Self-help and daily living for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)
Although there aren’t any specific exercises that can help with the condition, taking regular exercise will help keep you fit and keep your heart healthy.
Read more about exercise and arthritis.
Diet and nutrition
It’s been suggested that increasing the amount of essential fatty acids in your diet, particularly omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish, could help reduce your risk of blood clots. However, there are no clinical trials to support this idea. As well as this, fish oils contain large amounts of vitamin A which can be harmful in pregnancy, so we wouldn’t recommend this if you’re thinking of having a baby. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for your general health and may help prevent you from developing blood clots. You should also keep to a healthy weight and stop smoking.
At present, no complementary therapies have been shown to help with APS.
Read more about diet and arthritis.
Reducing your own risk of getting clots
There are several things that you can do to help reduce your risk of getting clots:
- Don’t smoke – smoking will increase your risk of clots.
- Don't drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Think very carefully about what sort of contraception to use and discuss it with your doctor, as some types of contraceptive pill increase the risk of clotting.
- If you’re thinking about hormone replacement therapy after the menopause, this may also increase your risk of clots so you should discuss it with your doctor.
- Think ahead if you know you’ll soon have to keep still in one place for a long time (for example on a long-haul flight) and see if you can take measures to avoid this (e.g. booking a seat with legroom or buying flight socks).
- If you have another condition that can increase your risk of blood clots (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol) you should make sure you have regular checks to keep these factors under control.
Helping yourself with APS
It’s important that you understand the features of APS and therefore when to ask for help. You should have access to your local specialist team, which may include a specialist nurse who you can call for advice.
If you’re taking drugs such as warfarin you should be careful about accidents, as bruising can be worse. If you’re pregnant it’s important that you attend your clinic appointments and keep in touch with your specialist obstetric consultant, whose aim is always to keep you and your baby healthy.