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View Full Version : Just got an "ANA" test need advice.?



mamak
09-23-2011, 12:51 PM
So i went to my doctor last week and she did A LOT of blood work. She did an ANA test and she just sent me results it says:

You lab work is copied below. There are some slight abnormalities. We can discuss these results at your follow up. There is a very slight elevation in ANA which is non-specific test. There are some changes in your Mono testing but nothing confirmation.


so basically what we still dont know whats wrong with me?? ugh i have no idea how to read these results.. sorry if this post is pointless im just very confused. I want a diagnosis :(

Elo
09-23-2011, 01:14 PM
an ANA is basically an anti-nuclear antibody.
What that means, is that it's a test to see if your body has made antibodies against itself. Antibodies are what your body makes to fend off harmful viruses, but sometimes, like with Lupus, something goes wrong, and the body begins to attack itself. The ANA is basically a test to see if your body is attacking itself, and if so, how bad it is.
The ANA should have a number separated by : and another number. For example, my ana is 1:80. That's a very low ANA, and may or may not be indicative of a problem. The first number should almost always be 1, and the second number means how many times they can dilute your blood and still tell the results.
So a higher ANA would be something like 1:320, or etc.

Now, I'm not sure what she means by mono testing, or whatnot. The good news is that she is taking tests and finding some things that could be flags for certain things, so she's ruling things out by doing this.

I understand about wanting a diagnosis, hehe. I only just got diagnosed yesterday, and i'm not used to knowing what's wrong with me yet!

anyways, I hope that helped even a little, fingers crossed that you get a diagnosis soon :)

mamak
09-23-2011, 01:23 PM
Thank you! that did help and thats awesome you got a diagnosis. my follow up isnt until oct 18 i may ask to go in sooner i want more tests done ..
i am super confused i think my ANA is 1:40 does that sound normal? what is normal?

Gizmo
09-23-2011, 02:55 PM
an ANA is basically an anti-nuclear antibody.
What that means, is that it's a test to see if your body has made antibodies against itself. Antibodies are what your body makes to fend off harmful viruses, but sometimes, like with Lupus, something goes wrong, and the body begins to attack itself. The ANA is basically a test to see if your body is attacking itself, and if so, how bad it is.
The ANA should have a number separated by : and another number. For example, my ana is 1:80. That's a very low ANA, and may or may not be indicative of a problem. The first number should almost always be 1, and the second number means how many times they can dilute your blood and still tell the results.
So a higher ANA would be something like 1:320, or etc.

Now, I'm not sure what she means by mono testing, or whatnot. The good news is that she is taking tests and finding some things that could be flags for certain things, so she's ruling things out by doing this.

I understand about wanting a diagnosis, hehe. I only just got diagnosed yesterday, and i'm not used to knowing what's wrong with me yet!

anyways, I hope that helped even a little, fingers crossed that you get a diagnosis soon :)

See, Elo, this kind of answer is why you can't leave us!

Gizmo
09-23-2011, 03:12 PM
Thank you! that did help and thats awesome you got a diagnosis. my follow up isnt until oct 18 i may ask to go in sooner i want more tests done ..
i am super confused i think my ANA is 1:40 does that sound normal? what is normal?

According to MedicineNet.com an ANA of 1:40 is right on the border of normal/positive. Also, the pattern can give the doctor more information. Here are 2 links that might help:
http://www.lupus.org/webmodules/webarticlesnet/templates/new_empty.aspx?articleid=402&zoneid=99
http://www.medicinenet.com/antinuclear_antibody/article.htm

Waiting just stinks, especially when you feel like your life is on hold somehow. For me getting a diagnosis was a big relief, and I was more worried that I would come away with a shoulder shrug, or worse - a referral to a psychiatrist, than that I would be diagnosed with lupus.
Having over-reacted to test results and symptoms in the past, I have learned the hard way to save my urgent calls and requests for appointments for times that I really need answers right now. The decision about whether you need to ask for a sooner appointment should probably be based on how sick you are right now, rather than on the test results, IMHO.
In the meantime, keep a diary of your symptoms and try to figure out what makes them worse (sun, fatigue, stress). Also write down how your life has changed as a result of your illness - especially if you are having to make changes at work. Get copies of your medical records from other doctors - and then take a deep breath and live the best life you can until your appointment.
Please stay in touch and let us know how things turn out!

almostcrazy
09-24-2011, 08:48 PM
Thanks just read some info on the links you posted makes me feel better. I read that 95% of people that have lupus have a positive ANA. I had a negative one like a year ago. I strongly feel/felt that I have/had lupus. So hopefully not lupus maybe fibro which is bad but would be muchhhhh better than lupus

Gizmo
09-25-2011, 10:59 AM
Thanks just read some info on the links you posted makes me feel better. I read that 95% of people that have lupus have a positive ANA. I had a negative one like a year ago. I strongly feel/felt that I have/had lupus. So hopefully not lupus maybe fibro which is bad but would be muchhhhh better than lupus

I suppose that depends on who you talk to. Some people with fibro are quite debilitated, while some folks with lupus live pretty normal lives. I guess the big difference is potential organ damage with lupus. Anyway, I'm so glad you are feeling better about things and hope that you will stick around to let us know how things are going.

tgal
09-25-2011, 03:52 PM
Thanks just read some info on the links you posted makes me feel better. I read that 95% of people that have lupus have a positive ANA. I had a negative one like a year ago. I strongly feel/felt that I have/had lupus. So hopefully not lupus maybe fibro which is bad but would be muchhhhh better than lupus

Wonderful comment by Gizmo! Sometimes you don't know which is worse to have. It all depends on the severity of each disease within the person.

I have one other thing to add to this discussion. 95% of the people that they DIAGNOSE with Lupus have a negative ANA however one must remember that many of us go for months or years without getting the "official" diagnosis because the blood tests do not come out as the doctor thinks they should. It should also be noted that these same doctors that are waiting for the blood test to be a certain way before they diagnose don't really understand that there is no test for Lupus.

The point I am making is that I believe if you added in all the people that are having a diagnosis held up because their ANA is negative even though they eventually get diagnosed with the disease or are started on the meds without being given a firm diagnosis that 95% number would go WAY down.

Please note that I am not saying that you have lupus, fibro or anything else for that matter. I just have a strong belief that the 95% number is skewed due to the data that they use and that they dismiss

Gizmo
09-25-2011, 08:09 PM
Thanks Mari, I was trying to figure out a way to say that and you did a beautiful job. The 95% number is a real sticking point with the doctors. Maybe it's really that 95% of doctors won't diagnose lupus without a positive ANA.

BTW, we just got a summary letter from the pulmonologist my daughter saw (because her oxygen level is dropping into the 80's and even 70's for no apparent reason). Anyway, he says her ANA is POSITIVE, based on labs done by another doctor. No one told us that! She's been on Plaquinil, prednisone and methotrexate and it still turned positive. I guess that's good news...

steve.b
09-27-2011, 05:56 AM
...... So hopefully not lupus maybe fibro which is bad but would be muchhhhh better than lupus

just a little comment about my medical situation.

when i was diagnosed with lupus, i had several organs involved..... i was very sick.
i now have my lupus in good check, with several different medications.

my fibro is not controlled properly. i have bad problems from it, and it is my most severe health issue at the moment.

it is the severity of the desease, not what the name it goes by.

i hope you get good treatment.

almostcrazy
09-27-2011, 06:46 PM
First off i in no wayyyy ment to offend anyone or didnt mean that fibor wasnt bad i just ment that there wouldnt be internal damage or organ involment if fibro vs lupus. So it seems as though the 95% things is bs if i understand correctly. I go to the dr. no one has heard of and has no reviews and was not a long wait on the 7th so kinda up in the air if he will be good or not but have a appointment for may with the one everyone says is great. Hope everyone is having a goodnight. Had surgery again today so prob gonna be up all night dreading that. Also i have a question the ana test i had as i said before was nearly a year ago but prior to having it done i had taken several large doses of predisone and solumedrol injection and nearly finished a medrol dose pack dose anyone know if that would have had a effect on the results. Sorry i am full of questions. I asked on a previous post but got no respone i am confused why if you had a dx of lupus that they would give you a dx of fibro dont understand that at all. please forgive my mispelled words i cant spell to begin with and the pain meds dont help lol. Thanks so much to everyone for sharing the world on here it helps so much to know that others are dealing with the same things. If i ask to many questions please someone tell me i think its because im a nurse and just have a general interest in medical issues. Thanks again

rat
10-03-2011, 03:00 AM
Every one is taking the ANA as the be all and end all, some have spoken of the 95% figure, my understanding is that it is 80%
and in 2002 the anti-SR test was approved by the FDA this picked up the people who did not have a pos ANA but still believed had SLE.

Is this test not regular or am I totally wrong.

Rat

tgal
10-03-2011, 06:21 AM
First off i in no wayyyy ment to offend anyone or didnt mean that fibor wasnt bad i just ment that there wouldnt be internal damage or organ involment if fibro vs lupus. So it seems as though the 95% things is bs if i understand correctly. I go to the dr. no one has heard of and has no reviews and was not a long wait on the 7th so kinda up in the air if he will be good or not but have a appointment for may with the one everyone says is great. Hope everyone is having a goodnight. Had surgery again today so prob gonna be up all night dreading that. Also i have a question the ana test i had as i said before was nearly a year ago but prior to having it done i had taken several large doses of predisone and solumedrol injection and nearly finished a medrol dose pack dose anyone know if that would have had a effect on the results. Sorry i am full of questions. I asked on a previous post but got no respone i am confused why if you had a dx of lupus that they would give you a dx of fibro dont understand that at all. please forgive my mispelled words i cant spell to begin with and the pain meds dont help lol. Thanks so much to everyone for sharing the world on here it helps so much to know that others are dealing with the same things. If i ask to many questions please someone tell me i think its because im a nurse and just have a general interest in medical issues. Thanks again

First let me say that if you asked in another post somehow it got lost someone.

The answer to your questions is that yes, meds can affect the blood tests. Steroids especially can change the inflammation which can change any of the blood test taken in a lupus panel. For many years people thought that Fibro was simply a disease that Drs used when they didn't know what was happening. That is not the case now. Some doctors may do that but good doctors now understand that Fibro is a condition itself so you can have Lupus and Fibro at the same time. Some days my Fibro acts up worse then my Lupus. Hope this helps!

Now, never feel the need to say you are sorry for spelling. We are here about a disease not to criticize your spelling issues.

tgal
10-03-2011, 06:25 AM
Every one is taking the ANA as the be all and end all, some have spoken of the 95% figure, my understanding is that it is 80%
and in 2002 the anti-SR test was approved by the FDA this picked up the people who did not have a pos ANA but still believed had SLE.

Is this test not regular or am I totally wrong.

Rat

HI and welcome to WHL!

First let's be clear about something. There is NO singe test for Lupus. Whether it is the ANA with patterns, Anti SR or any other test none of them alone say that you have Lupus. I am inserting a link that explains how doctors go about giving a lupus diagnosis. Please ask any questions you have after reading. Glad to have both of you with us!