WORLD ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID ANTIBODY SYNDROME
Every year on June 9th, World Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS) Day raises awareness for this rare autoimmune disorder. It’s also a day to educate the general public about APS.
When the body’s immune system attacks normal proteins in the blood, the body responds by mistakenly forming antibodies. These antibodies can increase the chances of dangerous blood clots. These blood clots form in the lungs, kidney, and brain. This is what people with APS live with on a day-to-day basis. Some people struggle with the disease for several years. For others, it is a lifelong illness. This disease can be especially traumatic for pregnant women. APS can cause expectant mothers to miscarry or have a stillbirth.
Others with APS might experience the following:
- Stroke at a young age
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- Red rash
- Chronic headaches and migraine
- Bleeding from the nose and gums
APS is more common in women than men. People that have another autoimmune disorder or certain types of infections increase their chances of having APS. Left untreated, APS can cause kidney failure, lung problems, and cardiovascular problems.
There is no cure for APS. However, certain types of treatment can reduce symptoms. Most people with APS will have to take medications that prevent blood clots. These medications are called anticoagulants. A low dose of aspirin may be necessary as well. Lifestyle changes can also help decrease blood clots and reduce symptoms. These include not smoking, exercising on a regular basis, eating a well-balanced diet, and maintaining a healthy weight.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldAPSDay
On World Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome day, people around the world wear burgundy to help spread awareness. Those who have been affected by APS are encouraged to share their story. Other ways to participate in this day is to learn more about this autoimmune disease or donate to an organization that funds APS research. Don’t forget to share this day on social media with #WorldAPSDay.
WORLD ANTIPHOSPHOLIPID ANTIBODY SYNDROME DAY HISTORY
The APS Foundation of America founded World APS Day. The organization was founded in 2005. The first World APS Day was held on June 9th, 2010 in celebration of their 5th birthday. APS Support UK has also become a supporter and promoter of the day.