New to site. Have some questions about positive ANA test.

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Sarahj90
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/21/2013 12:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi! My name is Sarah, I'm 22. I came across this message board while doing some online research looking for answers. If anyone could provide some insight or answers that would be awesome! Thank you!

Here's some history on me just in case it helps anyone answer my questions better. I have had 2 ANA tests come back positive but not tested positive for any autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune disorders run rampant in my family. My great grandmother had RA. My mother had Sarcoidosis right before she got breast cancer. My grandmother and her son (my dad) both have Gout. And my other grandmother had exceptionally bad psoriasis. My dad also has osteoarthritis.
I myself experience really bad joint pain in pretty much all my joints, but I would say my shoulders, hips, and knees are the worst. They don't get swollen or filled with fluid though. I also get fatigued really easily.
During some routine bloodwork from my neurologist (that I see for migraines) she told me I tested positive for Lupus and that I needed to see a Rheumatologist. I freaked out and saw one right away.
I didn't test positive for Lupus, what I had was a positive ANA from the Neuro. (I was tested for Lymes by the Neuro - Negative). The Rheumy told me he didn't think I have Lupus but he did a TON of bloodwork and tested for all the markers of Lupus and all the other autoimmune disorders and all that.
After waiting for 3 weeks I finally got the results last week. I got good and bad news.
All the bloodwork for Lupus came back negative. All the other AI's came back negative...however my ANA came back positive AGAIN. My Rheumy said he thinks I may have been exposed to a virus that causes my ANA to test positive.
He put me on Sulfasal-azine 500mg 1 tablet twice daily for my joint pain because I was taking too much ibuprofen, and I have an appointment to go back in 3 months. And he told me to take Tylenol instead of Motrin. And he said we can repeat all the autoimmune bloodwork tests in 6 months if I wanted to.

So I guess my questioons are 1) Why am I repeatedly getting a positive ANA? Could I possibly have Lupus and it's just too early to show up in other blood tests?
2) Is it possible for a virus to cause multiple positive ANA tests? I've never heard of that.
3) The Sulfalasazine is giving me horrible headaches every day. If anyone has been on that...do they eventually go away?!?!?!?!?!?

I am very confused. And any help is appreciated! Thank you!

Post Edited (Sarahj90) : 3/20/2013 11:51:28 PM (GMT-6)


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/21/2013 1:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Run, don't walk! Get away from that Rhuemy!
Find you a different one immediately. That one sounds like a nut.

Get your testing results and look to see what your titers and pattern is. You can get an interpetation of what it could possibly be at labsonline.com. Take your records with you to the new doctor.

I have never heard of a virus making your ANA positive. I could be wrong on that, but I don't think so.

There is a list of the 11 indicators of lupus you can find at lupus.org. You just have to meet 4 of them to be diagnosed with lupus.

Stick around there are some wonderful people here who can help you with questions.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Sarahj90
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/21/2013 3:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I will call tomorrow and request a copy of the results. I really like the Rheumy...but I did think he pulled the virus thing out of his rear end!
I am waitlisted and have been for 2 months for the dream team of Rheumatologists in my area. I've been waiting for a call from them for when they have an opening. I'm not holding my breath.
The results from the original test the Neuro (this is from back in Jan) did were:
ANA Screen: Positive > 1:80, Negative <1:80 (I have been told these numbers are low)
ANA Titer: 1/320
ANA Pattern: Speckled
ANA Titer2: 1/640
ANA Pattern2: Homogenous
I've been told all of my numbers are low.

Once I get the more recent results I am interested to compare them. This whole darn thing is so confusing!!!

Lynnwood
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 3/21/2013 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Most Lupus patients are allergic to sulfa-medications. Your headaches sound like they are connected to the med.

More later, no time now.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
DIAGNOSING LUPUS & LUPUS RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/21/2013 5:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with titers 1:320, speckled.
From the looks of it your titers are rising and changing patterns.
Any titer above 1:40 is positive the higher it is the more antibodies you have.
You might be able to get your nuero to try you out on some predisone for a little while. I always feel better for awhile on a pred-pack.
Joy
Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Degenerative Disk and Facet Disease, and Allergies

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Barbara Lee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 2889
   Posted 3/21/2013 11:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi just wanted to put my two cents in here. I've had lupus for 25 years now and my daughter has had a positive ANA at 1:640 since she was like 8 years old. She didn't have any other positive labs for lupus and no symptoms. She was seen my a peds rheumy and I was told that a person can have a positive ANA and NOT have lupus or an auto immune disease.

There are many things that a healthy person can have going on that can cause you to have a positive ANA. Yes, even being sick with an infection is one of those things, just so you know he didn't pull that out of a hat. If it were me, since you're not really having many symptoms of lupus except the joint pain, I'd ask for a second opinion with a different Rheumy and have your labs run again.

Did he test your RA factor? If not I would ask for that to be done ASAP. It's possible that you may be developing RA. I had my lupus DX prior to finding out that I have RA, but my fibro dx came before the official DX for lupus.

Also, back to my daughter she's now 20 and showing more symptoms and had an antibody test positive for MCTD, but her ANA is now negative. Her latest round of labs where now normal. So she's keeping an eye on things and calls me whenever she's having issues. She's a busy college student and pushes on with things.

I hope they figure things out for you and that your joint pain eases up soon.

Hugs,
Barbara

Sarahj90
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/22/2013 1:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Barbara Lee said...
Hi just wanted to put my two cents in here. I've had lupus for 25 years now and my daughter has had a positive ANA at 1:640 since she was like 8 years old. She didn't have any other positive labs for lupus and no symptoms. She was seen my a peds rheumy and I was told that a person can have a positive ANA and NOT have lupus or an auto immune disease.

There are many things that a healthy person can have going on that can cause you to have a positive ANA. Yes, even being sick with an infection is one of those things, just so you know he didn't pull that out of a hat. If it were me, since you're not really having many symptoms of lupus except the joint pain, I'd ask for a second opinion with a different Rheumy and have your labs run again.

Did he test your RA factor? If not I would ask for that to be done ASAP. It's possible that you may be developing RA. I had my lupus DX prior to finding out that I have RA, but my fibro dx came before the official DX for lupus.

Also, back to my daughter she's now 20 and showing more symptoms and had an antibody test positive for MCTD, but her ANA is now negative. Her latest round of labs where now normal. So she's keeping an eye on things and calls me whenever she's having issues. She's a busy college student and pushes on with things.

I hope they figure things out for you and that your joint pain eases up soon.

Hugs,
Barbara


I will have all the labs run again in 6 months. And yes, I was tested for RA factor. I was tested for basically every possible AI test under the sun and they all came back negative except for the ANA...that came back positive again. Which is just driving me nuts. But after talking to a few people I'm just going to try to stop worrying so much about it (I have an anxiety disorder on top of everything else and a tendency to do endless googling!). I go back to my Rheumatologist in June. But I am going to call about the headaches I've been getting ever since I started the Sulfalasalazine. They are really getting on my nerves. I want to know if they're going to go away or if there's something else he can put me on for joint pain. I know this specific medication takes up to 3 months to start working, so I'm really trying to stick it out. It's just killing me to get daily headaches when I have just recently gotten my migraines under control! Ugh! Lol

Thank you everyone for your help and replies! I really appreciate all your input! :)
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