Antiphospholipid Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that makes the blood thicker and more likely to clot. The reason it is called "The Hidden Danger" is because it has very little or no symptoms. This disease can be life threatening, especially for pregnant women. The reason this is, is because when a woman get's pregnant, her blood naturally becomes thicker. But if she has this autoimmune disease then her blood volume will double and can before a hazard, not just for her health, but her unborn baby also. The chances of a woman with Antiphospholipid Syndrome to have a successful pregnancy are slim. Only around 20% have successful pregnancies and the rest are sadly lost. Most of the cases there have been stillborn more than early pregnancy loss which is devastating.
Can Antiphospholipid be cured so the woman can have a successful pregnancy?
Sadly there is no known cure for this disease. But it can be treated with daily blood thinning injections or daily aspirin tablets. This will reduce the risk of blood clotting so the baby will have a greater chance of survival. unfortunately for there to be a problem, the woman must have three miscarriages in a row in order for investigations to take place. Once she has gone through three miscarriages she will then be given a simple blood test to determine why she keeps losing pregnancies. If Antiphospholipid is present then she will be asked to try again when she is ready, as soon as she discovers she is pregnant again they will give her daily "Heparin" injections that will help the flow of blood to the placenta and reduce the risks of blood clotting in her body. If this disease is present in her body then the chances of her having a successful pregnancy dramatically increases from 20% to 80%. The daily Heparin injections will last almost her whole pregnancy, once she has reached 36 weeks then she will need to stop the injections, the reason being is that if she goes into labour the chances of her hemorrhaging increases to around 40%. In most of the cases the midwife will often ask to do a c-section to make sure everything is okay.
Does Antiphospholipid Syndrome only affect women?
Antiphospholipid Syndrome can affect anyone, it is usually passed through genes. Men can also be tested but in order for them to be diagnosed with this disease they'd have to have a stroke under the age of 45. Once the man is diagnosed then he will have to be on daily blood thinning injections for the rest of his life.
The way that AntiPhospholipid syndrome presents itself is different for everyone. It can be a daily struggle and some can't work and have to stay at home. The disease can also affect the way anyone thinks, moves, sees, walk, talk and function. It can be debilitating and downgrading for some.
What are the symptoms of Antiphospholipid syndrome?
In over 80% of people with Antiphospholipid syndrome these are the most common symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Tingles in fingers,arm or legs
- Blotchy skin, usually red with white dots presented on legs,arms or face
- TIA (Mini Strokes)
- Full strokes
- Memory loss
- Heart palpitations
If Antiphospholipid Syndrome is not diagnosed in time and that the person has suffered a mini stroke, then this can result in certain death. Remember if you have any sudden changes in your body that is signaling something wrong then please do NOT ignore it, head straight to your local GP or A&E for advice.