Early diagnosis saves lives
Some people with APS will also have other autoimmune conditions, as may other members of their family. APS has been linked with many other autoimmune conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and celiac disease, but the main autoimmune ‘cousins’ of APS are:
Lupus is often the autoimmune condition most closely associated with APS; the first ever group of patients found to have antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) were lupus patients.
Raynauds phenomenon (usually just called Raynauds) is a common condition that affects the blood supply to certain parts of the body, usually the fingers and toes. During a Raynauds attack, the blood vessels go into a temporary spasm which blocks the flow of blood. This causes the affected area to change colour to white, then blue and then finally red as the blood flow returns.
A significant number of APS patients will also have Sjogrens syndrome (pronounced show-grens) – another autoimmune disease in which white blood cells attack the body’s tear and saliva glands, reducing the amount of saliva and tears produced.
Many patients with APS have relatives with a history of thyroid disease, particularly Graves’ disease.
Graves' disease is the most common cause of overactive thyroid and is another autoimmune disease. It can run in families and can occur at any age, although it is most common in women aged 20-40 years old. You are more likely to develop Graves' disease if you smoke.
We have created a resource of useful links to APS related websites.
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