I am sorry to hear about what your daughter has gone through; it's a lot of an adult let alone a child. My heart is with you along with my thoughts and prayers. On this forum under newly diagnosed; Saysusie has posted the tests that are typically ran for Lupus. Does she have more joint pain after being outside in the sun? Rashes, coin and raised?
Here is the definition of ANA per webmd:
An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test measures the amount and pattern of antibodies in your blood that work against your own body (autoimmune).
The body's immune system normally attacks and destroys foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. However, in disorders known as autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks and destroys the body's normal tissues. When a person has an autoimmune disease, the immune system produces antibodies that attach to the body's own cells as though they were foreign substances, often causing them to be damaged or destroyed. Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus are examples of autoimmune diseases.
An ANA test is used along with your symptoms, physical examination, and other tests to find an autoimmune disease.
Why It Is Done
An antinuclear antibodies (ANA) test is done to help identify problems with the immune system, such as:
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).
Many of us who have Lupus have high ANA and along with an abnormal Sed Rate and high Anti-DS DNA by Farr, complements C3 & C4, and CRP. Seeing a rhuematologist is probably the best for your daughter. Do you keep a log of symptoms, etc? Another suggestion is to ask the Rhuemy to have the above tests ran in order to rule out Lupus.
Lupus is where your body's good cells attack the other good cells. The symptoms are joint pain, sun sensitivity (rashes to light exposure and flourescent lights), chronic fatigue and anemia.
Many take Plaquenil which helps with the joint pain and rashes though we still avoid sun and flourescent lights. Prior to starting Plaquenil, they will request a visit to the opthmalogist for a plaquenile baseline and then have 6 month eye checks. Over long term usage (10+ years) Plaquenil can possibly effect the eyes though most people do not have problems with their eyes while on Plaquenil.
A huge suggestion is to avoid sunlight as much as possible; wear protective clothing (nylon, polyester, long sleeves, hats). There is a website Coolibar that has UV clothing for those of us who are reactive to UVA & UVB light. We have to really take protective measures in order to protect all our organs such as our heart and kidneys as well as our skin
(which is an organ).
A very good book to read by Daniel J. Wallace is The Lupus Book, a guide for patients and their families. It is in the library system and can be found on amazon very reasonably. A website to check out is the Lupus Foundation of America.
Hang in there and take a deep breath; you probably feel as if you are on a roller coaster with the ups and downs. Your daughter needs you to be relaxed and supportive. You have joined a very supportive and loving group of people on this forum. You and your daughter are not alone. Please keep us updated after she sees the rhuemy. You are both in our thoughts and prayers.
Take care & God Bless,