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APS tests and what are they looking for?

The tests for APS are called Lupus Anticoagulant, Anticardiolipin Antibiodies and Beta-2 Glycoprotein 1. Usually full coagulation tests are completed. These check your blood for all blood clotting illnesses and involve taking several small test tubes of blood. Usually the most important antibodies for clotting on the blood test results are called IgG.

The levels of the IgG antibody in the blood are measured as follows; low positive is between 0 and 15, (if the result is this low you don’t necessarily have APS, normal people have some of these antibodies as well). Medium is between 15 and 50. High is over 50 units.

However, the antibody levels are not always significant, and a low positive person can be much more ill than a high positive person. The important thing is whether you test positive or not and how you feel.

There are other tests for APS, one is the Russell Viper venom test and there are also new tests in development.

Some people discover they have this disease because they have a lot of weird symptoms and an enlightened doctor decides to test for the antibodies. With the correct treatment you may never have a blood clot and some of the nastier symptoms may also disappear.

Sadly, most people are only tested for the antibodies after a clot has occurred, such as a deep vein thrombosis, a stroke, a heart attack or a blood clot anywhere else. Some people may have to go through many blood clots until they are finally tested for APS.

Women are sometimes diagnosed after many miscarriages and with the correct treatment, they could have gone on to have healthy babies. Strangely, these ladies may never have a problem when they are not pregnant. Since knowledge of this illness is so limited, it isn’t really known whether these people will go on to develop APS later. Even if all seems fine, if a person has APS during pregnancy they should know all about the symptoms of sticky blood, and then be vigilant for any worrying signs in the future.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.

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