Antinuclear Antibodies and Petechiae

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 8/6/2008 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I am reposting this from the Crohn's board as per their advice.

I was diagnosed with Crohn's in 2006. At that time I tested positive for antinuclear antibodies. I recently had extensive blood tests done after petechiae appeared all over my shins (which has since faded but unfortunately reappeared on my arms). All of my blood tests were virtually NORMAL (except for a severe Vit. D deficiency...). It freaked me out because I cannot remember a time I was not anemic. In addition, I was told that my antinuclear antibodies had just DISAPPEARED. According to my hematologist I no longer have them. That doesn't sound right? Am I cured? HA. What's going on? He said he did not know why they would come and go. It is frustrating because I was hoping a careful examination of my antinuclear antibodies would help give a diagnosis for the petechiae and other symptoms I have (fatigue, brain fog, joint pain --- all of these are possibly associated with Crohn's).

Secondly, I've been seeing a rheumatologist because I have presented with several Lupus symptoms including the petechiae already mentioned. Since my blood tests were normal, and the petechiae were fading (left behind frecklish looking spots), I was not given a definitive diagnosis. Now that they have reappeared on my arm, I am feeling anxious. What should I be tested for, which my blood would not show, that could possibly cause them? I feel like there HAS to be a reason for them.

Thanks for your time.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 8/6/2008 5:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Meowese,
Well the good men and women in chronsville sent you to the right place!  Petichiae are very common in lupus and other autoimmune disorders.  It's caused by blood leaking out of the little capillaries and into the skin.  The reason this happens is most commonly caused by a low platelet count or Thrombocytopenia.  I have this condition.
My platelet count is now normal, but I still get these stupid little suckers.... So yes, there is a reason for them.  It could be that you need to find out what your platelet count is.  A simple CBC blood test will tell you.  It's definitely a symptom of lupus though, and some other disorders. 
Here's a website link for you....
A person's ANA will come and go whenever it wants.  If you test positive and then negative down the road, it doesn't mean you're cured. Autoimmune diseases will cause the ANA to fluctuate depending on the activity of the immune system.  Often, if a person is in a remission state, the ANA will come back as negative. But when that remission ends, it can be positive again. There are other times when it won't make any sense whatsoever.  So your chrons, being autoimmune, will cause that too. 
I hope this helps?  Let us know how you make out, okay.
I forgot to ask you.  Do you take NSAID's for pain?  If you do, they can cause your platelet count to go down and make those petechiae come back.  I can't take NSAID's due to that issue.  

I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder-(miraclulously disappeared!), Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck) . Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, didrocal, Cozaar, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 8/6/2008 10:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi meowese and welcome. I'm sorry you are going through all of this and that you don't have answers yet. Ginny gave you some really great information and I don't have a lot to add. She is right that sometimes the bloodwork doesn't make a lot of sense and that your ANA can fluctuate a lot. For example, my son who has arthritis has had 3 positive and 2 negative ANAs.

I just want to tell you to trust your instincts about your body and what is going on - you live in your body whch makes you the expert on it. If you think there is something going on in addition to Crohns, then don't give up until you have some answers that make sense to you. There are some good clickable links in my signature that will take you to some good lupus resources.

Hang in there and let us know if you have any other questions. Feeling like you are in limbo with a diagnosis is a tough place to be and lupus can be very tricky to diagnose.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; UC 2008; 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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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 8/7/2008 7:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Meowese. My brother has Crohns and I have Lupus. Both of us get those petechial spots. Do you take prednisone? I've noticed when i go up or down on the pred. drastically I get them. Also, I just reiterate what the others said. Don't put too much stock in your blood work because it changes so much, rather go by your symptoms and how you feel! Good luck and God Bless, Judy
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