnT).
- Troponin I (TnI).
These two kinds of cardiac enzymes are measured because they are enzymes that are specific indicators of a heart attack. Although TnT and TnI are always present in the blood in low levels, when there are more of them in the blood, it may indicate that the heart muscle is damaged or isn’t receiving enough blood. The levels can indicate just how much damage has been done to the heart.
Cardiac Enzyme Tests
To test for cardiac enzymes, the doctor will take a blood sample. Usually, the blood is taken from the arm just like with other kinds of blood tests. There’s no preparation necessary for a cardiac enzyme test. There is no need to fast or avoid taking medications. In fact, in most cases, a cardiac enzyme test is performed when there is a medical emergency.
When a cardiac enzyme test is performed too soon, it may not show elevated levels. Doctors often perform the test more than once over time to see if the levels change. If the test indicates your aging relative has had a heart attack, the doctor will talk to them and family caregivers about steps that need to be taken.
There are some other medical conditions that can cause elevated cardiac enzyme levels, like kidney disease and pulmonary hypertension. If there is an underlying condition causing the elevation, the doctor will treat the condition.
If your aging relative has had a heart attack, the road to recovery can be rather lengthy and require a lot of follow up medical appointments. The senior will be advised to participate in cardiac rehab for several weeks. Home care can assist the older adult and family caregivers during the recovery period. Home care providers can drive the older adult to rehab and medical appointments. Home care providers can also remind your family member to take their medications. And, having a home care provider to look after your loved one can give you and them peace of mind.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE IN CARROLLTON, TX, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE TODAY. CALL (214) 272-2188.