APS is an autoimmune disorder resulting from a person’s immune system producing antibodies that are thought to attack certain fats that contain phosphorus called phospholipids. These fats exist in cells and cell membranes including blood cells. As the antibodies attack, cells are damaged and blood clots may be formed. If there are too many blood clots, blood flow can be blocked and organs will be damaged.
In pregnancy, this can cause fetal death.
APS is more common in people who are experiencing other rheumatic or autoimmune diseases such as Lupus. Not everybody who has these antibodies has APS. This disease can occur at any age. Women are more affected than men. People with infections such as HIV, hepatitis C or Lyme disease are at risk.
Possible Symptoms of ASP/blood clots:
chest pain, shortness of breath/stroke
coughing up blood-streaked mucus
pain, redness swelling in limbs
discomfort in arms, back, neck or jaw
feeling sick to your stomach
other unexplained bleeding
Blood clots can lead to stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, Deep Vein Thrombosis, and blockage in the lung artery. ASP can be fatal.
Treatment is challenging, because patients do not fit into one category. Some patients with APS have an inadequate amount of platelets to form blood clots (thrombocytopenia), so treatment options such as anticoagulant medications like heparin and warfarin to stop blood clotting may cause a patient with too little platelets to bleed too much. However, APS patients with thrombocytopenia do not seem to reduce the risk of blood clotting. The reduced number of platelets may actually increase the risk of blood clots. APS can be fatal if the blood clots become too large or enter the heart, lungs, or brain.
If you suffer from another autoimmune disease you should get tested for ASP.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any natural supplements. There is a long list of supplements like garlic, ginkgo and green tea that can interfere with your treatment and can be dangerous to use with drugs such as warfarin. Certain foods and over the counter drugs can also put you at risk. Don’t take a chance. Ask.