Yes, you can have a negative ANA before having a positive one. Like Joy said, you can also have Lupus with a negative ANA. Unfortunately, there is no one test or symptom that diagnoses Lupus.
Typically, four or more of the following criteria must be present to make a diagnosis of systemic lupus. The “Eleven Criteria” are:
1. Malar rash: butterfly-shaped rash across cheeks and nose
2. Discoid (skin) rash: raised red patches
3. Photosensitivity: skin rash as result of unusual reaction to sunlight
4. Mouth or nose ulcers: usually painless
5. Arthritis (nonerosive) in two or more joints, along with tenderness, swelling, or effusion. With nonerosive arthritis, the bones around joints don’t get destroyed.
6. Cardio-pulmonary involvement: inflammation of the lining around the heart (pericarditis) and/or lungs (pleuritis)
7. Neurologic disorder: seizures and/or psychosis
8. Renal (kidney) disorder: excessive protein in the urine, or cellular casts in the urine
9. Hematologic (blood) disorder: hemolytic anemia, low white blood cell count, or low platelet count
10. Immunologic disorder: antibodies to double stranded DNA, antibodies to Sm, or antibodies to cardiolipin
11. Antinuclear antibodies (ANA): a positive test in the absence of drugs known to induce it.
It sounds as though you've had some bad Dr experiences - you need to find a Lupus knowledgeable Dr. I suggest checking with the Lupus Org at www.lupus.org
to find your local chapter of the organization. Then check in with the local chapter to see which local Drs are active on the advisory board -- these are generally the Drs most interested in and most experienced with Lupus in your area.
Also, don't go into the Dr saying, "I think I have Lupus". Go in with a list of symptoms and when they occur. There may be another diagnosis that fits more closely for what you are experiencing.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2000DIAGNOSING LUPUS & HW's LUPUS 101
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde
Post Edited (Lynnwood) : 10/4/2016 8:37:44 AM (GMT-6)