APS Support UK
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Living with APS

Living with a long-term condition means that you have to make some adjustments to your life, and APS is no exception. By making certain adjustments you should be able to help stabilise your condition, reduce symptoms and increase your overall well-being.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the condition, people can be affected very differently so it is likely that not all the topics mentioned here will apply to you, particularly if you are not being treated with warfarin. However, we aim to look at common issues which affect most people, and to offer advice and practical suggestions on how you can help improve your life including:

  • Stopping smoking
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Medication
  • Treatment
  • Women’s health
  • Coping with fatigue
  • Managing memory problems
  • Dealing with stress
  • Health insurance
  • Driving

Stopping smoking

Needless to say smoking is even more dangerous if you have APS as it causes cardiovascular disease. Smoking accelerates the hardening and narrowing of your arteries which means that you are two to four times more likely to develop a blood clot.

Diet

Anyone with APS is advised to eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of good carbohydrates, protein, low-fat dairy products and lots of fruit and vegetables. Maintaining a healthy weight is important both in terms of reducing cardiovascular risks such as heart disease, and easing pressure on your bones and joints.

Exercise

There are no specific exercise guidelines for people with APS as the level of exercise you are capable of will depend on how severely affected you are, if you suffer from arthralgia or are recovering from a thrombotic event.

Medication

The type of medication you can take to treat other conditions will depend on the type of treatment you are prescribed for APS.

Women’s health

Contraception

Oral contraception, known colloquially as the pill, is the most popular form of birth control. However, the ‘normal’ combined pill contains both oestrogen and progestin hormones; oestrogen appears to increase the risk of blood clots: not by forming the clots themselves, but by making the blood more likely to clot.

Coping with fatigue

Most patients with APS will find they suffer with fatigue at some point. Fortunately, the fatigue does not tend to be constant and many people find they have good and bad days.

Managing memory problems

Many people with APS will have some degree of memory loss and difficulty in thinking clearly; the sensation has been described as ‘brain fog’.

Dealing with stress

Life with APS can be as difficult mentally as it can be physically, and coping with the psychological consequences of the condition can be tough.

Health Insurance

Unlike travel insurance where a variety of different companies are prepared to offer insurance to people with APS, it can be very difficult to find a life insurance company prepared to offer you an insurance policy if you have antiphospholipid syndrome.

Driving

Many APS patients are concerned about their safety to drive and whether they need to declare their condition to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

Fact sheets

We have provided the following free fact sheets about different aspects of APS for you to either download, print or share.

Patient stories

In this section of our website, patients bravely share their stories to help our understanding of APS.

© 2017 APS Support UK (trading name of the Hughes Syndrome Foundation). Registered Charity Number 1138116. A company limited by guarantee registered in England 7268671.