Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the blood’s ability to clot normally. APS is most frequently found in young women and can cause increased, frequent clotting in the arteries and veins and can lead to miscarriages. The clotting occurs because of the presence of proteins in the blood called anti-phospholipid autoantibodies that antagonize the individual’s own body tissues. While the medical community does not completely understand why patients can develop these anti-phospholipid autoantibodies, production is likely triggered by an environmental factor acting upon an individual’s genetic susceptibility to disease.
There is no known cure for APS, but it can be treated with regular anticoagulant therapy. This particular treatment is usually effective in preventing future clots. In pregnant women, subcutaneous injections of heparin and low-dose aspirin can be helpful in preventing miscarriages. These injections are typically administered at the beginning of a pregnancy and continued after delivery.
There are many organizations that focus on helping support individuals and provide resources to those facing autoimmune disease. If you and Information provided by the American College for Rheumatology and the APS Foundation of America.