UNDERSTANDING THE TERM – LUPUS ANTICOAGULANT
Lupus anticoagulants (LAs) are a type of antibody produced by the immune system that attacks healthy cells and cell proteins. On a general basis antibodies attack any foreign substances but the case is different with Lupus Anticoagulant. They attack Phospholipids, which are important components of the cell membrane.
They are also linked with other immune disorders known as antiphospholipid syndrome. Phospholipids play a major role in blood clotting, and these antibodies can increase the risk of thrombosis. LAs are associated with an enhanced risk of blood clotting rather than bleeding.
THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF LUPUS ANTICOAGULANT SYNDROME
Common symptoms of patients diagnosed with LAs include the following :
When blood clots develop in the Legs or Arms the patient may experience–
· Numbness in arms or legs
· Extreme pain
· Swelling in the area
When a blood clot develops in the Heart or lungs the patient may suffer from-
· Difficulty in breathing
· Chest pain
· Heavy sweating
When Blood clots develop in your stomach or kidneys it may cause–
- Acute stomach pain
- Blood in stool
- Pain in upper legs or thighs
- High fever
CAUSE AND RISK FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH LAs
The exact cause of this syndrome is still unknown but complications such as any infections, improper medications, and autoimmune conditions can give rise to these antibodies. HIV, Hepatitis, and Malaria may also be the cause of LAs.
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DIAGNOSIS FOR LAs
This syndrome is diagnosed with the help of a series of tests that are prescribed by doctors. The tests are suggested if a patient has an unexpected blood clot or has had more than one miscarriage.
These are tests that are often recommended for detecting the presence of Lupus Anticoagulant in our bloodstream-
· PTT test Partial thromboplastin time (PTT)
· Anticardiolipin antibody test
· kaolin clotting time
· Dilute Russell viper venom test (DRVVT)
· LA-sensitive PTT
· Beta-2 glycoprotein 1 antibody test
THE LINE OF TREATMENT FOR LAs
If you are A symptomatic. You may not be prescribed any medication or treatment.
·The basic treatment performed for LAs are blood thinning medications such as WARFARIN (COUMADIN) that help prevent blood clots.
·Plasma exchange: This is a mechanical process in which the blood plasma containing lupus anticoagulants is separated from other blood cells. The healthy plasma is then replaced with plasma containing lupus anticoagulants.
· Lifestyle Adaptations: Adopting lifestyle changes such as getting regular exercise, following the no smoking rule, eating a nutritious diet, losing weight, and reducing Vitamin K intake may also help you in living a healthy life.
Regular follow-up and strict medication become the new normal for such patients. When they are put on blood thinning medications such as WARFARIN (COUMADIN), they are asked to regularly monitor their PT/INR LEVEL. With PATIENT SELF TESTING, it has become convenient for such patients to perform the test on their own. They can easily do it with the help of PT/INR METERS and can know the result in seconds.