Ana Blood Test

There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis. Most of them involve inflammation. When a patient goes to a rheumatologist to get a diagnosis, there is a process of elimination in order to arrive at the proper diagnosis. This process of elimination is called “differential diagnosis.”

Differential diagnosis can be a difficult undertaking because so many forms of arthritis, particularly inflammatory forms of arthritis look alike. The following is a list of types of inflammatory arthritis that can be seen and must be considered when evaluating a patient with inflammatory symptoms of arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA is an chronic, autoimmune, inflammatory disease, that may affect any joint in the body but preferentially attacks the peripheral joints (fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and feet. It can also affect non-joint organ systems such as the lung, eye, skin, and cardiovascular system. The onset of RA may be insidious-slow- with nonspecific symptoms, including fatigue, malaise, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, weight loss, and vague aches and pains, or it may have an abrupt onset with inflammation involving multiple joints. The joint symptoms usually occur bilaterally and are symmetric. Damage to joints- called “erosions” can be seen with magnetic resonance imaging early on or by x-ray later in the course of disease. Approximately 80% of patients with RA will have elevated levels of rheumatoid factor (RF) or anti-CCP antibodies.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)

JRA describes a group of arthritic conditions that occur in children under the age of 16. Three forms of JRA exist, including oligoarticular (1-4 joints), polyarticular (> 4 joints), and systemic-onset or Still’s disease. The latter is associated with significant internal organ involvement and may also present with fever and rash in addition to joint disease. Polyarticular JRA is considered to be the type that is most similar to adult RA, and is responsible for approximately 30% of cases of JRA. Most children with polyarticular JRA are negative for RF and their prognosis is usually good. Roughly, 20% of polyarticular JRA patients will have elevated RF, and these patients appear to be at more risk for chronic, progressive joint destruction and damage. Uveitis- an inflammatory condition of the eye- is a common finding in oligoarticular JRA, especially in patients who are antinuclear antibody (ANA) positive. The dangerous feature of uveitis is that it can cause relatively few symptoms so careful screening is recommended in order to avoid blindness.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

SLE is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that can involve the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and blood vessel walls. At least 4 of the following symptoms which have been formulated by the American College of Rheumatology are generally present for a diagnosis to be made:

• Red, butterfly-shaped rash on the face, affecting the cheeks;

• Typical skin rash on other parts of the body;

• Sensitivity to sunlight;

• Mouth sores;

• Joint inflammation (arthritis);

• Fluid around the lungs, heart, or other organs;

• Kidney dysfunction;

• Low white blood cell count, low red blood cell count due to hemolytic anemia, or low platelet count;

• Nerve or brain dysfunction;

• Positive results of a blood test for ANA; and

• Positive results of a blood test for antibodies to double-stranded DNA or other antibodies including anti-Smith antibodies or antiphospholipid antibodies.

Patients with lupus can have significant inflammatory arthritis. That is why lupus can be difficult to distinguish from RA, especially if other signs and symptoms of lupus are minimal.

Inflammatory Muscle Disease

Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are types of inflammatory muscle disease. These conditions typically present with bilateral (both sides) large muscle weakness. In the case of DM, rash can be a presenting sign. Diagnosis consists of four major features, including elevation of creatine kinase (CPK), signs and symptoms such as muscle weakness, elevated muscle enzymes (creatine kinase, aldolase), electromyograph (EMG) abnormalities, and a positive muscle biopsy. Often, laboratory test abnormalities can be seen including the presence of autoantibodies such antinuclear antibody (ANA), and the myositis-associated antibodies.

In both PM and DM, inflammatory arthritis can be present and can look like RA — including lung involvement. In RA, however, unless an overlap syndrome – ie., a patient having both RA as well as muscle disease) is present, muscle function should be normal. Also, in PM and DM, erosive joint disease is unlikely. RF and anti-CCP antibodies are typically elevated in RA and not PM or DM.

Spondyloarthropathies (SA)

A group of arthritic conditions called the spondyloarthropathies which include psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and enteropathic arthritis are a category of disease that cause inflammation throughout the entire body, particularly in parts of the spine and at other joints where tendons attach to bones. They also can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, upper and lower back, tendonitis, bursitis, heel pain, and fatigue. They are often called seronegative arthritis. The term ‘seronegative’ means that tests for lab markers such as rheumatoid factor are negative. Symptoms of adult SA include:

• Back and/or joint pain;
• Morning stiffness;
• Tenderness near bones;
• Sores on the skin;
• Inflammation of the joints on both sides of the body;
• Skin or mouth ulcers;
• Rash on the bottom of the feet; and
• Eye inflammation.

In some cases of SA, peripheral arthritis resembling RA can be present. Careful history and physical examination can usually distinguish between these syndromes, especially if an obvious disease that is aggravating inflammation is present (psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease). In addition, since RA rarely affects the end joints of the fingers (DIP joints), if these joints are involved from inflammatory arthritis, the diagnosis of an SA is favored. Usually, RF and anti-CCP antibodies are negative in SA, although in some cases of psoriatic arthritis there may be elevations of RF and anti-CCP antibodies.

Crystal Associated Arthritis

Monosodium Urate Disease (Gout)

Gout is due to deposition of monosodium urate crystals in a joint. Gouty arthritis is typically sudden in onset, very painful, with signs of significant inflammation on exam (red, warm, swollen joints). Gout can affect almost any joint in the body, but typically affects “cooler” regions including the toes, feet, ankles, knees, and hands. Diagnosis is made by withdrawing fluid from a joint and examining the fluid under a polarizing microscope. Patients may also have elevated serum levels of uric acid.

In most cases, gout is an acute disease that affects one joint and is easily distinguished from RA. However, in rare cases, chronic erosive inflammation can develop and affect multiple joints. And, in cases where tophi (deposits of uric acid under the skin) are present, it can be difficult to distinguish from erosive RA. However, crystal analysis of joints or tophi and blood tests should be helpful in distinguishing gout from RA.

Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disease (CPPD; Pseudogout)

CPPD disease is caused by deposits of calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate crystals in a joint. The body’s reaction to these crystals, leads to significant inflammation. Diagnosis includes:

• Detailed medical history and physical exam;
• Withdrawing fluid from a joint using a needle;
• Joint x-rays to show crystals deposited on the cartilage (chondrocalcinosis);
• Blood tests to rule out other diseases (e.g., RA or osteoarthritis).

In most cases, CPPD arthritis presents with acute arthritis affecting one or more joints. However, in some cases, CPPD disease can present with chronic symmetric multiple joint erosive arthritis similar to RA. RA and CPPD disease can usually be distinguished by joint fluid examination demonstrating calcium pyrophosphate crystals, and by blood tests, including RF and anti-CCP antibodies, which should be negative in CCPD arthritis.

Sarcoid Arthritis

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory type of arthritis. The majority of patients with this disease have lung disease, with eye and skin disease being the next most frequent signs of disease. In most cases, the diagnosis of sarcoidosis can be made on clinical and x-ray presentation alone. Patients will have acute arthritis, painful nodules under the skin on the shins (erythema nodosum), and a chest x-ray showing enlargement of lymph niodes. In some cases, the demonstration of a specific type of inflammation change, called a noncaseating granuloma on tissue biopsy, is necessary for definitive diagnosis.

Arthritis can be present in approximately 15% of patients with sarcoidosis, and in rare cases can be the only sign of disease. In acute sarcoid arthritis, joint disease is usually rapid in onset, symmetric, involving the ankle joints. The knees, wrists, and small joints of the hands can be involved. In most cases of acute disease, lung and skin disease are also present. Chronic sarcoid arthritis typically involves one or maybe a few joints and due to its often erosive nature can be difficult to distinguish from RA.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) / Temporal Arthritis

PMR is a form of arthritis that leads to inflammation of tendons, muscles, ligaments, and tissues around the joints. It is characterized by large muscle (shoulders, hips, thighs, neck) pain, aching, morning stiffness, fatigue, and in some cases, fever. It can be associated with temporal arthritis/giant-cell arthritis (TA/GCA) which is a related but more serious condition in which inflammation of large blood vessels can lead to complications such as blindness, aneurysms and cramping pain in the arms or legs (limb claudication) due to inflammation and narrowing of the large blood vessels in the chest and extremities. PMR is diagnosed when the clinical picture is accompanied by elevated markers of inflammation (ESR and/or CRP). If temporal arthritis is suspected (headache, vision changes, limb claudication), biopsy of a temporal artery may be necessary to make the diagnosis.

PMR and TA/GCA can present with symmetric inflammatory arthritis similar to RA. These diseases can usually be distinguished by blood tests. In addition, headaches, acute vision changes, and large muscle pain are uncommon in RA, and if these are present, PMR and/or TA/GCA should be considered.

Infectious Arthritis

Many infections can present with arthritis either due to direct joint infection or due to autoimmune joint inflammation. In most cases, infections lead to acute single joint arthritis; however, in some cases, chronic arthritis affecting a few or many joints can be present. Because missed infections can lead to significant complications, it is crucial to have a high index of suspicion for infection in any patient presenting with acute or chronic arthritis.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is an infection due to a type of bacteria called a spirochete. The disease is manifested by a skin rash, swollen joints and flu-like symptoms, caused from the bite of an infected tick. Symptoms may include:

• A skin rash, often resembling a bulls-eye (target lesion);
• Fever;
• Headache;
• Muscle pain;
• Stiff neck; and
• Swelling of knees and other large joints.

The diagnosis of Lyme disease is typically made by blood testing. If, however, chronic single joint arthritis develops, joint fluid analysis or joint tissue biopsy may be necessary for diagnosis. Lyme arthritis can usually be distinguished from RA by clinical presentation and blood tests.

Acute rheumatic fever (ARF)

Acute rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that may develop after an infection with the Streptococcus bacteria (strep throat or scarlet fever). The disease can affect the heart, joints, skin, and brain. Symptoms include:

• Fever;
• Joint pain;
• Arthritis (mainly in the knees, elbows, ankles, and wrists);
• Joint swelling; redness or warmth;
• Abdominal pain;
• Skin rash
• Skin nodules;
• A peculiar movement disorder (Sydenham’s chorea)
• Nosebleeds;
• Heart problems, which can be asymptomatic.

The diagnosis of ARF is made by clinical assessment and blood testing for antibodies against streptococcal proteins. ARF and RA can have similar clinical features including arthritis and nodules. However, ARF can usually be distinguished from RA by clinical presentation. Rash and migratory arthritis are unusual in RA. The use of blood tests is also helpful.

Viral arthritis (hepatitis B and C, parvovirus, EBV, HIV)

Arthritis may be a symptom of many viral illnesses. This makes viral infections a great masquerader. The duration is usually short, and it usually disappears on its own without any lasting effects. Clinical features in adults:

• Joint symptoms occur in up to 60%. These can be symmetric and affect the small joints of the hands, wrists, and ankles as well as the knees. Morning stiffness is also present.

• Parvovirus B19 is a very common viral infection that looks like RA.

• Diagnosis of viral arthritis is made by serologic testing. A high percentage of patients with hepatitis C may have elevated titers of RF. Therefore, RF testing is not helpful in distinguishing between hepatitis C infection and RA. However, in these situations, testing for anti-CCP can be helpful as anti-CCP antibodies have not been shown to be significantly elevated in isolated hepatitis C infections.

So as you can see… “it ain’t easy…”

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    what does a positive ANA blood test result mean?
    I got a blood test tuesday & my doctor called me today saying i had a positive ANA blood test and to make an appt. with a rhumatologist… i did but i have to wait until september for my appt.

    does anyone know what the ANA positive means? and what could be wrong with me?

    thanks for feedback

    • ANSWER:
      If your ANA is positive, you could have an autoimmune disease. It is not a very specific test, more of a general screening lab test for your immune system. A rheumatologist specializes in autoimmune diseases or patients with immune system problems, so he or she will be able to order additional lab tests to determine why your ANA is positive. The below link has some info as well. Also, your ANA could be positive but you could have NO problems (called a “false positive” test), but the rheumatologist will be the one to tell you either way after they run more tests and talk with you.

  2. QUESTION:
    Can an ANA test or any blood test used to diagnose auto-immune diseases show all the types of lupus?
    Can they test positive for discoid, SLE and other forms of lupus or do only certain ones show up on blood tests?

    • ANSWER:
      A double strand ANA test can help with a Lupus diagnosis but cannot be used solely to make it. Lupus is diagnosed by blood work and symptomatically through patient history and complaints. A positive ANA test doesn’t necessarily mean you have Lupus, there are many reasons that a person has a positive ANA…it is just one of the diagnostic tools that a doctor uses to base his diagnosis.

      And “NO” an ANA test won’t specify which type of Lupus because it doesn’t even specify that you have Lupus…Just that you have a positive ANA.

  3. QUESTION:
    I just had an ANA blood test and the results I got were <1/80 and was wondering what this means?

    This test was done by my rheumatologist along with a bunch of other blood tests to rule everything else out before making a fibromyalgia diagnosis.

    • ANSWER:
      A one off 1:80 without any symptoms is nothing worth worrying about. Why was it tested?

      EDIT- Ask your rheumatologist what they think. If it’s the only think that came back positive, it’s not a concern, but you might like to ask to have in retested in 12 months time.

      ….

  4. QUESTION:
    My girlfriend just had an ANA blood test positive for Lupus..what do I do?
    I’m feeling really paranoid and afraid now.. my girlfriend is 30 years old, she has hypothyroidism and as a result she has her blood tested every 6 weeks, 3 months ago she had Shingles which is odd for someone at 30. She also reported being tired all the time and having joint pain to her doctor so they did an ANA test on the blood and it was positive for Lupus.. they said she would see a Rheumatologist but that isn’t for another month and a half, should we be demanding to see someone sooner now so we can get a diagnosis and know what to do and perhaps get medication?

    I feel betrayed by the American health care system.. my girlfriend in all likelihood has this disease and may have had it for years now which lead to other conditions, we’re not surewhat to do now, its very saddening and depressing.

    What advice do you have for her? Any vitamins/natural supplements that could help with the condition? She is afraid of taking prescription steroids because shes already overweight and doesnt want to gain a ton more, and her mom died as a result of becoming bedridden after being put on steroids, she doesn’t want the same fate..

    • ANSWER:
      I understand how the two of you are feeling. I was just told by a neurologist I most likely have lupus and I’m waiting on my blood results to come back. As for demanding to see someone sooner….I personally don’t think that’s necessary. If she’s had it for years a few weeks aren’t going to make or break the disease. I’m not sure on the advice for treating the disease, but I can tell you as far as being her partner the support you give her is priceless. Number one thing I can recommend is listening to her. Turn off the TV and talk about it. Once all the thoughts and feelings are out in the open everything feels better.

  5. QUESTION:
    positive Ana blood test and RF factor?
    I have seen a few doctors and got the and blood test and RF factor and ANA both came back postive. I went to a ryemetolgist and he said that it could be lupus but he is not sure. I have joint pain. muscle weakness, tirdness, raynauds syndrome, asthma and acid reflux. I get rashes sometimes across my cheeks. The pain is the worst in my feet they crack and are stiff and are very painful. I also have nerve damage as well not sure why. the pain comes and goes. I was told I defiently don’t have ryhemetoid arthritis. My pain is worse in the colder weather and some of that is beacause of the raynauds. I have spent allot of money going to different doctors they all say maybe lupus but they tell me it can take several years to diagnose. I have other people tell me if it is lupus than the sun would bother me I feel better in the sun. I’m tired of all these doctors with no real answers. Does anybody know what could be really wrong?
    I got a copy of my notes from the doctors report and postive ANA 1:40 speckled pattern anti ro anti body positive crp was 0.2 sed rate 5 and RF factor positive as well.

    I have not had any hair loss and am not sensetive to the sun at all I feel better in the sun. I have one sore in the upper part of my mouth that doctors say can be a sign of lupus. if anybody knows anthing about these lab tests please let me know I have had a bone scan it came back fine I had a xray of the feet and was told by another doctor it looks like the starting of arthritis.

    • ANSWER:
      With positive titers and symptoms, why are the doctors not starting treatment? Have they said?

      It’s not always easy to diagnose autoimmune disorders such as lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis. At times the disease simmers, and gradually shows more and more symptoms and signs which makes diagnosing a specific type easier.

      I went down that path for 2 yrs before being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, and over lap into other autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren’s, and even lupus. BUT my testing was coming back negative, and this delayed the treatment.
      (It was thought early on I had lupus-but the rash on my face cleared up in the sun too.)
      The rash on my face and scalp never fully fit the eczema or rosacea type, but were being treated as such.
      So clearing up in the sun fit more psoriatic arthritis.
      BUT the rash on my feet worsened in the sun.

      Have you had a biopsy of the rash on your face to find out if that’s discoid lupus?

      Have you had baseline x-rays done to check for joint destruction or damage in your hands/fingers/ wrist, and feet and toes?

      With autoimmune diseases it seems there is one that is the main one, but signs from others (which early on can make diagnosing a particular one difficult.)
      It’s so frustrating to know there is something going on, and not being treating for it.

      Included is a source on inflammation from Cleveland Clinic, hope it helps some.
      Ms Scoots

  6. QUESTION:
    Can certain foods cause a blood ana test to be positive?

    • ANSWER:
      Positive for what?

  7. QUESTION:
    My ANA Blood Test? Unable to Assay?
    I ordered some blood work as I am trying to find out what is wrong with me. I recently lost my insurance so I have continued to get tests done without my doctor. I had a ANA Blood test done and the results came back Unable to Assay – Interfering substance present. What does this mean?

    • ANSWER:
      An interfering substance can easily give falsely elevated results.
      Before you take a blood test you need to stop eating or drinking anything after midnight, (water is OK), but say you drink a cup of coffee in the morning, and you put milk or cream in it, this creates an interfering substance in that the milk will elevate some of the test levels. or if you usually get up in the morning and take a prescription pill of some kind, and you forget the morning of the test, that too will create an interfering substance. Now, just because you have no insurance, does not mean you cannot have a doctor test you. the 1988 Universal Heal Care law, requires Hospital or Health Clinics to give low cost or free health care to under insured or non insured persons. Look in the yellow pages and find a Health Clinic in your area. And look up the Universal Health care Law of 1988 and print it out and take it with you if you can. This is even true in the case of citizenship or immigrant status.

  8. QUESTION:
    Ana blood test of 1/60?
    I’m 20 yrs old and my doctor gave a me an ana blood test. It came back 1/60 they thought I had lupus . They sent me to a rheumatoid dr. She asked me if I had joint pain or anything .. I said no she told me I was fine . I didn’t think anything else about it now about 6 months later my joints are sometimes stiff, my muscles twitch, and apparently have a bakers cyst . I’m so scared that they missed something and that I have some sort of disease or condition … Because of my blood test !!! Please help !!!

    • ANSWER:
      10 million Americans have a positive ANA. Only 1.5 million of them have lupus. The older you get the more likely you are to have a postive ANA (antinuclear antibodies). The ANA is a titer not a count of antibodies. The number means how many times they had to dilute your blood to find a sample that had no antinuclear antibodies. Your number is relatively low. What matters more than a positive ANA is the pattern that shows under immunofluoresence. Lupus ANA is typically speckled. So, the results will say “speckled titer.”

      Lupus is tricky to diagnose, especially if it is a mild case. A diagnosis is based on symptoms, history, a variety of tests, and after ruling out everything else. Many patients take 3-5 years to come to a diagnosis. Lupus can mimic the symptoms of other conditions, adding to the difficulty of diagnosing it.

  9. QUESTION:
    Can having iron deficiency cause a positive 1:640 on an ANA blood test?
    I’ve been so sick and went to the doctor earlier this month. I had a whole bunch of blood tests done, one of them being the anti nuclear antibodies. The test came back positive (1:640 with speckled and homogeno pattern). My doctor then ordered more tests which she said were specific to lupus. She said the tests came back negative and that the iron deficiency anemia is whats causing my ANA to come back positive….this doesn’t seem possible to me. I’ve never felt so sick in my life. Ive had iron deficiency on and off all of my adult life and I’ve never felt like this before. Anyone know if she’s right?
    My doctor is an internal medicine doctor and has referred me to a hematologist instead of a rheumetologist which really makes me angry!

    • ANSWER:
      No, your doctor is wrong. An ANA is a non specific test for an auto immune disease…maybe he thinks you have hemolitic anemia…hopefully not as this would be terrible. However, an ANA would not be associated with an iron deficiency, not in the least.

      Your Lupus panel came back negative but that really doesn’t mean too much. Really the Lupus panel is used to rule Lupus IN, not OUT. Only 30% of people with Lupus actually test positive for the Lupus panel. This is why they say that there is no specific test for Lupus. You should see the hemotologist and then ask to also be referred to a rheumatologist. If your primary care doctor balks at this suggestion, let her know that if anything occurs as a result of his lack of attention then you’re attorney will be calling her (this always gets the referral, by the way). After you do this you’ll have to put in a request with your insurance company to change primary care doctors, but who cares, she sounds like an idiot anyway.

      Get copies of all your lab work. Ask the doctor for them (before you threaten her with a lawsuit). Have them make a copy so you can actually view the results. Approximately 5% of the population test positive for ANA even without an auto immune disease, however this is a small percentage, so odds are you have some type of auto immune disease.

  10. QUESTION:
    I had a blood ANA screen test done that came back negative, but it was noted that cytoplasmic antibodies were?
    found. I feel as if I have SLE (lupus). How can this test be negative if these antibodies are found? Shouldn’t the result (titered) be a number and not just positive/negative?

    • ANSWER:
      Cytoplasmic antibodies are not associated with SLE. And detection of these antibodies in an ANA test is not specific for any disorder.

      ANA test is for anti-nuclear antibodies only. That’s what the abbreviation ‘ANA’ stands for.

      When ANA test is negative. Then this means that no antibodies against the nucleus of the cell have been detected. A note about the cytoplasmic antibodies may be added to the report. Because cytoplasmic antibodies may interfere with the reading of the ANA test. This note should suggest to the doctor that a weak positive ANA result might have been obscured by the cytoplasmic antibodies.

      A weak positive ANA result usually is not clinically significant. And even if you had such a result, it wouldn’t be something to worry about. Many healthy people have weak positve ANA results.

      I suggest that you trust your doctor and let him or her interpret your test results. Test results interpretation is not as simple as it seems. You really do need a qualified professional to interpret laboratory test results well.

  11. QUESTION:
    Blood work showed a Positive ANA Test ?
    I have several health problems, so my doctor was running the monthly blood work she has to do, and I had a Positive ANA test with a 1:160 Titer, and a homogenous pattern. What are all the conditions I could possibly have because of this, and the differences between them all?

    • ANSWER:
      The anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) test is used to screen for autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis, and numerous other conditions. The homogeneous pattern is often associated with SLE. However, a positive ANA does not necessarily imply that you have one of these conditions. The test and any other investigations (ESR, CRP, etc.) have to be interpreted alongside the symptoms you’ve been experiencing before arriving at a diagnosis. I hope this helps.

      All the best.

  12. QUESTION:
    I had a blood test for my ana and it came back positive meaning?
    That I have an autoimmune disorder. I have chronic fatigue and pain, can’t eat much, can’t lose weight. They did thyroid testing all came back fine. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia but it supposedly can’t be tested with blood so shouldn’t my Ra do more testing ? I will be saying something to her when I go back but wanted to see if someone had some answers for now. Thanks

    • ANSWER:

  13. QUESTION:
    Blood test showed a positive ANA result?
    A few months ago my doctor had a blood test performed and when it came back it showed a positive ANA, which I was just told is a nucleotide, and it was cause for concern because my maternal aunt has lupus along with a cousin. He had another blood test done and the blood test came back negative for the ANA. Which is good, but I’m just wondering why would it come back a positive at all then? Does that mean I could develop lupus or was it just a false positive?

    • ANSWER:
      Your ANA can fluctuate over time. 10 million Americans have a positive ANA. Only 1.5 million Americans have lupus. What matters more is the pattern. A speckled pattern is found in lupus patients. There is no false positive.

      Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) are antibodies against the nuclear material of your cells. Most often they attack debris left over from when cells naturally die. This is not a normal reaction. It causes inflammation which causes pain. However, many people have a positive ANA and no disease symptoms at all. The older you are the more likely it is that you will have a positive ANA.

      If you are going to develop lupus, there is really not much you can do to prevent it. Worrying about it simply robs you of hours, minutes, or days of your life that you think about it and don’t engage in life. If you get symptoms, go to the doctor. If not, live your life.

  14. QUESTION:
    Pain and ANA blood test?
    I went to a walkin clinic last week because I have backpain and I’ve had it for years. They did an ANA bloodtest and it came back abnormal. When I called them to find out where to go from there, she said that it was positive, but my RF factor was negative. I’ve ben trying to read up on this, but I don’t really understand it. i go to the doctor in the morning, but I want a sort of heads up as to what I might hear. Rheumatoid arthritis has been present in every female in every generation on my maternal side.

    • ANSWER:
      With a negative RF you are unlikely to have Rheumatoid Arthritis, however there are “seronegative” forms of Rheumatoid Arthritis … similar to RA but with a negative RF test.

      The positive ANA (anti nuclear antibody) means that you have SOME form of auto-immune disease. It might take a bit of detective work to track down what it actually is.

  15. QUESTION:
    ana blood test negative any diseases?

    • ANSWER:

  16. QUESTION:
    How long do ANA test results generally take?
    I had a series of blood tests, including ANA and sed rate, a few days ago and I’m curious as to how long I should expect to wait for the results to come back.

    • ANSWER:
      The sed rate is performed immediately upon collection of the specimen and can be read from 30 to 60 minutes, depending upon the methodology used. The ANA is often sent out to a reference laboratory, but, generally, if collected M-Th, the results can be available within 24 hours after collection.

      I’m quite positive the results have been sent to your doctor by now. If you’ve called and they’ve told you the results aren’t back, the truth may be that the results haven’t yet been entered by the office staff into the patient’s medical record/chart.

  17. QUESTION:
    CBC blood test is normal, ra test is in normal range, neg. ana test, but sed rate is high ,?
    knee enfussion, 50 cc drained, no relief from cortisone, clean xray of knees, mri shows only obvious swelling. Ran blood tests. Cbc is all good, with a negitive ana test, normal range for ra but sed rate is high . I am worried. what does this mean. Knee is still got fluid,and swelling but have regained some range of motion. Still feels like there is something in the middle of my knee. Do I have to be worried about an autoimmune disease or is the high sed rate just due to knee swelling ?
    knee enfussion, 50 cc drained, no relief from cortisone, clean xray of knees, mri shows only obvious swelling. Ran blood tests. Cbc is all good, with a negitive ana test, normal range for ra but sed rate is high . I am worried. what does this mean. Knee is still got fluid,and swelling but have regained some range of motion. Still feels like there is something in the middle of my knee. Do I have to be worried about an autoimmune disease or is the high sed rate just due to knee swelling. Also wanted to note that doc felt that physical exam indicated cartilage damage @ first and follow up apt. The knee feels like there is something in the middle of it causing the pain. Standing is ok, bending past 90 hurts, and the knee continues to click or pop, and feels like it will give out when bumped. Thanks for your help. I am a bit relieved till monday when I see the doc.

    • ANSWER:
      That’s always a concern of course, but an ANA will typically be elevated in autoimmune disorders. A high sed rate indicates inflammation, which may be transient or associated with an arthritic process or injury. Sed rates are pretty non-specific diagnostically, if that is the only test out of range.

  18. QUESTION:
    blood test on friday for ana and several others dr called today wants to see me tomorrow?

    • ANSWER:
      wheres the question?

  19. QUESTION:
    what does a positive ANA blood result mean?
    does a positive ANA (anti nuclear antibodie) blood test result always mean you are unwell?

    • ANSWER:
      In general, it means that your immune system is making antibodies to its own cell’s nuclei.
      It should only be making antibodies to cells that it doesn’t recognize as itself (foreign germs called antigens).
      Conditions such as arthritis and lupus cause positive ANA results.
      These are called autoimmune diseases. There are others.

  20. QUESTION:
    My ANA test and ESR test (blood work) came back normal. Does that rule out connective tissue disorder?

    • ANSWER:
      No, ANA is Anti-Nucleotide Antibody that usually increases in SLE( Systemic Lupus Erythematous). ESR is a very common test done on many patients but it has a very low value. It does not specify any special problem or disease. However, there are different types of connective tissue diseases that have different signs and symptoms and different lab results. By only having a negative test result on ANA and ESR, no body can claim that the patient does not have a connective tissue disease.

  21. QUESTION:
    I did some blood work and my ANA blood levels came postiive?
    I did a blood test few days ago and my primary care called and said my ANA blood came abnormal or positive….She left a message for me but I didnt get a chance to talk to her yet….Should I be worried about this….Also white blood cells were a little little high…..Please help….

    Should I redo blood test just to see what it comes!!!..

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      well…can be lupus or other diseases in that family of auto-immune
      disorders…need a whole panel now to see which one is causing problems….may be false positive from certain drugs…………did ya have symptoms like joint pains or rash….presuming ya did since the doc did the tests……………go see a rheumatologist after the dust settles………..

  22. QUESTION:
    My blood test shows ANA Screen – Positive, ANA titer – 1:40 and?
    AND Pattern – Speckled – can anyone explain this to me?
    Thanks – skd

    • ANSWER:
      Thats an extremely low positive. Approximately 20% of the population have a positive ANA with those results, me included. I would say those results are insignificant.

  23. QUESTION:
    I am having persistent chapped and bleeding lips. During my blood test result, positive ANA result was found.?
    What is the co-relation between the persistent chapped and bleeding lips and positive ANA result of 1.39
    No I am not having dry eyes or dry mouth. But I am having persistent itching around my gentitals.

    • ANSWER:
      Do you also have dry eyes and a dry mouth?
      If so, check out “Sjogren’s Syndrome.”
      It is an autoimmune disease, rarely fatal.
      You would have a positive ANA titer and an elevated c-reactive protein.
      See a rheumatologist to be sure.

  24. QUESTION:
    i had my ANA screening test,it showed positive/negative in result.what does this means?
    i was having a sudden swelling in my legs,so doctor recommeded me to undergo few test,which includes blood test,urine test and ana screening.please help coz i am afraid that may be that i have any kidney related problem.

    • ANSWER:

  25. QUESTION:
    What does it mean if you tested positive on a blood test for ANA?

    • ANSWER:
      ANAs are found in patients who have various autoimmune diseases, but not only autoimmune diseases. ANAs can be found also in patients with infections, cancer, lung diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, hormonal diseases, blood diseases, skin diseases, and in elderly people or people with a family history of rheumatic disease. ANAs are actually found in about 5% of the normal population.

      The ANA results are just one factor in diagnosing, and must be considered together with the patient’s clinical symptoms and other diagnostic tests. Medical history also plays a role because some prescription drugs can cause “drug-induced ANAs”.

      Subsets of the ANA (antinuclear antibody) test are sometimes used to determine the specific autoimmune disease. For this purpose, a doctor may order anti-dsDNA, anti-Sm, Sjogren’s sydrome antigens(SSA, SSB), Scl-70 antibodies, anti-centromere, anti-histone, and anti-RN.

      The ANA (antinuclear anibody) test is complex, but the results (positive or negative, titer, pattern) and possible subset test results can give physicians valuable diagnostic information.

      Hope this helps, good luck to you.

  26. QUESTION:
    ANA blood tests & autoimmune disease?
    I’m currently seeing a rheumatologist for swollen/sore/red/hot joints (knees and fingers and in the past 2 weeks my shoulders). I’ve also had some other symptoms that are apparently found in an autoimmune disease. My GP said Lupus, Sjogren’s or Rheumatoid Arthritis were possible, but the rheumatologist is saying very little.

    For the past few months my ANA has been elevated (my doctor said ‘low positive’) and I’ve had an elevated Sed Rate one one occasion. My CRP, rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP were normal. I’m waiting on more specific blood tests from my rheumatologist.

    I’ve been on a course of Prednisone which my GP said would impact some of the results like CRP and Sed Rate

    But my ANA has now come back negative!

    Could the Prednisone have made it negative? Why am I having all these symptoms of something autoimmune but no blood tests to back it up?

    Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, it is an immunosuppressant, so I would say that most of the tests for autoimmune disease are going to come back negative. I’d be a little surprised if your rheumatologist doesn’t understand this. It seems to me that testing you would be fruitless unless you are off immunosuppressive drugs for a while.

  27. QUESTION:
    What does a “low ANA” on a blood test mean? what can it lead to??

    what does “ANA” mean anyway?? what is it?

    • ANSWER:
      The ANA test ( anti-nuclean antibody) is to discover if the individual has Lupus erythematosis….LE . But a positive test is not conclusive of the person having Lupus. In fact there is no singular test for that.

  28. QUESTION:
    Change in blood test?
    Hello, I am not sure if anyone has had a ANA blood test before. It’s a test they do to see if you have an antibody present in your blood that could mean you have an autoimmune disease. This is a test often done for conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis Anyway..I had this test done last year and it came out positive. My doctor said it meant nothing, no big deal. I put it off and then kept having more joint pain, headaches, fatigue among others problems not typical of my young age. So I asked to have them redo the test this year and they did, and it was negative! I am wondering if I should see a rheumatologst? Or is it a waste of time. I don’t want to come across as neurotic or a hyperchondriac. But I also feel I have too many aches and pains for someone my age(32). I am significantly overweight and though this causes joint pain naturally..what I go through is much more than that. I pop advil and tylenol like it’s candy just to cope. Help..anyone have an ideas? why the change?

    • ANSWER:
      A positive ANA test can suggest that someone has an autoimmune disease however, this test alone cannot rule it in or out positively. The ANA test can be positive once and then negative. Lupus is diagnosed with blood tests like ANA and by symptoms the four of ten rule. You must exhibit four of the ten Lupus criteria before a diagnosis can be made. There is no definitive test for Lupus yet.

      There would be absolutely no harm in seeing a rheumatologist and discussing your case. In any event, most doctors are trained to not ‘go looking for zebras’. In other words the most obvious answer is usually the correct one for most people. This means that your weight problem is going to be the first thing on every doctor’s mind when you discuss joint pain. They are going to suggest that you lose weight and see if this doesn’t resolve your pain, especially if no other issues can be found.

      If you do have an autoimmune disease, it is that much more important that you get into better shape. People with diseases like Lupus fare much better when they eat properly and maintain a healthy weight. So in each case it would be best for you to seriously consider taking off the pounds.

      As far as saying that you go through much more pain than is caused by being overweight…how can you quantify this. It is impossible for you to be positive that all of your joint pain isn’t caused by your weight unless you lose the weight and it’s still there.

      Good luck to you.

  29. QUESTION:
    Why are these blood test used?
    What are ESR ANA and LDH blood test used for?
    And why would a Doctor order them on a 3 year old boy?

    • ANSWER:
      ANA is anti-bodies, This is an important test on a 3 year old because it shows how well his or her immune system is developing.

      The ESR is an easy, inexpensive, nonspecific test that has been used for many years to help diagnose conditions associated with acute and chronic inflammation, including infections, cancers, and autoimmune diseases. ESR is said to be nonspecific because increases do not tell the doctor exactly where the inflammation is in your body or what is causing it, and also because it can be affected by other conditions besides inflammation. For this reason, ESR is typically used in conjunction with other tests.

      ESR is helpful in diagnosing two specific inflammatory diseases, temporal arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. A high ESR is one of the main test results used to support the diagnosis. It is also used to monitor disease activity and response to therapy in both of these diseases.

      Currently, the main use for LDH is as a general indicator of the existence and severity of acute or chronic tissue damage and, sometimes, as a monitor of progressive conditions. LDH isoenzymes may also be used in differential diagnosis to help determine which organs are likely to be involved.

      Hope that helps. = ]

  30. QUESTION:
    Can a positive ANA test be MS?
    My neuro was thinking MS. One of my blood tests have come back positive. The ANA one. I have this electric shock feeling that goes all the way down my spine into my feet. Plus my hands have been tingling and a lot of frequent headaches and fatigue. IS there anything else that this could be? I am still awaiting the results of my MRI’s from last week.
    MS is an autoimmune disease. Also, the doctor has been able to rule out Lupus, carpal tunnel, and pinched nerve. As far as auto immune diseases that deal with the nervous system, there isn’t that many. My symptoms have been getting worse along my spine….I have been dealing with this for 6 weeks now and it is starting to get a little frustrating. I was just looking for some other possibilities as what it could be.

    • ANSWER:
      No a positive ANA test is not an indicator of MS by its self. Thank goodness, but it needs to be investigated by your doctor.

      There about 80 autoimmune disease. Unfortunately most overlap in symptoms, making it hard for doctor diagnose a particular disease.

      I have had rising ANA’s for years, one test being positive 200 titer and speckled, which saw me being sent of to a Rheumatologist. Have been diagnosed as having both CFS and Fibromyalgia, CFS 10 plus years and Fibromyalgia about 4 years. My GP and I believes we eventually get a correct diagnosis.

      Good luck, and take care resting when you can.

  31. QUESTION:
    My ANA test result came back as positive, 1:40 speckled. Should I be concerned?
    I have been having joint point for a couple months now in flares, and am nervous I may have lupus. I went in for a check up and all my other blood tests came back as negative. I did show low vitamin D and then low ana titer at 1:40.. should I be worried, or am I most likely fine?

    • ANSWER:
      You should not be worried. Worry makes any disease worse. If you have it, you have it. Then you take steps to control it. A speckled ANA titer with joint pain could indicate lupus. You should go see a rheumatologist for evaluation. Regular doctors are not trained to make this difficult diagnosis. Find a rheumatologist at www.rheumatology.org.

  32. QUESTION:
    My Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) test came back positive. What could this mean?
    I know Lupus is the big thing that comes to mind, but what else could it mean?

    Test says:

    ANA SCREEN = Positive
    ANA TITER = 1:160 (normal is <1:40)

    I took an additional blood test to see if it is Lupus.

    What else could it be? I'd like to explore my options

    By the way, I have no and never had symptoms of lupus. No rashes or pain at all. I do, however, urinate frequently.

    • ANSWER:
      The ANA is a nonspecific test for any of the autoimmune
      diseases; lupus just being one.
      Some of the others include:
      * Rheumatoid arthritis.
      * Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
      * Polymyositis.
      * Scleroderma.
      * Sjögren’s syndrome.
      Other include: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, juvenile diabetes mellitus, Addison disease, vitiligo, pernicious anemia, glomerulonephritis, and pulmonary fibrosis.
      However, it is nonspecific which means it can be a false positive (you have nothing–about 5% of the population just have positive ones for no good reason) or it can indicate a non-immune disease:ANAs can be produced in patients with infections (virus or bacteria), lung diseases (primary pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension), gastrointestinal diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, primary biliary cirrhosis, alcoholic liver disease), hormonal diseases (Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis, Grave’s disease), blood diseases (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, hemolytic anemia), cancers (melanoma, breast, lung, kidney, ovarian and others), skin diseases (psoriasis, pemphigus), as well as in the elderly and those persons with a family history of rheumatic diseases.
      A few drugs can also give a positive ANA.
      So you will need much more specific testing to determine what’s going on (sounds like that has started). They usually do anti-RNA and anti-DNA testing among others.
      Good luck & hopefully you will just a false positive!!

  33. QUESTION:
    Blood Test Question- Rheumatology!?
    I went to a new GP and I told her my symptoms (knee and finger pain and swelling, fatigue, dry mouth and eyes, rashes, ulcers) and she ran some blood tests. On the form she specified “Complete Blood Count, ANA, C-Reactor Protein, Rheumatoid Factor (anti RNP etc)”. I read up that there were specific anti-bodies for different conditions, and she said they’d be tested because she put “anti-RNP etc”.

    I got my results back.
    CBC- normal.
    CRP- < 3 (0-7)
    Rheumatoid Factor IgM- 9 (0-15)

    No mention of ANA or any specific anti-bodies.

    I've had my ANA tested before and it's been positive. In the past the results have specifically stated what my is ANA.
    But this time there's no ANA result or for any other specific anti-bodies.

    Is this all included in the 'Rheumatoid Factor IgM' or were they just not tested at all??

    Thanks.
    But does the Rheumatoid Factor blood test include the specific anti-bodies for Sjorgens or Lupus etc?

    • ANSWER:
      What is with the etc? Lab techs test what is stated (and sometimes not as i have found out and had to have retested) but to me it sounds like you have received all your test results. Positive ANA, dry mouth and dry eyes…highly indicative of Sjögren’s Syndrome.

      Common eye and mouth tests are:

      *Schirmer test (measures tears to check the lacrimal gland) Producing less than five millimeters of liquid is usually indicative of Sjögren’s syndrome.

      *Staining with vital dyes (shows how much damage dryness has done to the surface of the eye)

      * Slit lamp examination (shows how severe the dryness is and whether the outside of the eye is inflamed)

      Mouth exam (looks in the mouth for signs of dryness and to see if any salivary glands are swollen)

      *Salivary gland biopsy of the lip (this test is the best way to find out whether dry mouth is caused by Sjogren’s syndrome)

      Other tests include:

      * Routine blood tests
      * Immunological tests
      * Antithyroid antibodies TPO and TgAb
      * Immunoglobulins
      * Rheumatoid factor
      * ANA antinuclear antibodies
      * Sjogren’s antibodies (SS-A,SS-Ro,SS-B,SS-La)
      * Chest x-ray
      * Urinalysis

      http://www.medic8.com/skin-disorders/sjogrens-syndrome.htm

      http://arthritis.about.com/od/sjogrens/ss/sjogrens_6.htm

      Edit: The presence of RF indicates that you may have rheumatoid arthritis. Positive RF test results are found in the majority of cases of rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, more than 50% of patients with high levels of RF in their blood have Sjögren’s syndrome.

      Rheumatoid factor test >>>

      http://www.labtestsonline.org.au/understanding/analytes/rheumatoid/test.html

  34. QUESTION:
    ANA blood results help?
    I recently had a blood test where my ana screen came back positive but my titer was <1:40.. My doctor seems to think something is wrong and referred me too see a specialist which I am doing so tomorrow morning. Does anyone have any insight on this? I am 19years old by the way.

    • ANSWER:
      Positive ANA points to an autoimmune condition

  35. QUESTION:
    Can you have a positive Rheumatoid Factor and a high ANA but not have any illness?
    I have tested positive/high on both the RF and ANA blood tests. I am still in the process of talking to my doctor about it, but he was making it sound like I could possibly not have anything (even though I have constant joint and muscle pain). Obviously, I will talk with him more and probably get a second opinion, but I wanted to know if you could have both of those tests come back positive/high and still not have any illness.

    • ANSWER:
      I am having the same issue and the docs still haven’t figured it out. A rheumatologist would suggest ruling out other immune disorders like myositis (it’s like RA but affects the muscles, it elevates your blood levels too). It could also be celiac’s (allergy to wheat). Fibromyalgia is a possibilty too. You are hurting so keep looking for a solution. You shouldn’t have to live with chronic pain. Check with a rheumatologist and good luck!

  36. QUESTION:
    ana antinuclear antibodys test?
    i had a blood test ana antinuclear antibody test and my test was negative is that good or bad. they were checking my immune system. it says it was negative so does this mean i dont have it

    • ANSWER:

  37. QUESTION:
    Any rhuemetologist out there? Positive ANA test…?
    I am a 33 y/o white female…
    I recently had a lot of blood work done, my ANA came back positive with a 1:80 titer (mixed pattern)…. my Dr. diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, sent me home with ibuprofin, and said there was no more testing necessary.

    I am under the impression that maybe I just had some sort of virus at the time of the blood test, or maybe I just have “normal” positive ANA???

    Anyone have similar testing done with these results or are there any specialist that can help me to understand these results?

    • ANSWER:
      I have Fibromyalgia & have never heard of a +ANA being diagnostic. Did he rule out other rheumatoid illnesses?
      People don’t just have +ANA tests.

      I was 1st diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis & finally a psychiatrist diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.
      I take Cymbalta which has been FDA approved for fibromyalgia.

      It sounds like you would like to get retested & still have questions. If you don’t feel comfortable asking your MD go for a 2nd opinion.

      Good luck to you.

  38. QUESTION:
    Fatigue, muscle and joint pain, +ANA test 80h?
    I am 31 yrs old and from some months until now I have been feeling extremely tired, besides that I wake up with terrible muscle and joint pains. I went to see if my thyroid was ok and my blood and urine tests came out a bit weird but nothing alarming so they retest my blood and everything came out fine. I kept feeling tired, my right hand fingers (2 of them) started to swell and get hot from one day to another my neck started hurting a lot and my hair started to fall out. Went to see the doctor this time a new one, he sent me for a MRI and blood test for Rheumatoid factor, sedimentation rate, ANA, HIV, hormones, etc. Everything came out fine except my ANA test which came out + with and 80% speckled and my MRI showed degenerative changes in my C6-C7. He wants to give me antimalarial medicine but I don’t want to take it before I know what I have, has anybody gone throu something similar and know what it is? He says it could be arthritis, but does arthritis give you all this symptoms?

    • ANSWER:
      I would definitely get to a Rheumatologist as soon as possible and bring your blood tests. Antimalarials are usually given to help with symptoms of Systemic Lupus, but Lupus can be hard to diagnose. A Rheumatologist specializes in that disease, plus you do not want to be a very strong drug like that unless you absolutely know that you have Lupus. It took a few months for a final diagnosis of Lupus for myself. They diagnose using a set of criteria of symptoms and you would need to meet a certain number of the symptoms….these can include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, rashes, certain types of anemia, and certain problems with kidneys, heart or lungs, and they also look for certain markers in your blood such as ANA’s, SED rates which measure inflammation, C3-C4 compliments, etc. A Rheumatologist can do all of this bloodwork. Arthritis will not give you all the symptoms that lupus does, and the medical treatment is different , so please go see a specialist and dont get discouraged. It may take some time to figure out exactly what it is, but then you and your doctor can plan the best treament for you. If you have any other questions or are just frustrated feel free to email me. I am 28 and have had Lupus for 4 years now. I ws a nurse, but am no longer able to work. Take care – feel better!

  39. QUESTION:
    Could the flu cause a high ANA test result?
    Looking for: Myasthenia Gravis.

    My Neuro said that he was concerned about my ANA number and briefly mentioned Lupus before dismissing the idea. I had a 99.5 fever and the flu the day I went to get my blood drawn. Would this affect the ANA test any?
    I was refered to him after seeing two other eye doctor. I can’t see well because of double vision in one eye. The ANA wasn’t too high of a number but he didn’t tell me what the number was.

    • ANSWER:
      No, the flu will not affect your ANA. Why are you seeing a neurologist? Are there other issues going on? Why would a neurologist dismiss a high ANA? This is not his field of expertise. You should be seen by a rheumatologist.

      **ANA’s are reported as titers 1:40 being a low postive 1:80, 1:160, 1:320…etc. Note that the second number doubles each time. This means that they split the sample and look to see if the ANA still can be seen in the sample. The more times you split it if it can still be seen the more positive it is. There are also different types of ANA positive and the types can classify certain types of disease.

      The problem is that an ANA is a non specific test and cannot rule any disease in or out. It’s just an indicator.

      Are you overweight? Is it possible that you have pseudo tumor cerebre? This could be causing the double vision.

      Problem is that Lupus can feel like the flu with body aches and the low grade fever.

      What other symptoms are you having?

  40. QUESTION:
    Positive ANA Test means?
    For the past year I have been having issues, like joint swelling/stiffness, muscle weakness, fatigue, etc. I went to the doctor and did a blood test and found I was positive with ANA’s and thought it might be Lupus and was referred to a Rheumatologist where I did even more blood tests. The only thing found was the ANA’s and when I asked for what felt like the millionth time, what was wrong with me all I was told was that I was autoimmune and I would be on medication for the rest of my life. I know there’s many types of autoimmune diseases, but shouldn’t he have been able to pin point exactly what is wrong?? Do you think I should go somewhere else? Or am I pushin it…

    • ANSWER:
      I have a positive ANA test too and this means there is something going on with your immune system but it does not exactly tell the doctor what that problem is. I also see a Rheumatologist and they are 90% sure I have lupus.

      What are some of your symptoms? I have been seeing a doctor since November 2007 and they still won’t give me a firm diagnosis even though 8 out of 11 of my symptoms and bloodwork says lupus. They sometimes worry about lawsuits I guess, but this is my second opinion. My first advice: you are your strongest advocate. Start tracking your symptoms daily (running a fever, throwing up, times, etc.) and give them to your doctor. Do as much research you can online and don’t let them deter you from doing so. Maybe join a health forum for certain symptoms you have or go to wrongdiagnosis.com – that helped me a lot!!

      You are entitled to a 2nd opinion and I would get one if you feel this doctor is not listening to you. Rheumatology is such a tough field that things are tough to get down on paper. I have met many people that had a positive ANA, but it took around 10 years to diagnoses them with Lupus, RA, MS, etc. Feel free to IM me or email me if you have any questions – I would be happy to help!

  41. QUESTION:
    I experience most symptoms of lupus but my ANA test came back negative.?
    About a 1½ yr ago I started getting rly bad knee pain and the problems have only gotten worse since then . I get severe joint and muscle pain what seems to be 24/7. I’m always tired no matter how much I sleep. Often I’m so tired that once I lay down, I feel like I’m sinking into my bed and can’t move. In the past I’ve experienced slight hair loss when under stress. I’m always getting sick so I guess vitamins haven’t been doing much for me. For the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve been getting weird muscular convulsions whenever I lay down, so bad that it makes it hard to sleep. They don’t hurt or anything but its just really annoying. And I’ve gotten these weird little rashes at the side of my elbows, and I’ve never had skin problems before. My orthopedist ran some blood tests to check for lupus and the ANA test came back negative though. I’m not sure what’s going on but I just want to live a normal life w/o everyone constantly asking me whats wrong and not having an answer. I’m only 15. HELP.

    • ANSWER:
      Occasionally someone will have lupus and not have a positive ANA. Your symptoms could come from a variety of things. Lupus is called the great imitator because it has the same symptoms as many other disorders.

      It takes the average lupus patient 3-5 years and 3-4 doctors before they are diagnosed because there is no specific test for it.

      Don’t give up in your quest to find out what is wrong. And keep reminding yourself that you are sick because you are sick, not because you are crazy. Part of the problem getting a diagnosis is that some doctors will dismiss women and girls as being depressed and not pay attention to the underlying health issues. Insist that they take you seriously.

      Keep a journal of your symptoms. This will be helpful along the way. Make notes about when you have symptoms and what they are. Here are questions you should be prepared to answer.
      1. What are your symptoms?
      2. How severe are your symptoms?
      3. How often do you have each symptom?
      4. How long does that symptom last?
      5. What makes you feel better?
      6. What makes you feel worse?

      These are clues that, along with labs and other diagnositics, can help you and your doctors solve the mystery.

      I hope you find your answer soon.

  42. QUESTION:
    What does a postive ana mean?
    I was pregnant in 10/05 and my ana blood test came back postive i was tested for lupus because my titer came back high what else could i have? Doctore doesnt seem to be too concerned. Should i be

    • ANSWER:
      An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test measures the amount and pattern of abnormal antibody that work against the body’s tissues (autoantibody). Everyone has a small amount of autoantibody, but about 5% of people have a larger amount. About half of these 5% have an autoimmune disease, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis. An ANA test alone cannot diagnose a specific disease. It is used in combination with an evaluation of symptoms and other tests.

      The body’s immune system normally attacks and destroys foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. However, in disorders known as autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks and destroys the body’s normal tissues. When a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system produces antibodies that attach to the body’s own cells as though they were foreign substances, often causing them to be damaged or destroyed. A thorough medical history, physical examination, and other tests besides an ANA test are needed confirm a suspected autoimmune disease.

      A test for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) is done to help diagnose conditions that include:

      Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
      Rheumatoid arthritis
      Sjögren’s syndrome.
      Scleroderma.
      Hashimoto’s thyroid disease.
      A reaction to a medication.

      High values
      A high ANA titer may indicate systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE can be present with titers from 1 to 40 and higher. Almost all people with SLE have a high ANA titer. However, most people with a high ANA titer do not have SLE. Only about one-third of people who are referred to a rheumatologist for high ANA titers are diagnosed with SLE. Other conditions may cause a high ANA titer. About 30% to 40% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have a high ANA titer.
      Many conditions may result in a high ANA titer. These conditions include autoimmune diseases, such as scleroderma, Sjögren’s syndrome, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and myositis. Other conditions with a high ANA titer include Raynaud’s syndrome, viral infections, and liver disease. Although an ANA titer may help support a diagnosis for these conditions, it is not used by itself to confirm a diagnosis. A thorough medical history, physical examination, and other tests are needed to confirm a suspected autoimmune disease.
      Some apparently healthy individuals have high levels of antinuclear antibodies. For instance, some people with a family history of autoimmune disease may have a high ANA titer. The higher the titer, however, the more likely it is that the person has an autoimmune disease.
      What Affects the Test

      Factors that can interfere with your test and the accuracy of the results include:

      Medications, such as hydralazine (Apresoline), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl, Promine), and certain anticonvulsants (such as Dilantin, Mysoline). These medications can cause a form of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) called drug-induced lupus. Lupus resulting from these medications may cause a high antinuclear antibody (ANA) titer.
      Medications, such as antibiotics (isoniazid, penicillin, and tetracycline), birth control pills, lithium, and some diuretics, such as chlorthalidone (Hygroton).
      Heart or blood pressure medications, such as acebutolol (Sectral), captopril (Capoten), atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor), lovastatin (Mevacor), and quinidine.
      Aging. Some older adults (5% to 40%) may have mildly elevated levels. Older women appear to have higher ANA titers than older men.
      Steroids, which may cause a false-negative result.

  43. QUESTION:
    I have a Positive ANA test …?
    so i have a positive ana test. and for some reason, the doctor says not to eat vitamin c and to come back 3-4 months later to do the blood tests again? why would he say “don’t eat vitamin c”?isn’t scurvy the disease for vitamin c deficiency or something? help, please? thnx.

    • ANSWER:
      Do you know what ‘titer’ your ANA was? A low positive ANA usually means nothing. Many people have a low positive ANA and are healthy. In higher titer and those with other positive blood tests should have further testing. My rheumatologist said anyone with an ANA below 1:640 is not considered relevant, another rheumatologist said anything below 1:160.

      I have no idea why your doctor would recommend not eating vitamin C. That’s not something I’ve never been told or heard.

      My advice, find a new doctor and get a copy of your blood test results.

      …..

  44. QUESTION:
    What do these symptoms mean? I have a high ANA test and am awaiting a referral to a rheumatologist.?
    I had pain under my arms, then what seemed like the flu (although I tested negative for influenza) and then when the “flu” passed, I began to get tingling in my forearms and now in my legs below the knees and my feet. I get pain behind my lower shoulder blades and am more tired than I have ever been in my life. In the last 6 months, I have passed 2 separate kidney stones, not sure if it’s related or not. I have had pain for several years when I take in deep breaths but was told by both my ob (when pregnant with twins 6 years ago) and my primary care that it is likely pleurisy and nothing to be too concerned about. The leg and arm tingling prompted my primary to order blood tests which revealed the high ANA results (do not know the number) and his referral of me to a rheumatologist whom I have not seen. Oh – in the last 8 months I have lost 40 pounds and am now at a healthy weight, but I was trying tolose, so am not sure it is important. Does anyone know if this sounds like GBS?

    • ANSWER:
      I don’t know whether you mean Guillian-Barre Syndrome or Group B Strep or something else. The elevated antinuclear antibody (ANA) is part of the diagnostic criteria for several disorders, all rather significant. Connective-tissue disease such as Lupus, Sarcoidosis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc., and also a condition such as mixed (‘undifferentiated’) connective-tissue disease, fibromyalgia, firbromyositis; lots of things can raise it. The rheumatologist will be a wellspring of information and help to you. Any and all will probably reveal an elevated ANA. Oh, and psoriatic arthritis as well… all of the above are treatable; you can be so much more comfortable and less fatigued when you identify what you’re really dealing with. An added thought: Is there any possibility that you were bitten by a tick months back? As in one carrying Lyme disease? Hiking, working in the yard by woods, etc., where deer or mice may have been…just a thought.
      n.kateus www.fundraisingsoftwarepro.com

  45. QUESTION:
    Question about a blood test that came back positive from the doctors?
    I got a called today on some blood work that was done about three weeks ago and they test for two thing: rheumatiod arthrithis and something to do with ANA. The tests came back negative for the RA but came back positive on the ANA test and they said that I have ANA vague mark of connective tissues. Now I have no idea what in the world this is. I have looked on the internet and I was hoping that someone could give me a little insight as to what this problem is. Thank you very much.

    • ANSWER:
      To be honest you are best to speak to your doctor or a nurse at the surgery, if it’s something that’s come back positive you are better getting medical advice specific to you.

      From my own personal experience, I once had a blood cell test come back saying I had a low cell count. I looked on the internet and it suggested HIV, Malaria or Lukemia. After days of being convinced I was dying, I found out that it was because I had had a sickness virus! The internet is not always the best tool, so make that appointment!

  46. QUESTION:
    How long does a Complete Blood Test take?
    I got five tubes of blood drawn for five different tests at a hospital at 8:00 AM on Tuesday. Three of them came back by noon that day and two are still out including the CBC test and an ANA test. Do these tests take longer or do they only take a long time if they are abnormal? I am freaking out, preparing myself for the worst, but am I possibly right or could they really just be taking a long time? If I shouldn’t be worried yet, when should I start worrying?

    • ANSWER:
      a cbc test, as well as an ana test can take 24-48 hours to get definitive results. As most labs are not open on weekends, it could be as long as monday afternoon before they are completed and posted to your doctor.
      I could get all technical and tell you how these tests are done,but it would be a huge post. (lol) The procedure for CBC and ANA tests is long, and sometimes have to be repeated.
      i wouldn’t worry too much yet. If you don’t hear back any results by Monday afternoon, I would give a call to the hospital and ask if there are any problems. For now, take a deep breath and relax.

  47. QUESTION:
    what causes a high immunaglobin level in blood test results? IBS?
    Hi, have developed raynauds recently, flu~y feeling about 5 or 6 times a yr, muscle & joint pain, occasional rashes, flushing to face & arms, stomach problems, indigestion, heartburn & ab pain, doc ran test and the only one to come back abnormally high was immunoglobin, so then done a RF & ANA blood tes which were normal, could it be IBS, with the rest of my symptoms, or why does your immunoglobin be high,
    yes, I have raynauds and these other symptoms also, all have began over the last 6 mths.

    • ANSWER:
      I’m confused – are you saying you have Raynauds and in addition you also have these other symptoms? And no, the symptoms you describe are nothing like irritable bowel syndrome.

  48. QUESTION:
    Marijuana blood test and pipe purchase?
    1. I am buying a glass pipe at a tobacco shop. All I do is ask for a glass pipe right? I’m sketched out about buying one because everyone knows that you only smoke weed out of a glass pipe…

    2. I’m getting a blood test done that will be testing: CBC, CNP, IGE, ANA. Since I have no idea what any of these are, and I’ve been smoking lately, will they be able to tell I’ve been smoking? And if they do will they call the cops?

    Thanks in advance.

    • ANSWER:
      k smoke shops generally dont card anyone at all. Im 16 and i buy rolling papers, glass pipes, and mi bong from smoke shops.. they honestly dont give 2 sh*ts if ur smoking weed, everyone does. as for the blood test, im not sure if they will detect the weed in your system but i know for sure they wont call the police on you lol

  49. QUESTION:
    can anyone tell me where to find info on ANA Titer test results?
    just received blood work and ana titer has doubled, haven’t seen my physician yet but was curious if someone could direct me to a sight where i can learn about the normal values versus abnormal values and what is considered high.

    • ANSWER:

  50. QUESTION:
    blood/ANA results 1:160 speckled…Lupus?
    Hello,

    I received a pleasant call today from my doctors office saying that they got my recent blood work back and there was an ANA and then they said something about rheumatoid arthritis(RA). They said they were calling a rheumatologist to set up an appointment for me.

    In the meantime I looked up ANA and RA. When the doc’s office called again, I asked for clarification of the test results. Apparently, RA was tested for and was not present. My numbers were 1:160. The pattern is speckled.

    I have an appointment set up for a few weeks and will find out more then. In the mean time, can you help decipher these blood results.

    The symptoms that led to the blood tests involved my legs and feet feeling dead/numb in the morning when I awake. I swing them out of bed and they don’t fall out from underneath me but they hurt a little bit and don’t feel like they have joined me yet. It doesn’t take very long for them to wake up and be normal. The doc scheduled an EMG/nerve conduction. That is an insane test and I hope I never have another one, but I digress. The EMG was fine leaving the blood work to come back as the next evaluator.

    Other symptoms are harder to gauge because I take 5mg of Oxycodone for IBS. Three times a day I take it usually. It does a great job of taking away the general aches and pains of being a not-very-active 34 year old man along with helping with my abdomen. I mention this because alot of the symptoms of lupus or arthritis may being masked by the Oxycodone. I know that I have joint pains and muscular aches. I just chalked them up to getting older and my weight rising to 245lbs. That is an all-time high weight and I thought my joints and muscles were just struggling to keep up.

    Anyway, I don’t have many of the symptoms that seem to be indicative of a Lupus diagnosis. Such as:

    fever
    anemia(that I know of; surely my blood work over the last year would show that, right?)
    pleurisy
    rash
    light-sensitivity
    hair loss
    abnormal blood clotting(that I know of)
    Raynaud’s(that I know of)
    mouth or nose ulcers

    So basically,

    My legs and feet hurt when I wake up or after a long drive or after lying down for awhile like when you are watching a great movie and don’t get off of the couch for awhile).

    My hands seem to be a tad bit weak. Sometimes I really have to stretch my fingers and shake them around to wake them up also.

    My blood numbers were 1:160 with a speckled pattern. Something about ANA(antinuclear antibody).

    Any ideas? Thoughts? Honesty is appreciated. Best answer will be awarded. Thanks in advance for your help!

    • ANSWER: