Rec'd positive ANA but no real symptoms....is this lupus
Hi. My name is Margie and I am 34. I went to the dr. last week as I broke out in hives for the first time in my life. My dr. did blood work and my ANA came back positive with a titer of 1:320. I got online and read as much as I can and now I am fearful that I have lupus. He said my RA factor came back negative and the sedimintation also was normal. So, he said not to get further tests until I develop symptoms but I think I should so I know what is going on. I have a 9 month old son and want to have more children. I am freaking out here. I know lupus can be really bad. Can someone tell me its going to be okay? Isn't my ratio pretty high for something not to be going on? Any advice, words of wisdom will be greatly appreciated. I plan to see a rheumatologist as soon as I can get in. Thanks for listening. I am so bummed.
Please do not over worry or stress yourself out. Stress is the biggest enemy to any auto-immune illness. You can exacerbate your illness with undue stress. I understand that you are fearful and you have every right to be. But, you are doing the right thing by educating yourself early. Early diagnosis and being well-informed are some of the best weapons against our type of illnesses.
First of all, there is no one test that can diagnose Lupus. The diagnostic tools can be divided into three major parts:
1. Medical History 2. Complete Physical Examination 3. Laboratory Tests
Lupus is a disease of multiple pathogenetic mechanisms affecting many organs of the body and is characterized by abnormalities of the immune system. These abnormalities are manifested primarily by the presence of many autoantibodies in the serum of which ANA's are the greatest clinical significance.
The ANA frequencies found in Lupus are as follows: anti-dsDNA-40%; anti-histones-70%; anti-SM=30%; anti-RNP=32%' anti-SS-A/R0= 35%; and anti SS-B/La=15%. Antibodies to dsDNA and to Sm are considered to be specific for Lupus and are considered to be only one of the diagnostic criteria for Lupus. Antibodies to histones are also found in drug induced lupus; Antibodies to RNP are also found in other Mixed Conncective Tissue Diseases; and antibodies to SS-A/Ro and to SS-B/La are also found in Sjorgen's Syndrome.
Ask your doctor to do thorough Helix Diagnostic lupus screening test. This test detects the significant antibodies associated with Lupus - dsDNA, histones, Sm, RNP, SS-A/Ro, and SS-B/La antibodies.
Sera positive on the Lupus screen should be tested for the specific autoantibodies indicative of various systemic rheumatic diseases. Sera negative on the Lupus Screen will be negative for those autoantibodies associated with Lupus and, therefore, other diagnoses should be considered.
Anti-SM = These antibodies are named after a patient (Smith). They react with another part of the cell nucleus. They are very rarely found in conditions other than Lupus.
Anti-SSA/Ro= These are found in some Lupus patients, especially those with a certain type of sun sensitivity. If a pregnant mother has anti-SSA/Ro antibodies, it is likely that her child will have a certain type of congenital heart disorder. Anti-Ro antibodies are also found in Sjorgen's syndrome.
Anti-RNP (ribonucleoprotein) antibodies= These antibodies occur commonly in Lupus. Women develop of group of symptoms that do not point strongly to Lupus, but to a combination of several connective tissue diseases. This has been called "Mixec Connective Tissue Disease" or "Overlap Syndrome". Anti-RNP antibody levels are often very high in this disorder.
I hope that I have been able to answer your question..let me know if you need anything further!
This is a very confusing disease which can mimick so many other auto-immune diseases. Like your doctor said, a high ANA is not a true test for Lupus by itself, many other illnesses can have a high ANA. For your own peace of mind, it might behoove you to let your doctor know that you want to know exactly what is going on and, therefore, you are requesting further testing.
Keep us posted and let us know how things go!
I wish you the best of luck
Peace and Blessings