Lupus affects my blood, too?

What, lupus affects my blood? “Stop the world, I want to get off!” Yes, lupus greatly increases your chances of having Antiphospholipid Syndrome.

Anti-what? Normally proteins in the blood bind to components of the cell wall (phospholipids). In lupus, the immune system mistakenly attacks these phosophlipids, destroying them and resulting in damage to the cell wall. Doctors call this ‘Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS)’ or ‘against phospholipids. When this happens to the arteries and veins, blood clots can form, sometimes deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

When these blood clots travel, they can create other complications, including stroke, heart attacks, osteonecrosis and kidney problems. These will be discussed individually in other posts.

Not all lupus patients have APS, but it occurs in a significant number. APS can also affect the ‘general population’ and can affect their blood clotting, especially pregnant women.

Treatment of this disorder consists often consist of medications to prevent excess clotting, such as Coumadin (warfarin), Heparin or Lovenox and is often a lifelong commitment.

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