Positive ANA Choice Screen

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/4/2008 11:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a problem with one of the disks in my back from moving my entertainment center a few mos ago, so my regular doctor referred me to pain management, ordered blood work and MRI then told me everything looked good. So I went to pain management Tuesday,  handed the doctor my blood test results, and he looked at them funny -  told me my ANA choice test came back positive at 1:640 and told me he was going to write a referral to a Rhumetologist because those numbers were very high.
My original doctor had ordered the blood work to test for RA but I only had RA factor 4. Everything else on the bloodwork screen turned out normal with the exception of a somewhat high Glucose level (maybe because i had a soda before i went for the bloodwork). Anyway the fact my regular doctor told me nothing looked wrong when he saw my bloodwork bothers me.
I am not on any medications besides the occasional percocet for my back and I have been having weird symptoms especially lately, very achey all the time, I have a strange red rash on the right side of my nose/cheek that hasnt gone away in months and looks like its getting larger, I feel super week constantly and my asthma has gotten worse lately as well (my pharmacy has been getting upset with me because I am running out of it more than usual). I dont know if any of this is related - I go next week to the Rhumetologist and I am really worried and scared.
What are the chances this could be Lupus? It doesnt run in my famliy that I know of and what can I expect when I go in to see the Rhumy, any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 2818
   Posted 6/5/2008 12:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nicole, Welcome to the group. I'm glad you decided to come here and get some support and ask some questions. First of all. Take a deep breath! I know it isn't easy but try not to get to worried. For one thing even if you do have lupus there are some great meds out there. It isn't the death sentence that it used to be. Ok now having said that, perhaps your doctor overlooked the ANA which is medium more then super high. There are people that have Lupus with a negative ANA and people who don't have Lupus with a possitive ANA. So a lab test is only one of many tests and symptoms that they go by.
It usually takes months to years before the doctor will say yes you have it or no you don't. They usually treat symptoms with drugs before they make a determination. The aching fatigue and rash could be signs of an auto immune disease or than again it could be somthing else. I'm glad you are going to see a rheumy soon though.
I can give you a few suggestions on what to take to see the rheumy. First if possible take pictures of any rash you have because many times it's gone by the time you see the doctor. Also keep a note book. Take your temp 3 times a day and write it down. Lupies have a tendency to run a little fever off and on.Write down anything out of the ordinary that happens. Even if you have a sore toe. (i'm serious) what doesn't seem like anything to us may mean something in a long run. Any joint pain, loos of appetite, increased appetite. If you loosing any hair brushing it sores in your mouth or tongue. headaches and if so where are they located. Get your family history as much as possible. It doesn't matter if they have lupus or not. There are a lot of autoimune disease out there. Your breathing problems could be from the fact that it's humid out and everything is blooming. but you need to be sure to put that down as well. Do you have forgetfullness? joint swelling? I know with all this you have anxiety but is it more then normal? Have you felt like you had the flu lately? Lots of us start off by feeling like we had the worst flu in our life. Just keep your notes close at hand. Don't count on the fact that you will remember everything because you probably won't. In fact I made me a copy and left a copy with the doctor. Ask the doctor for copies of your lab work so you can keep your own records to formiliarize yourself with them. If you are lucky you will get a good rheumy right off the bat. If you are like most of us it will take some serching to come up with one you can work with. If you aren't feeling well than they need to give you something to help you weather they have answers or not. Just try not to get to frustrated it is a long process. Just keep coming here and asking questions. Some one will be able to come up with an answer to almost anything you ask. There is a HUGE support system here. Weather you have it or not you will have lots of friends here to help you get through it.
Again I just want to welcome you I look forward to hearing what your rheumy has to say
God Bless
Possible sclero.  stage 4 COPD w/CHF,   Osteoporosis,osteoarthritis
Prednisone,Brovana, Pulmacort,zythromyacin,vicodin 4x5mg,Evista60mg, Effexor 150mg,Xanax 1.0 x3,Singular,nitro spray, aciphex,lasix,inderal,pot.chlor.,B12 
I will never leave you nor forsake you!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 6/5/2008 7:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nicole,

Welcome to the forum. Your pain doctor was great in referring you to a rheumatologist. Make sure you get a copy of that bloodwork that showed the +ANA and keep it with your medical records. Most of us keep a file and keep copies of our records to bring from doc to doc. Somehow, these records don't get from doctor to doctor like they should . . . so bring that with you if you can get it before the rheumy appointment.

Take pictures of your rash, as it may disappear just when you finally get to see the rheumy.

There are some links at the end of my signature that may be helpful too.

Keep us posted!!


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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 6/5/2008 9:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Nicole and welcome. Both Carol and Rosie gave you some great advice and I don't have a lot to add. I'm glad your pain doc caught the positive ANA and referred you to a rheumy. A positive ANA can mean a lot of different things, including lupus, but it is also present in other illnesses too. Some healthy people have a positive ANA, but usually if you have a high ANA and other symptoms, it most likely means you have something going on that needs to be looked into.

Lupus and other autoimmune diseases can be slow progressing diseases which might be why you are gradually seeing more symptoms develop over time. Make sure you make a detailed list of all of your symptoms to take to the rheumy, even the ones that might seem silly or don't seem related - it really helps for the doc to have all the pieces of the puzzle.

I'm glad you found our forum - it's a great place for information and we are a very supportive group of people. Diseases like lupus can be hard to deal with both physically and emotionally. Please ask any questions you have. Also take a look at the lupus resources on the forum - there is some good information there.

Take care
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Doxepin 25-50mg; Prevacid; Evoxac; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Artificial tears



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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/21/2010 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I"m new here, and am hoping I can get some insight from people who are currently going through similar problems. My problems started several years back, strange things like, I couldn't put weight on my right leg & ended up in the ER (no answers to it, was sent back home), my toe joints are becoming deformed very fast over a very short period of time, I have swollen joints in all my fingers, I have bones protruding out where they didn't use to (sides of feet, chest wall) The first rheumatologist that I saw that maybe I had RA and ran labwork, this was in 2007. Everything was negative, so I was dismissed. Then my symptoms continued to get worse and a year later in '08, I saw a new doctor. At this time my ANA was positive with a titer of 1:640, however, she wouldn't tell me the titer at the time, she just told me what an ANA was and that mine was positive. She also began treating me on a variety of drugs i.e. plaquenil, and others in its class (sorry, my memory loss is bad right now!). After 6 months of seeing her, she checked my ANA again and told me it was still positive. But she seemed like she was becoming bored with my case, since she hadn't figured out what was wrong. I ended up firing her and saw a new wonderful doctor a few weeks ago. He got the lab results from the old doctor's office which is how I found out my titer was 1:640. He stated that he was quite alarmed when he saw it as it was very high, and based on my symptoms he told me that he suspected lupus. He did a bunch of labwork and I went back today for the results. Everything is negative!!! Even the ANA?? how can this be? I am still having the same symptoms as before, but much worse. My sed rate is normal, my crp is normal..everything! But my symptoms are worse? Does anyone have any idea how this could be? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that he said I don't have an autoimmune disease (who wants to be told that, right?) But I am at the same time puzzled. The doctor said that at the time of the positive ANA I could have had an infection, but why was the same test positive more than six months later? And now my symptoms are worse, and the test is negative. I guess my question is this, are there times when an ANA can become negative and then go back to positive? Would this mean that there is an autoimmune disease or not? Am I just worrying for no reason? I'm afraid to take a sigh of relief in case it's positive high again in six months and I am worse than now. Can anyone explain? Thanks in advance!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 9/22/2010 2:34 AM (GMT -6)   
My ANA is negative and always has been but I have lupus and RA. Actually all my blood work is normal CRP SED ect.... Only my liver enzymes are elivated and that is from fatty liver. I wish I could offer more than to say see another doctor. Seriously find another doctor and fast.
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sjögren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, exema
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Prilosec, lasix, Evoxac, Celebrex, Vicodine when things get too bad, prednisone again, various vitamin/mineral supplements, cozar, duragesic patches
"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." T. E. Lawrence
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