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

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cured4real?
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1944
   Posted 9/7/2011 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi directprep--
I had a similar problem years ago. other diseases besides lupus and the related autoimmune diseases can cause your ana to be elevated. Liver problems can be one. The liver can get damaged from meds, environmental, lifestyle, lots of things and the liver can regenerate. As part of trying to solve this, you might make sure they ran a screen for common infectious diseases. My false positive to hep c antibodies has helped me and my family get treated for our mild autoimmune liver disease. sometimes fixable problems left undone can damage the immune system. My rheumie says this is secondary autoimmune disease, autoimmune disease that is a part of some other underlying disease or condition.

Also going to a place where they run really sensitive tests, like Mayo or a university or other large medical center, can sometimes help, sometimes not, but instead of delivering a positive or negative, Mayo for examples gives the actual numeric level so if you are one point below negative, they can watch or retest.

Also, me being on plaquenil for autoimmune disease covered up my "positives", as will steroids, even given many weeks ago. Nice to know the plaquenil is working!!! When I went off it, oh what a mess.

My doc gives me a lab sheet and tells me to get it in a few months. When I feel the worst, I usually get it so it reflects what is really bothering me. The values seem to go up and down pretty fast. I had a positive AMA off plaquenil for a few months, within being back on it a month and a treatment of prednisone for a severe "allergic" reaction--i think from being off the plaquenil-- I had a negative AMA, then the doc told me he thought I really had a positive LKM1 that is shining and making the AMA look positive. My ANA is always positive and outshines some of the other markers they are trying to read, making it difficult to diagnose me, I'm told. These tests are fluorescents and subject to interpretation by whomever reads them, different labs have their own "way" of reading them. They tried using slit lamp but the ANA was too positive for them to be definitive.

It sounds like they are still looking and that is good.
Love, Marji


Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, HCTZ, HRT patch, Voltaren gel, Klonopin, Ultram, Albuterol, Questran, pancreatic enzymes

wurlwind1
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/7/2011 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I fear that I may have some kind of autoimmune disease, but not sure what to ask my doctor to test for.  about 5 years ago, I went to the doctor due to my hands and feet drawing up and painful.  My ANA was high and was referred to a rheumatologist.  Couldn't get in for 8 months, by then no symptoms.  Since then have been back many times for feet drawing up, painful, painful joints and chest pain.  Doctor sent for a stress test - all normal.  Then she chalked it up to stress.  I have aching joints after sitting for awhile, fatigue, on a daily basis.  In the past year been to the doctor 3 times for my nose- and was treated for shingles or staph infection.  The second time was given blood test and ANA was high again and then was tested for lupus - negative.  The last time I went for my nose - one evening my nose just began to hurt - felt like I had been punched in the nose - right on the bridge of my nose.  It slowly became much more painful, swollen and red - again was treated for shingles and staph and again chalked up to stress and was offered zoloft.  Not sure where to go from here, but feel like something is not right.  I am a high strung person and do worry alot, but have been like that my whole life and don't believe these symptoms are due to stress.  However, it does seem like symptoms are much worse around my menstral cycle and with high stress.  Any suggestions.

cured4real?
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1944
   Posted 9/7/2011 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Shingles and staph seem to cause other problems with the nervous system. I have tight muscles and get prescription Voltaren muscle relaxer gel for it, but also use an over the counter herbal gel made with Arnica which works well. I have alot of spinal problems. I would be sure to get copies of the readings of any xrays or mris or cat scans you've gotten and recent labs and read them. If you see something that sounds like it might be problem, talk to your doctor about it. Doctors these days seem to act like if we don't know about a problem, then it will magically go away, but we still feel the symptoms and it causes problems.

The main thing is not to worry if you've been treated for staph and shingles especially as it will make you sicker. Since you have these "infectious" disease diagnoses, then at least you should be able to see an infectious disease specialist for confirmation and further checking.

My mom had mrsa, I don't know how that works, they found it before some surgery she had, and it gave her all kinds of funky little symptoms like nerve twinges and pains and gi and sinus and basically whole body feeling lousy, until she got treated. Her whole immune system was breatking down and they were giving her cortisone for autoimmune gi disease and it made the mrsa worse, so that was a problem.

Lupus isn't the only autoimmune disease, sjogrens acts the same, ra can act the same, autoimmune liver disease, all the autoimmune diseases are like versions of disease that overlap in symptoms.

Seeing a woman's well-ness doctor might help if its worse around your cycle. They usually run alot of sensitive tests both on the nutritional and hormonal/endocrine side and can really help with making sure your hormones are just right so you are having a normal time of things.

Your family doc should be able to find you something to chill you out, maybe the zoloft is good? I'm allergic to it so its out for me. But there's alot of other meds. In your case, chilling out is a real medical issue as these diseases are triggered by stress.

My mom had staph in her nose, I guess its the most common place for it. If you don't have a definitive diagnosis for the shingles and staph, I would try to see an infectious disease doc to get one and maybe better treatment. My mom's immune system bounced back after the mrsa was treated and the shingles haven't returned since. I got in to a rheumie because my ANA was high and I had a positive rheumatoid factor (for rheumatoid arthritis). The rheumie retested it and it was negative by then! But I have obvious signs of autoimmune disease anyway so I got diagnosed with sjogrens and treated.

I think sjogrens makes the nose dry as well as the eyes and mouth, and I take a medicine to give me more saliva called evoxac. It seemed to help my chronic sinusitis a little bit as well. Have you seen a rheumatologist? If it were me, I'd go to infectious disease first, then rheumatologist. And I'd get a nasal swab done that confirms the staph if it hasn't been done first off and see what they can do to try to get rid of it completely. I know they gave my mom a ton of antibiotics, not just one.
Love, Marji


Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, HCTZ, HRT patch, Voltaren gel, Klonopin, Ultram, Albuterol, Questran, pancreatic enzymes

sydbean
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/28/2011 4:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new to this whole forum thing...but have been having some issues lately and came acroos this. I have a hx of some anxiety problems, hashimotto's, and hyatal hernia. Lately, I have been experiencing some pretty extreme fatigue. I tend to brush it off as it being related to my thyroid condition (which it very well could be) but my TSH has been quite "decent"...currently a 5.3. I saw my GP due to this fatigue, muscle fatigue in my arms and legs, that has come on gone only a few times, for a short amount of time and is usually remidied by drinking a gatoraide or something. He did a whole bunch of blood work. Blood counts, liver function, kidney function, sed rate, the inflamatory test, lymes, all are great! The only "off" thing is that I currently have an ANA of 1:160. Is this alarming? Is this to be of concern? He is running more in depth auto-antibody blood tests (not sure of the names) and said depending on those results, will send me to a rehumatagolist (sp?) But he expressed that he is not concerned and neither should I, however, he still wants to run the tests. I have no joint pain, just get tired easily and deal with some day to day anxiety (which can also cause wacky symptoms) What do you think?

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 9/29/2011 5:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I hate to tell you, but you're going to have to wait for the blood test results. Only the the Rhuemy can tell if it's Lupus or something else.
I know the feeling of limbo, but hang in there. You'll have an answer soon weither you like it or not.
Joy

sydbean
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/29/2011 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Yea, the feeling of Limbo is just the worst! Thanks for your reply Joy. :-)

mom1111
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/7/2011 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Help!  No firm diagnosis yet and frustrated...  2009 - present:  Positive ANA 1:160, C-Reactive Protein 36, CPAP pressure 22, Hashimotos Hypothyroidism, high BP/Chl, extreme fatigue, burning and soreness in extremities in upper thighs and along sides of legs, tingling under feet and hands, soreness and muscle pain in left thumb, bad headaches, not sleeping well at night, persistent muscle tension and stiffness-forearms, thighs, calves, gluts; constant yawning, you name it!  Seeing Rh, PCP, Neu and
other drs.  Rx: Lyrica,Zoloft.. considering Mayo Clinic.. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/8/2011 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Ask them to try you on plaquenil for the fatigue and aches. It helped me.
Joy

Ace23
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/9/2011 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am new and need some advice. I was diagnosed with schleraderma 10 years ago. It presented itself as multiple cords growing in my torso, stretching my skin as it twisted and grew from breast to belly. It went away when I got pregnant. Then, fast forward 8 years...I start to have chronic diarrhea and severe chest pain attacks. Tests are run, and they take my gall bladder out. The diarrhea never gets better, I am put on Welchol. Then, I start refluxing, gradual at first, now I can not swallow food without it getting stuck in my chest. I saw a GI, did an endoscope, found swelling in esophogus and gastritis. I now have severe heartburn attacks at least twice a week, even on meds. My Gi sent me to rheumatologist. He ran bloodwork, all negative except for my ANA, 1:320 with speckled pattern. He said not to worry about it, and all should be fine. I feel stuck with all these symptoms and no one to take me seriously. I am happy that I have meds to deal with this, but shouldn't I push for more tests? Go to an internist? I just don't know what to do, maybe not worry about it, like he said...Thank you for any feedback.

Bundt
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/12/2011 10:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi am new I went to my primary doctor july 2010 an had a ANA screen 1.80 Titer and then went to a Rheumatoid doctor in sept and the FANA 1.80. most of my days are spent in bed because my body just get stiff and my neck constantly hurt. I tried planqenil and it didnt work...Now am on Methotrexate 2.5, folic acid, prednisone 5 mg..A lot of times I wait up with nose bleeds and lay down having them..Am not sure which one of the medicine is causing it but I have another check up with the Rheumatoid doctor this week...also loss of appetite.

PJ555
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 11/9/2011 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   
1:80 I don't think is super high but it isn't normal and I was 10 when my whole auto immune issues began. I was always a skinny little child and out of no where I became HUGE! I was discovered to have thyroid disease. It progressed as I did. I eventually had to have it removed I had Hashimoto's Disease my thyroid weighed a pound and a quarter it was stuck to my ear canals and my vocal cords I felt like hec! Then I always had super duper bad TSH levels I never had regular cycles and I had gone about 8 mths without a cycle and I found out I was pregnant, my dr told me when he came in the room you have the worst case of infertility I have ever seen except for the fact that you are pregnant. That was the first time I ever had a positive ANA but I never investigated it further. I have been symptomatic in one way or another for as long as I can remember but it is official now I do have Lupus and am on Plaquenil and Prednizone for two weeks now hoping for the best. It was mainly found thru a surg that went bad with super duper bad complications that I almost died and it created a flare from what must have been there all along but its here and I am dealing with it. Good luck to you and your daughter

yayaharley
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/30/2011 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there~
I'm new to this also.  I have bad days and I have very bad days lately. I have been having joint pain (jaw, shoulder, knees, elbows, hip, hands, neck, and back) for about 2 years now.  I also have extreme fatigue, lost 48 lbs over a 2 month period in the last 6 months. Lots of hair loss, small sores in my mouth and on my tongue (that come and go) Was diagnosed 2 years ago with "Impingement of the shoulder" (I think that means they dont know what it is...lol) and diagnosed a couple months ago with TMJ of the jaw(which has not gone away yet).  My husbands company got new health insurance over the last 6 months, so I've been seeing a new primary.  She took blood and said my cholestrol was high, potasium and iron was low and my ANA was 1:640.  She referred me to a RA.  He ran blood work twice and said my ana was still 1:640, but I did not have lupus or RA, that I needed to see my primary about the auto immune attacking my thyroid.  I feel hopelessly frustrated, and like I'm losing my mind.  my primary does have me on pain, muscle, choles, high blood press meds.  But because of Esphogitis (sp?), ulcers, and gasteritis I can not take Ibuprophens, or steroids.  I thought for sure I had lupus....I waited 6 weeks for the results, only to be told NOTHING, but go back to my primary.......ANY SUGGESTIONS????

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 12/30/2011 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Ask your primary to try you out on plaquenil to see if you feel better.

Also see if you need thyroid medicine. It can help if your thyroid is under attack.
Joy

yayaharley
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/31/2011 9:19 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks Joy...I'm willing to try anything at this point! =[

Tam Tam
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/10/2012 2:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Im just as confused as most people are on this positive ANA ..
After having a total knee replacement at 44, and having lots of joint aches and weak muscles's , my ortho doctor did blood work and told me i had a positive ANA and had Lupus. got sent to my rheumy and extensive blood work showed negative for everything but i have a positive ANA low titer speckled pattern, that was 3 years ago and I was told i had unde. mixed connective tissue disorder. That was 3 years ago, and since then i have lots of hair loss,blurry dry eyes, all my joints hurt and ache all the time, I can hardly put my hands above my head without them clicking out of joint ( best description i can come up with) hips ache and other knee is getting bad. my neck has degenerative disk decease and cervical facet syndrome which i am getting steroid shots in pretty often, my feet at times will get so cold that it takes a heating pad two hours to warm, otherwise i had a hysterectomy that usually keeps me hot and sweaty.
my question is.... i hurt when i first get up in the am, but if i do anything that is strenuous (using a lot of muscles) when getting done, i get extremely cold and start hurting all over so bad that it takes a percocet to get this calmed down, i mean all joints and muscles from head to toe hurt.
I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, degenerative disk decease, cervical facet syndrome, IBS, Interistrial cystitis, High blood pressure, and severe arthritis. will i come up with different test results later from what they say now? and do my symptoms go with lupus or any other autoimmune deceases ? I mean can mixed connective tissue disorder cause all these symptoms i am experiencing ?
I was a normal woman with just about No health issues and at 40 having a unexpected hysterectomy and 7 surgeries later.. this is where i have ended up.... I just want to understand what went wrong. Im so tired of having no energy, can't sleep, hurt almost everyday....and all my doctors do is shrug there shoulders when i explain this and write me another pill to take. any advice or answer would be greatly appreciated !

PJ555
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 1/10/2012 5:36 AM (GMT -6)   
It is odd for me I have had symptoms for years and only had a positive ANA one time when I was pregnant. I have AI problems for life and some does my entire family, My mom has thyroid disease, her sister MS my son thyroid disease and type 1 diab my daughter pCOS and Graves disease. I recently had a surgery go terribly bad and now BAM full blown MESS my ANA is now positive and symptoms to match. I am on Plaquenil now and Prednizone but I had gastric bypass 9 years ago and the surg I had make absorption even worse for me than just because of the gastric bypass so it has been a mess. I almost am being told my Lupus is mild but it sure as hec doesn't feel mild I feel like someone forgot to tell me I didn't actually survive the complications for the surgery LOL. anyway I am sure I will make it. I think this whole thing come and goes or just rolls around in stages, the lady who told you to keep ahold of all of your test results is a good thinker because it is going to help in the long run should the two begin to merge the numbers and possible symptoms. Good Luck!
Peggy
Lupus Hashimotos Thyroiditis (Thyroid removed 1984) Gastric Bypass 2002
Synthroid 250mcg, Topomax 100mg, Lamectal 300mg, Vit D 50,000 mon/thurs, B12 1ml inj once a week, Plaquenil 200mg 1daily then 2 daily alternating, Prednisone (for flares) Valium PRN, Lasix 40mg 2x daily, Potassium,Percocet 10/325PRN, Imitrex inj or nasal PRN, Phenergan, Vyvanse 40mg, Multi Vit

Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7471
   Posted 1/10/2012 7:30 AM (GMT -6)   
@Tam Tam,

Welcome to Healing Well,

With mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) you should be getting treatment specifically for that. I *think* the treatment is similar to Lupus, where you'd be on Plaquenil and Prednisone to control the disease and control the inflammation.

MCTD commonly causes:
* joint pain/swelling,
* malaise,
* Raynaud phenomenon,
* Sjögren's syndrome,
* muscle inflammation, and
* sclerodactyly (thickening of the skin of the pads of the fingers)

You might want to start a new thread with MCTD in the title, I think we have some members with that diagnosis who might be able to discuss more intelligently with you.

Or here is a thread with some MCTD discussion www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=29&m=2228777&g=2236858#m2236858

Cheers,
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
DIAGNOSING-LUPUS & LUPUS-RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

crazy4info
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/26/2014 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Directrpep....was reading comments. I have the same issue as you. My ANA is also 1:640 with no symptoms. BUT, when I first found out I had high ANA, it was from my first physical two years ago. Was 1:320. Went to specialist who wanted to put me on a very pricy compound drug. I refused because he could not give me a diagnoses. Test came out inconclusive. Then I lost my insurance because of pre-existing condition. Now with Obamacare found that my ANA is still high with still no symptoms. Did my own research and found that Raynauds syndrome can cause a high ANA. My mom had Raynauds syndrome and I knew I had it also. Just means when I get extremely cold my fingers and toes turn white and feel numb.

So my question to you is, did you learn anything else or did you develop any symptoms?

Post Edited (crazy4info) : 8/26/2014 3:13:54 PM (GMT-6)


Lynnwood
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7471
   Posted 8/26/2014 3:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Crazy4info,

The person you are addressing hasn't been here since about 2007.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2002
DIAGNOSING LUPUS & LUPUS RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde
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