Positive ANA test (1:640) but negative for all Autoimmune Diseases. Why?

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directrpep
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/28/2007 9:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

my ana test came out positive at 1:640. I then went back to the doctor and took more tests. The results were again 1:640 but negative for all possible diseases for autoimmune.

Is this a known thing to happen? Why is this?

AlwaysRosie
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 12/28/2007 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi directrpep!! Welcome to the forum.

Yes, the ANA is pretty fickle. It can go positive and then negative again and the other anti-body-specific tests can all be negative. This does not mean you do not have an autoimmune disease but it is likely that you don't have systemic disease (organ and blood involvement).

There ARE those with lupus who have negative ANA . . . but your recent test is just a "slice" of your life, it is just a glimpse and just one indicator. There is a link at the end of my signature regarding "4 of 11 criteria" for diagnosing lupus. The doctor will look at lots of indicators to decide what is going on.

Lots of us have taken many years and several doctors to figure things out. He'll watch you over a course of time. He should be treating your symptoms though. How are you feeling?? Has he got you on a treatment plan for your symptoms??

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Hashimotos, Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator


redrose77
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Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 12/28/2007 9:57 PM (GMT -6)   
My blood work for antibodies is negative except for one test which is very low positive occassionally. Ironically I have several AI diseases. I was told I could not possibly have an AI condition because my blood work was neg until I found a rheumy who doesn't think blood work is the end all be all. Heck those tests can vary from lab to lab and day to day.

I suggest a second opinion from a rheumy who specializes in lupus.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, pregnant due May 2008
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Darvocet, Singulair, Flexeril, Baby Asprin,Prednisone


directrpep
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Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/28/2007 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi AlwaysRosie,

Thank you. So, are you saying that because my tests came out positive both times (1:640), but negative for other AI diseases, then i still most likely have an autoimmune disease? Is this most likely Lupus? Or is it possible that I don't have anything at all and just a positive ANA test?

Sorry, trying to understand if it is possible to have positive ANA tests at a 1:640 level yet still not have an AI disease.

I do not have any signs. I mean, I am always cold, i know that. I get sick quite easily (like the cold, flu) if I am in the cold too long. I have tonsiliths which I was thinkng about getting my tonsils removed because of that. Other than that, I am OK. I don't have any other problems.

Thank you.

mom46
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 8198
   Posted 12/28/2007 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Directrpep,

   I hope you get the right answers soon. We all know how frustrating it can be to get a final diagnosis. Sometimes it can take awhile. Are you taking any medicines right now? I hope your doctor will stay on this and at least treat your symptoms until you get the correct diagnosis. Please keep us updated and take care. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

                                                             Babs


 
Dx: Lupus,RLS,RA,Asthma,Fibro,Sjogren's,Raynaud's,Divertic, Stroke,Atherosclerosis,Seizures,Neuropathy,CAD
Meds:arava,prednisone,plavix,aspirin,protonix,,zanaflex,xanax,
mirapex,advair,foxamax,Vytorin,folicacid,lunesta,Tramadol
 
JOB 5:18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.


AlwaysRosie
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 12/29/2007 3:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Directrpep,

Actually . . . you received non-information from me. I'm sorry this is so frustrating. If you don't have any symptoms . . . I would enjoy your life and not worry about the ANA. Many people have + ANA and it just doesn't amount to anything. Your numbers are very low too. When an ANA is + there is also a pattern. The pattern can give the doctor some information as well. But DO hang on to your copy of each blood work that you get and keep a file. It may help later when a pattern starts to emerge. But really, you could have a high positive ANA and have no symptoms, in which case there would be no need for treatment. Check out that link I suggested and you'll see that even if you had a high positive ANA and symptoms, you would need 4 criteria to be dx'd with lupus.

Watch what happens when you are exposed to sunlight. Most of us (people with Lupus) either get a rash from the sun, or we have an increase in symptoms (a flare). Some are so sensative that florescent lights affect them. REALLY . . . enjoy yourself and don't think about that ANA again unless you develop pain, fatigue or other symptoms to go along with it.

Sending you some hot tea and a big hug!!

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Hashimotos, Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator


directrpep
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/29/2007 5:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi AlwaysRosie,

Thank you very much for your reply. I feel a lot better. :) So, 1:640 is not that high? What is high then? I will continue to check in with the doc. I did look at the link you mentioned and I did not have any of those symptoms.

Many thanks again. I really appreciate it.

BumbleBee1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 12/29/2007 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello
 
It's the symptoms that define the disease  with the bloodwork backing them up. ANA is not specific to lupus or  autoimmune disease of any sort.
An ANA of 1:640 is high enough to indicate lupus or a similar autoimmune connective tissue disease, rather than the other autoimmune diseases such as thryoid  which may also happen to have an elevated ANA assuming  there are any of the relevant typical symptoms.  Other diseases tend to have lower levels.
ANA is not diagnostic of other sorts of diseases but it is diagnostic of lupus, meaning that it is one of the many diagnostic criteria.
 
There are very few specific signs of lupus; two antibodies: anti ds- DNA which is found in  maybe 50% of those who have a lupus diagnosis and is regarded as specific but can occasionally be found in a few other diseases, and anti -Sm ( Smith) which is regarded as 100% specific but only 30% of those with lupus have them. These antibodies can be present without disease although a person with them is at higher risk of developing SLE down the line.
 
High ANA can be found in the healthy close blood relatives of people with lupus.
 
The other specific lupus symptoms are skin and kidney biopsy findings. Lupus skin is found in about 30% of those presenting and a kidney biopsy isn't done unless there are signs of kidney disease in urine and blood. Lupus bloodwork can be present without any disease and lupus can be present without any relevant blood work at all, but that is very unusual indeed especially for none to appear within a couple of years of diagnosis unless the patient has been receiving effective treatment.
Always being cold could be a sign of thyroid problems. The ANA could result from chronic infections. A good indication of immune system problems could be complement testing which could reveal complement deficiencies that might account for chronic infections or be low because of them - chicken or egg scenario.
 
Bee

emmi
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1529
   Posted 12/29/2007 9:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bee,

Your information was vvery helpful. It contained some information that I was not aware of. Can I ask where you got your information from? Thanks very much.

emmie
</FONT>

SLE, limited scleroderma, Sjogrens, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, seizure disorder, Raynauds, Hashimoto's (or Autoimmune) Enchephalopathy


Gidget^
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/30/2007 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
It took two years of being positive before my Anti dsDNA was positive. Give it awhile, monitoring your ANA and you'll probably start to see a difference in the other lupus tests.
Gidget^
 
SLE 9/07, FMS '90's, Spinal Stenosis, Osteoarthritis, Sinus Tach, PVC's, Kidney Stones, RLS, Parotid Neurofibroma 8/04, Cervical Cancer 9/06, Enchondroma on my skull 11/07
Plaquenil, Toprol XL, Prozac, Zyrtec-D, Zocor, Vitamins B6 & B12, Pepcid, Folic Acid, Loratab ,Percoset, Toradol
 
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
 
 


directrpep
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/30/2007 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

Thank you for all the feedback and comments.

I was wondering, what type of doctor should I see now? I have my regular doctor and she told me that she has a collegue that has had a high ANA result for the last 20 years and nothing has come of it. She says we will keep monitoring things but I would like to see another doctor. How do i go about finding one that specializes in this? Is there a directory of some sort?

Also, i was looking at the X-PLAIN presentation on lupus and I see that there is a drug induced one. Now, I was taking Zantrex for awhile. I mistakenly didn't take it with a lot of water sometimes and I would get these red rashes and have to itch like crazy. But it was a result of the zantrex. After a couple hours it would be gone. Could this in combination with my high level of stress job (working usually 14-16 hours a day) an explanation for the high ANA results?

Before my test was taken, I had stopped the zantrex only about 1-2 weeks before.

Thanks again.

PattyLatty
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2512
   Posted 12/30/2007 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
You should definitely be seen by a rheumatologist, and especially one who specializes in lupus. I can't believe that your family doctor hasn't already referred you. Why did they take the ANA test anyway? You must have been having symptoms or they wouldn't have ordered that tests. When my completment levels scored low my rheumyt finally gave me my definitive diagnosis. I suggest that you find a rheumy who will take the time to answer all your questions because you really shouldn't be in the dark. There's a great book but the name eludes me. If someone else out there remembers it, would you please let direcrpep know the name? Is it Wallace? It's on the Healing Well list of books.

Good luck getting to the bottom of things.

Pat
Lupus, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines.
cellcept, neurontin, prednisone, plaquenil, synthroid, triamterene, tramadol, actonel, tri-est, imitrex, cymbalta, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin


directrpep
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/30/2007 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Patty for the response.
 
Actually, i went to the doctor for just a simple check up. Nothing in particular.
I had normal blood work done and my liver test came our abnormal (ALT). It was kinda high.  So, when I called the office to get the results, she told me that it was high and wanted to see me again to run more tests.  At this point she ran a bunch of things which included the ANA test.
 
When I called, she told me about it and informed me about Autoimmune Disease, etc.  I went in to see her and she asked me questions about any possible symptoms. Everything was no.  I mentioned the Zantrex use and being cold and usually having a low body temperature (97.6 is my usual temp). 
 
I went back in and had more tests and one was for Lupus.  She called me and told me that all was negative and that we would just continue to monitor it. That's when she informed me about her colleague who had a high ANA like mine (1:640).
 
Question...if your antibodies are the "team" that is supposed to be fighting bacteria and viruses and normally you strengthen your immune system by being healthy, taking vitamin C, etc...doesn't this negatively affect you if you have Lupus/AI, because you are strengthening the team that ultimately is hurting you?
 
Trying to figure this whole thing out.

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 12/30/2007 9:17 PM (GMT -6)   
There are a few things we do avoid. The sun (increases immune response), immune boosting meds, immune boosting foods (alfalpha sprouts) and estrogen containing meds. I'm sure others here can add to that short list, but that's it in a nutshell.

Yes, a rheumatologist is the lupus specialist unless your have organ disease, and then he may refer you to specialists when necessary. Make sure (because you are cold) that you have your thyroid checked. That was likely part of your initial "well checkup" but do make sure.

Drug induced . . . . shows in other bloodwork, so your doc should have picked up on that if she thought of it. More info at Lupus.org . . . link in my signature.

If you aren't having symptoms, though, I'm not sure I'd do any more than read up on things so you know what seemingly innocent symptoms go with this mess. Links at the bottom of my signature will help you get a crash course.

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Hashimotos, Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator


directrpep
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 12/30/2007 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks again for replying AlwaysRosie.

what about vitamin C? Or blueberries? CLA? things like that? My apologies for being ignorant. I am just doing one of the main things that all the Lupus and AI sites are telling me to do...which is to learn as much as possible. :)

I am looking for a rheumatologist now to make an appointment with ASAP. What kind of doctor should I see to figure out if it is potentially an organ disease? I want to get this figured out as soon as possible and take any tests that can help narrow this done. My general doctor is not sounding too concerned and saying we will just monitor it, but the last thing I want to do is assist in this progressing by doing things that could possibly hurt me or worsen it.

Thanks again.

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 12/31/2007 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hmmmmm . . .

The antioxidents in the fruit are great. Eating healthy is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You can Google "lupus nutrition" and find some good stuff . . . but don't buy into any commercials and people selling stuff.

The rheumatologist will do the overall assessment and treatment unless something is way wacky and then they refer you to a specialist for each such issue. But, again, if you are symptom free . . . I would enjoy your ride. . . They just don't start any treatment unless you have wacky high blood work or symptoms. So, easy for me to say, I would learn a bit more about things to watch for . . . and then enjoy your health. Its hard to post everything here . . . Lupus is a study of medicine in its entirety because it can involve any part of the body *phewwww*. But if you check out the links I've given you in my signature and then do some searching on interesting aspects (like nutrition), you will have educated yourself. I just want you to be aware of some odd symptoms like: suns sensitivity, mouth sores, rashes, extreme and prolonged fatigue, joint pain, limbs going numb, hair loss, brain-fog, depression, feeling frequently flu-like w/o actually getting the flu (I have all of these but NEVER realized they were related until I felt too awful and started looking for help). Lupans tend to live with a lot of symptoms that they brush off as "normal" because we don't realize that everyone else doesn't deal with all of this.

Look at the Lupus Criteria . . . that will give you the gold standard for diagnoses, even w/o a +ANA. Link is in my signature.

I hope this helps. I know it is a bummer to be in limbo like you are . . . but you'll look back later and want to have enjoyed that healthy time if you ever do get really sick. Don't let all of this scare you. It unravels bit by bit and MOST people with a +ANA are absolutely healthy.

Actually . . . your liver numbers is what I would be checking out. If your doctor hasn't scheduled you for a follow-up, make sure to do so w/i a few months to make sure those numbers are holding or going down.

Blessings!

In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Hashimotos, Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis

Clickable Links:  Lupus Resources    Lupous.Org   Lupus Criteria (4 of 11)   Lupus Chapter Locator


tear
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/7/2011 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi ive have a postive ana of 5150 i am told that is very high..all other test are negative. i have fatigue muscle aches, hair loss, my joints hurt. iget hives on my face and neck. i have good days and bad but i feel latley its more bad days. i go to the rheumotolighst but the appointment is in 2 months...??i would like some answers..anyone know anything??

tfofd
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 4/8/2011 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't have the time to read through all the responses, so if I repeat something that was said, I am sorry. An ANA test itself is meaningless if you have no symptoms. Very unlikely anything is wrong. Doesn't mean it can't happen later on. Antibodies won't necessarily show up when you first get sick, sometimes it takes awhile. But your not sick, I would not fret unless I became that way. Have it rechecked at a different lab to make sure it's not a false positive.

tear
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/8/2011 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Well i do have alot of symptons its been going on for about 10 years, my muscles hurt my joints hurt my hair is falling out, my hands arew so swollen i went up two ring sizes. I break out in hives on my face ajnd neck.It always came and gone but know i feel like the bad days are more than the good days.I  am going to the rheumotolighst but at the end of my.I was positive for lyme disease but dont ever  recall getting a tick and bitting me.took antibotics for that but still feel horrible,my doctor seemd=s to think i have some connective tissue disease..

tfofd
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 4/9/2011 4:40 AM (GMT -6)   
I'd agree with your doctor on this one. Your symptoms could be related to connective tissue disease. Did your doctor just run the ANA titer or did he try checking for autoantibodies too? Sometimes doctors skip that part of the test, I don't know why. If it's positive, they should go on and check the rest of it. I know 2 months seem like a long time when your feeling bad. I've had to wait almost a year to get in, and finally am this month. I'm counting the days. 9 more days, yay! Problem is I missed my first appt, where my mind was so screwed up on Chantix. So I had to find a new doctor. Getting a little anxious at this point. Just take it easy until you get in to see your rhematologist. Maybe they'll be able to help you feel better. Like having Lyme isn't enough, you have to deal with this.

tear
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/9/2011 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
all i know is my ana was 1:5150 and he said it was very high.ive been going through i guess what you cal flare ups for 10 years.my hair is coming out,Its very frustrating what is a pattern? I think mine said centromere(discrete speckled) what does that mean...

tfofd
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 4/12/2011 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
It could be indicating crest syndrome.

pollito_775
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/16/2011 3:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi im new here .I am very concerned because my daughter(10 years old) got an ANA test done and the results came back positive but the doctor told us not to worry because the results said that it was .80 he said that was normal.Is it possible to have positive results and not have to worry?

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 11607
   Posted 5/16/2011 3:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Do you mean 1:80 titers?
That's a very low level almost borderline. I wouldn't worry unless she's having problems.
Joy

mandeloo
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 5/17/2011 5:43 AM (GMT -6)   
If 1:80 is low then what's high?
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