There are times when your immune system attacks your own normal blood proteins by mistake. This leads to the formation of blood clots both in the arteries and your veins, resulting in complications such as pregnancy complications, miscarriage and stillbirth. This disorder may also result in deep vein thrombosis, kidney failure and in extreme cases, stroke.
Antiphospholipid Syndrome has no natural cure, but the formation of blood clots can be reduced by proper treatment and medications on time.
Consult with your physician if you or your loved one shows the following symptoms:
Blood clots in the legs (Deep Vein Thrombosis) that may reach up to the lungs (Pulmonary embolism), blood clots in the arteries of the arms or legs (Peripheral arterial thrombosis), repeated miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery, stroke etc. Besides these symptoms, there are a range of uncommon symptoms such as:
Neurological – Persistent headaches such as migraines; memory loss and seizures may occur when blood clots in the arteries and veins of the brain.
Skin Disorders - A red rash is formed on various parts of the skin which is also called Livedo reticularis.
Cardiovascular Diseases – Due to clot formation, heart valves are susceptible to damage with this disorder.
Consult your physician when you notice a red swollen arm or leg, and shortness of breath indicating the movement of the clot towards the lungs. Watch out for symptoms of stroke as well.
In this syndrome, your body produces antibodies in order to attack your own blood protein due to lack of proper protein configuration information. As a result, these antibodies attack the phospholipids (fat molecules present on the protein molecules that are responsible for clotting), thus setting off an abnormal clotting reaction.
Antiphospholipid Syndrome is of two types:
- Primary – No underlying cause, but you still develop the disease.
- Secondary – Presence of underlying causes such as autoimmune disorders, or as side effects of certain medications. This disease can also develop as a result of certain infections and genetic predispositions as well.
- Underlying autoimmune disorders like systemic lupus erythematosus or Sjogren’s syndrome.
- Infections such as syphilis, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C or Lyme disease.
- Side effects of certain medications such as hydralazine, quinidine, phenytoin and amoxicillin.
- Having the genes responsible for the disease.
The situation becomes even more risky if you:
- Become pregnant.
- Undergo surgery
- Smoke cigarettes
- Have high cholesterol and triglyceride level.
This disease develops several complications depending on the organ which is affected by it. Renal disorders, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, lung disorders and pregnancy complications are most important complications in this list. If the disease is left untreated, it may result in permanent damage to the body organs or death.