ANA=1:320, CRP=<0.02 Lupus?

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jmartin1209
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/10/2008 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm 34 & have had alopecia areata for about 2 years off & on now. Yes, I know it is an idiopathic condition.  I work in a clinic & finally asked if they could draw an ANA in addition to previous testosterone, estrogen, CBC, and ferritin.  The ANA came back positive at 1:320, but with a low C-reactive protein of <0.02.  Any ideas?  Yes, I have some joint aches, but that is nothing unusual for me.  No rash, no fever, no easy bruising.  I don't want to overreact, but it seems that sorenesses or oddities I ignored before might mean something now...memory difficulties (searching for words I want to say), soreness between the front of my ears & jaw, cold fingers sometimes, swollen lymph nodes sometimes, hip pain,etc.  Thanks for any suggestions/advice you can give. 

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 10/10/2008 1:41 PM (GMT -6)   
"soreness between the front of my ears & jaw, cold fingers sometimes, swollen lymph nodes sometimes" . . .sounds like it may be Sjogren's

Some of these autoimmune issues overlap and you may have a combination of things working. But some of your symptoms sound like Sjogren's.

did your ANA show a pattern? That can 'sometimes' be helpful too. There is a link at the end of my signature "4 of 11 Criteria" that might be helpful to you.

Most of us are being treated for our symptoms. So, if you lack annoying symptoms that would cause you to seek medical help, you may be just fine to wait . . . . but you'll still want to share your bloodwork on your next Dr. visit. If you end up needing treatment, you may want to see a rheumatologist who is the right doc to figure out what's really going on.

Welcome to the forum!!

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, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

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


jmartin1209
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/10/2008 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the info! My ANA was "fine speckled".  I know my my complaints are very insignificant compared to those of you living with lupus, but I appreciate the feedback.  The alopecia spots have really spread within the last month or so.  I have 1 large area the size of 2 half-dollars by my temple & 2 others at the nape of my neck.  I'm just searching for answers. Thanks to all who can help.

AlwaysRosie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 10/10/2008 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   
J,

Your complaints ARE significant. I didn't mean to minimize. Just knowing there is 'something' going on is very distressing.

Your alopecia IS a big deal . . . IF it is from autoimmune issues, it may respond well to Plaquenil, a first guns med for lupus and arthritis. This might also treat your joint pain. The bummer is, that it can take from weeks to months to build sufficiently in your system to help . . . . but it is very helpful to lots of us and it is a pretty safe drug and has been used for many years (I think this one is over 40 years old).

Lynnwood said...
More specific info on what your ANA test might mean:

The homogeneous (smooth) pattern is found in a variety of connective tissue diseases as well as in patients taking particular drugs such as certain anti-arrhythmics, anti-convulsants or anti-hypertensives. This pattern is also the pattern that is most commonly seen in healthy individuals who have positive ANA tests.

The speckled pattern is found in SLE and other connective tissue diseases, while the peripheral (or rim) pattern is found almost exclusively in SLE. The nucleolar pattern is found primarily in patients who have scleroderma.


The above post was taken from "Lupus Resources", link in my signature. Make sure you hang on to all your labs and start a file with all of your symptom diaries and comments.

If you can't get a rheumatologist referral, you may be able to get some quick help from a dermatologist. Did you have a discoid rash where your hair patches fell out? Or did they fall out randomly w/o rash? If it is form the discoid rash, you may have Discoid Lupus and you really should have a derm treat you soon. Sometimes the hair loss can be permanent. I don't want to scare you, but I also wouldn't want you to lose any more hair. That is a significant symptom.

If you have rashes or mouth sores . . . make sure to take pictures so you will be able to show the doc when you finally get in to see them. Of course, the rashes could disappear before your next appt and you'll have the pics to help make your case.

I hope you get some other responses.

Glad you found us.

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, Inflammatory Arthritis, Diverticulosis, (recent dx - Sjogrens, Crohn’s 4/08)

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


BumbleBee1
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 130
   Posted 10/10/2008 3:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I woud certainly pursue this because over many years I have heard lots of stories like yours when people have had general ill health, nothing very serious, but the dots have never been joined. C reactive protein is a general measure of inflammation from any cause as is SED or ESR rate. It is certainly convenient when ESR is raised as it does show some sort of inflammation. But people can be quite seriously ill and nothing shows up in their blood work. In fact CRP is more often not raised in lupus and when it is, it might suggest an infectious cause for symptoms
An ANA of 1:320 is sufficiently high to warrant more specific testing if an autoimmune connective tissue disease is suspected. A complete blood count can show up disease related abnormalities and a urine test should be done. You have several symptoms that certainly would fit with lupus or a similar disease
A word of warning: an SLE diagnosis has serious implications for insurance. There are similar conditions with different names such as undiofferentiated connective tissue disease The main thing is to find out if you have an autoimmune connective tissue disease so the it can be treated as necessary and a close eye be kept on it for signs of worsening.

Good Luck

BB

jmartin1209
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 10/13/2008 9:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the advice.  I've heard horror stories about people who have a diagnosis placed in their medical chart w/big repercussions to their insurance coverage.  As long as I'm not having any "life-altering" symptoms, I think I'll just sit tight w/the knowledge of the ANA.  Right now Motrin handles the joint problem & I darken my scalp w/makeup.  If I begin to have increasing or additional symptoms, I'll go from there.  I've read of people who have elevated ANA results with no symptoms whatsoever--maybe it has nothing to do with my hair (or lack thereof :)  Thanks again!
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