Home Care in Prior Lake MN
June is Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome Awareness Month, which was created to get people talking about the dangers this disease poses for people of all ages. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this condition, DermNET NZ defines it as a “disorder characterized by recurrent arterial or venous thrombosis that contains persistently elevated levels of anticardiolipin antibodies and/or evidence of circulating lupus anticoagulant.”
Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS) is more common in young to middle-aged adults, but has been found in both children and elders. Most older adults with APS have the following health issues:
- Rheumatoid problems
- Long-term administration of various medications
- Monoclonal gammopathy
- Advanced renal or hepatic dysfunction
- Polymyalgia rheumatic/temporal arteritis
- Myeloproliferative disorders
Understanding the symptoms and causes of this condition will help you determine if your loved one is at risk.
Someone with severe symptoms of APS may need daily help from a home care professional in order to drive them to doctor’s appointments and help with their daily living tasks. Here are some of the symptoms of this disease:
- Skin disorders: Some of the most common skin disorders associated with APS include red or black streaks on the nails (also known as splinter hemorrhages), ulcers in the legs, blue toe syndrome, vasculitis, and superficial thrombophlebitis
- Neurological issues: Seizures, migraine headaches, multi-infarct dementia
- Heart abnormalities: Heart murmur, cardiac valve vegetations
- Blood abnormalities: Low platelet count and low red cell count, caused by damage to the cells from the antibodies
If these symptoms become severe, they could also become fatal due to increased blood vessel blockages that affect multiple organs.
- Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome can develop due to a number of reasons, including:
- Medications. Some medications used for high blood pressure, heart murmurs, and seizures may cause antiphospholipid antibodies to develop.
- Infections. Elders with HIV, syphilis, Lyme disease, or hepatitis C are at risk of contracting this disease.
- Family history. There is not a clear link between people with APS and genetics, but research has shown that relatives with the disease are more likely to have other family members with it.
- Autoimmune disorder: Elders are at a higher risk of developing APS if they have systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome.
The medications that are often used will lessen the blood’s ability to clot in order to treat the antibodies. However, if your loved one is on several medications and has other health problems, this may be a dangerous medication to add. Their doctor will be able to treat each symptom as it arises and will be able to discuss the different treatment options available. In order to better prepare for the doctor appointment, you may want to write down several questions to ask, such as:
- What is the main cause of my symptoms?
- What tests will be needed?
- What treatments are available?
- How long will I have to take these medications?
- Will the medication worsen my other health problems?
- Can you give me any more information on this condition?
APS can quickly go from a mild health problem to fatal, especially for the elderly. Encourage your loved one to visit their doctor to discuss any changes in their health, including symptoms related to this disease.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE IN PRIOR LAKE, MN, CONTACT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF MINNEAPOLIS AT (651) 262-2814. OUR CARING STAFF CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS!