High ANA, no symptoms

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/16/2009 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, all:
I am new here and have a quick question.  Last spring I was diagnosed with B12 and iron deficiency anemia with an ANA of 320.  I am still in treatment and the anemia has resolved.  However, now my ANA is 1280.  I have no real autoimmune symptoms, and all of my other bloodwork was normal (i.e., I believe a rheumatology panel was done and only the ANA was abnormal).
Has anyone else experienced such a high ANA without symptoms? 
Thank you.  Enjoy your week.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1950
   Posted 3/16/2009 9:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I have occasionally early on. The docs told me early on that there can be many reasons why it is high besides autoimmune disease. Later, I ended up hving enough problems that I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease.

I can tell you that my ANA was high during my early autoimmune thryoid disease, even though my thyroid tests were fairly normal, I was hyperthyroid and my body was compensating, so the labs weren't so bad. Being mildly hyperthyroid, I had so much energy I felt great, and don't really have the fatigue that most people feel with autoimmune disease, though I was acutely ill at the time. Later, as my thyroid got more damaged, I developed hypothyroidism which made me tired.

During my hyperthyroid period, photos of me show glassy "hard" eyes (staring) and slightly bulging, though your wouldn't notice unless you were looking and compard to earlier ictures. Thyroid problems are acommon problem that occures along with autoimmune disease. Joint pain I sucked up and contributed to a failure to exercise and being out of shape, or just aging, and it comes and goes. I really had to feel inside the joint to feel the heat.

The constant flulike symptoms I ignored, I was so used to it after time. Takng antidepressants allows you to focus on other things, and so I pushed my illness aside for years until things started really breaking. Hopefully someone here knows more, but I think autoimmune problems come from prolonged attacks of the auto antibodies (ANA is the anti-nuclear antibodies). You might ask your doc or do some internet research on more benign causes of a high ANA.

I have learned that if you live with something long enough, especially if you take antidepressants, its really easy to "get over" alot more than I normally wuold be able to, for better or worse. I let some very important health care problems go, which was not good at all.

ANother thing to know is that unless the lab does really sensitive testng, like Mayo or other med centers, the standard labs only report positive or negative autoantibodies and markers for autoimmune disease. You might be one point below a positive, and they will simply report "negative" and not give a level. Also, it depends on what all they checked. I ave Sjogrens, but my ssa and ssb are too low to be positive, but I'malso on meds for it.

I would definitely try to get more info from your doc about what he or she thinks is going on. Maybe there is a good explanation. I'm sorry I couldn't help you but just tellyou how it happened with me. Hopefully someone else will post. I am glad you aren't feeling bad!
Love, Marji
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus cond., AI polygland. dysfunction 2, hyper/hypopigment, scoliosis,kyphosis,stenosis, deg.,O.A.,spine surgeries, salivary/lymphectomies, NASH, COPD, RLS, UT/GI bleeds, hystero, brain/nerve damage,TB
Meds--INH,Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, HRT and Lidocaine patchs, Voltaren gel, Klonopin, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol, steroids

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 3/17/2009 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Marji:

Many thanks for sharing in such detail. I'll be seeing my hematologist tomorrow, so perhaps he'll have more news per any of the other test results... or perhaps suggest more testing. My iron is currently 21/7 (i.e., one week off per month) and by the end of that week I'm tiring early in the day and looking forward to restarting, so something still is not right, but we'll see. As you said, perhaps there are subclinical changes that I shrug off as being nothing that will become more prominant later.....

Once again, many thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions. I appreciate your input and good advice.

Do take special care of yourself. I hope that you will feel well this week and be able to enjoy the spring-like weather. <:


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