Depending on your treatment plan for antiphospholipid syndrome, there are additional steps you can take to protect your health.
If you take anticoagulants
If your antiphospholipid syndrome requires that you take anticoagulant medication, take extra precautions to keep from injuring yourself and to avoid bleeding. Follow these suggestions:
- Avoid contact sports or other activities that could cause bruising or injury or cause you to fall.
- Use a softer toothbrush and waxed floss.
- Shave with an electric razor.
- Take extra care when using knives, scissors and other sharp tools.
Certain foods and medications may affect how well your anticoagulants work. Ask your doctor for guidance about:
Safe dietary choices. Vitamin K can lessen the effectiveness of warfarin. It's important to be consistent in how much vitamin K you get daily. The average daily value of vitamin K for adult men is 120 micrograms (mcg). For adult women, it's 90 mcg. While eating small amounts of foods that are rich in vitamin K may not be harmful, avoid eating large amounts of kale, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, parsley, collard greens, mustard greens and soybeans.
On the other hand, cranberry juice and alcohol may dangerously increase warfarin's blood-thinning effect. Ask your doctor if you need to limit or avoid these drinks.
- Safe medications and dietary supplements. Certain medications, vitamins and herbal products may interact dangerously with warfarin. These may include over-the-counter pain relievers, cold medicines, stomach remedies or multivitamins, as well as garlic, ginkgo and green tea products.
If you don't take anticoagulants
If you have antiphospholipid antibodies but do not take anticoagulant medication, take these precautions:
April 15, 2014
- Tell your doctor that you have antiphospholipid antibodies.
- Ask your health care provider to take measures to help prevent deep vein thrombosis if you can't move due to surgery or other medical reasons.
- Don't smoke.
- Take steps, such as lowering your cholesterol level, to help prevent a heart attack or stroke.
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- What is antiphospholipid antibody syndrome? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/aps/. Accessed Dec. 2, 2013.
- Learning about antiphospholipid syndrome. National Human Genome Research Institute. http://www.genome.gov/pfv.cfm?pageID=17516396. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
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- Arnaud L, et al. Efficacy of aspirin for the primary prevention of thrombosis in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies: An international and collaborative meta-analysis. Autoimmunity Reviews. 2013 [In Press]. Accessed Dec. 4, 2013.
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- Blood thinner pills: Your guide to using them safely. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/btpills.htm. Accessed Dec. 5, 2013.
- Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin A, vitamin K, arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium, and zinc. Institute of Medicine. http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2001/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-Vitamin-A-Vitamin-K-Arsenic-Boron-Chromium-Copper-Iodine-Iron-Manganese-Molybdenum-Nickel-Silicon-Vanadium-and-Zinc.aspx. Accessed Dec. 5, 2013.
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