Those who affected by lupus anticoagulant have an increased risk of thrombosis which can cause strokes, heart attacks, and miscarriages. Although these antibodies were first discovered in lupus patients, half of the people carrying lupus anticoagulant antibodies do not have lupus. With proper treatment, they can avoid the harmful effects of LA or at least manage them.
How to Treating Lupus Anticoagulants Medically?
- Consider any signs you may have. There may not be any at all, some symptoms include having one or more unexplained miscarriages, stroke, heart attack, or blood clots in the legs or lungs.
- You need to find out if you have any other diseases that might make you more susceptible to LA. If you are suffering from something such as lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic infections, or tumors, you can be more likely to develop LA. Remember that lupus anticoagulants may occur at any time. If you didn’t have it 10 years ago, this doesn’t mean you don’t have it now.
- You should see your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms immediately because it can be an indication that a life threatening blood clot has formed:
- Pain, numbness, or loss of color in an arm or leg.
- Swelling and redness in your legs.
- Shortness of breath.
- Ask your doctor about getting a Partial Thromboplastin Time test. A PTT test will determine if you have anticoagulant antibodies present in your blood in the case you are having symptoms, or feel that you are susceptible to LA. Using a needle, blood is collected from a vein and placed in a specimen container. A chemical is then added to the blood sample to measure how long it takes for the blood to clot. Certain medications can affect the test results; therefore, you should be sure to tell your doctor about any prescription and non-prescription medications you have taken to ensure you receive accurate results.
- Confirm the results. If you receive a result in your PTT test, your doctor will order further testing to confirm the results. There are some examples that include the Russell viper venom time test, and the thromboplastin inhibition test. These tests can be repeated more than once to monitor the development of LA if you have also been diagnosed with Lupus.
How to Treating Lupus Anticoagulants Medically?
- Discuss your treatment plan with your doctor; every one is different; therefore, you should discuss the different ways for treating LA with your doctor. He can help you determine what’s the best for you. If you are not symptomatic, or if you have never had a blood clot in the past, you may not need any medical treatment.
- Take anticoagulant therapy to reduce the effect of the antibodies. This therapy will involve taking blood thinning medications such as warfarin, heparin, or low-dose aspirin that help prevent blood clots. They work by inhibiting the production of vitamin K in the liver. Basically, this increases the time the blood takes to clot. During this therapy, the level of anticoagulant in your blood determine how much, and for how long you need to continue the therapy. For some people, they only need to take medication for a few months, while others may have to manage the anticoagulants for their entire life. If LA is present after the initial therapy, the therapy is often continued for at least 3 additional months before the next testing is done. If the result of the second post-therapy testing shows that the blood no longer contains lupus anticoagulants, the therapy is discontinued.
- Ask your doctor about using steroids to lower antibody levels. Steroids will reduce the activity of the immune system. The immune system creates the lupus anticoagulant antibodies, and steroids can be used to suppress their production. If the activity of the immune system is suppressed or reduced, then the level of lupus anticoagulant antibodies will also decrease. There are many examples of steroids which include cortisone, prednisone and methylprednisolone.
- Consider utilizing plasmapheresis as a treatment. Plasmapheresis is a process in which the liquid part of the blood, known as plasma is separated from the cells. A machine removes the affected plasma and replaces it with good plasma, or a plasma substitute that does not contain the antibodies. This is also known as plasma exchange.
How to Treat Lupus Anticoagulants at Home?
- Ask your doctor about stop usuing certain medications. Medications such as phenothiazines, , phenytoin, birth control pillshydralazine, quinine, ACE inhibitors and amoxicillin are drugs that can induce LA. If you suspect that your LA is caused by a medication you take discontinuing the medication can help. Moreover, you should not discontinue any medication until you have confirmed with your doctor that it will be safe to do so.
- Quit Smoking to improve blood flow because the nicotine in cigarettes constricts the blood vessels and impedes blood flow. Smoking will only exacerbate the formation of blood clots; therefore, it is best to abstain from it completely.
- Exercise regularly to bolster your cardiovascular system. Exercise minimizes the chance of blood clot formation by improving blood flow to the parts of the body. Exercises such as brisk walking, jogging, stair climbing, cycling, swimming and aerobics all are good ways to get moving.
- Avoid exercises with a high risk of injury if you are on medication which makes it more difficult for your blood to clot.
- Lose weight to promote good blood flow because obesity leads to over-production of substances in the body that come from fat cells and liver cells. These substances will inhibit clot breakdown and promote clot formation.
- Avoid excessive alcohol intake. Drinking makes platelets clump together into blood clots and this can lead to heart attack or stroke. A study by Harvard researchers has reported binge drinking doubled the risk of death among people who had initially survived a heart attack. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) have defined binge drinking as patterns of drinking that bring blood alcohol concentration levels to 0.08 grams per decilitre. For men, this means about 5 drinks over about a 2 hour period, for women this means 4 drinks in about a two hour period. Remember, however, that BAC is affected by many other factors besides gender.
- Avoid vitamin K-rich foods to lower the chances of clotting. Vitamin K is responsible for the clotting of the blood. High intake of foods rich in vitamin K will contribute to blood clotting in persons with lupus anticoagulants. Moreover, if you are on anticoagulant therapy, high vitamin K intake counter the effect of the anticoagulant or blood thinning medications which are meant to inhibit the production of vitamin K. Foods rich in vitamin K include the following: brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, chili powder, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, oregano, parsley, prunes, spring onions.