POsitive ANA with no symptoms

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/23/2009 10:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,

I am new to this and not sure what to do, but am lying here in my bed freaking out about my ANA results. My allergist ran a bunch of tests just to check on some allergies, and found my ANA to be 1:640. After reading about Lupus, this number really scared me. I am very confused though because I have NO symptoms at all. I run about 20 miles a week, am on the go constantly, don't have any of the listed symptoms but do have a positive ANA. My Dr. is now running it again as well as a DS DNA and a CRP. SHould I be really worried?? Can I have something else seriously wrong with me or is ANA usually associated with Lupus??

Any help you could give me would be sooooo appreciated, and maybe give me a nights sleep.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 6/23/2009 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   
perfectly healthy people can have a positive ana and very sick people can have a negative one.
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, Sj√∂gren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, exema
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Tramadol, Singulair, Skelaxin, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Prilosec, lasix, Evoxac, Celebrex, Darvocet when things get too bad, prednisone again, various vitamin/mineral supplements, cozar

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/24/2009 6:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you redrose 77. I was just curious though if ANA can be indicative of any other illness?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 6/24/2009 6:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Please don't panic about your ANA! As rose said perfectly healthy people can have a positive ana. Alone it means nothing. Thank God you don't have any symptoms! Judy

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/24/2009 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you MJLD. You are right, I should just be thankful I don't have any other symptoms. If I do develop them, I know where to go for help!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 107
   Posted 6/24/2009 6:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I just wanted to reply to your post and hopefully make you feel better.  Fifteen years ago I had my ANA tested and it was lowly positive at 1:40.  I was really, really scared as I had Graves disease (autoimmune thyroid disease) and vitiligo (autoimmune pigment disease).  All the subtests that they do for lupus and other connective tissue diseases were all negative and continued to be for years after that.  My ANA continued to climb, however, and the last time it was checked it was about 1:1260 or something.  I have never had symptoms of lupus or anything and have since stopped getting the ANA checked.  It is just one of those things. 
By the way, the reason my ANA was checked in the first place was for symptoms that I was having that turned out to be my thyroid replacement was too low and causes terrible pains and was corrected and they all disappeared. 

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/25/2009 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for that reassuring response. My internist also ran two additional tests this week, including another ANA test. She ran a CRP and DS DNA. Both those tests came back completely normal, but the ANA came back the same as last time 1:640. I have an appointment in 2 weeks with a rheum. just to follow up, but I am starting to calm down thanks to all of your responses. Hopefully, I am just someone with elevated ANA and nothing else. Until I hear otherwise, I will live my life to the fullest! Thank you again. :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1950
   Posted 6/25/2009 10:57 PM (GMT -6)   
My ANA was like that and no symptoms for years. I was told many things can cause that. It was implied that an immune booster I was on exacerbated my positive ANA and mde it worse.

Other diseases can feature a positive ANA, like Hepatitis C and probably many others, but I don't know if its because these diseases tend to cause lupus like syndromes, but usually the people are really ill accordingto my hepatologist at MAYO. He said it is unlikely that a history of mild chronic active Hep C would cause that, more likely I have a genetic predisposition and another more serious illness or event triggered it. I don't know if something like having a positive TB test can cause it. Many people have a positive TB test and don't have TB.

There are many theories about how and why people with autoimmune disease have "dysregulated" immune systems (they atttack our own tissues instead of germs), some feel it is dietary, others feel it is from infections that linger unknown to us when we think they are gone, most believe there is a strong genetic predisposition we have for autoimmunity and that some event (like stress or illness or hazardous materials, etc) may trigger the autoimmunity to start in us.

I also foud out that ANA "glows" which is how they see it. So does P-ANCA and some other common antibodies. My positive P-ANCA could not be confirmed because it could not be distinguished from the glowing of my positive ANA during a slit lamp test, so I don't know that some of these tests are really clearcut.

ANA also goes up and down all the time. The info and advice in the above posts is excellent. And the funny thing is that I can feel like crap and my ANA will be relatively low, then feel great and its high. So go figure. I hope thatyour other test are normal and that its "just the way you are" and not any illness. My ANA was elevated for over a decade and probably longer with no symptoms, then I developed diabetes with NASH and endocrine problems and all of that was still unrelated to my ANA according to my docs. then I developed sjogrens syndrome, a relatively mild form of autoimmune disease. I believe the interferon I took caused my autoimmune disease to become active. I think otherwise I would have continued to havean elevated ANA with no symptoms for the rest ofmy life otherwards.

I hope your doc gets yo info soon. I hate waiting. I hope you can try not to worry. REally, many people have the ANA and never have a problem.
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

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 6/26/2009 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi spudswife,

ANA can actually be positive in many different autoimmune problems. The reason the association is high with Lupus is because it is one of the diagnostic criteria for Lupus but it is NOT specific to Lupus. As the others said, you can be totally healthy and have an elevated ANA. There are also people who have ANA and healthy but their ANA is high because they have family with AI diseases. In fact, doctors don't recommend 'screening' for autoimmune disorders because the probability of a positive ANA can lead to very expensive testing that may not be required. Try not to worry yourself.


Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007, Localized Scleroderma 2009, Raynauds 2009
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg/day, Pred 2.5 mg/day (tapering), Methotrexate 10mg/week, Hydrocodone PRN, Flexeril PRN, Fiorinal PRN, Baby aspirin, Prenatal Multi, Vit E, B12, Fish Oil, Biotin, Calcium, Folic Acid

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