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The Spoonie Struggle


Oct 13, 2021

Episode 39: The Ins and Outs of Antiphospholipid Syndrome With Guest Dr. Jill Schofield

In this episode, guest Dr. Schofield discusses Antiphospholipid Syndrome. APS is a complex multisystem autoimmune disease. It is often comorbid with Lupus. It can be primary or secondary. Females are more likely to have APS than males. It tends to occur more in younger females. Women are more likely to have memory loss and migraines than males. This is a lifelong disorder, although as one ages, the antibodies might go away.

 

Symptoms can include migraines, memory loss, stroke, POTS symptoms, seizures, blood clots in arteries or veins, and severe pregnancy complications. It is helpful to go to a doctor to investigate for APS if they have livido reticularis, refractory migraine, pregnancy issues, Raynaud’s, memory loss in a young person, thickening of the heart valves, family history of autoimmune disease, personal history of autoimmune disease, nonspecific white matter changes in the brain ,low platelet count, recurrent stress fractures, and/or avascular necrosis. Beware because APS is an MS mimic. Usually, APS is kicked off by some sort of trigger. POTS and migraines often start around the same time.

Plavix, aspirin, or blood thinners can help significantly with migraines. Potential pregnancy complications include miscarriage (often late), stillbirth, recurrent early miscarriage, preeclampsia, eclampsia, and/or intrauterine growth restriction. To minimize those effects during pregnancy, doctors often prescribe aspirin, Vitamin D, heparin, and plaquenil, and do close monitoring of the pregnancy and fetus. Other common nonpregnancy-related complications include stroke, blood clots, stress fractures, and heart attacks.

 

 

Dr. Schofield discusses the many problems with the current diagnostic system of APS. A person is diagnosed by having clinical symptoms of APS and positive antibodies for APS. If you have APS symptoms and you start having new symptoms of a clot or neurological symptoms, get checked out ASAP to ensure that you are not having a clot or a stroke. She also recommends thromboprophylaxis after a surgery or after giving birth.

 

Links:

Center For Multisystems Disease

Migraine Paper

Dr. Graham Hughes

 

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Hosted by: Jessica Temple 

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