Welcome to our family where your story is so very familiar to many of us. It is very difficult when you cannot get a diagnosis and your own family will not believe you! Unfortunately, this happens too often and to too many of us!
YES, it is possible to have Lupus with a negative ANA. In fact, it is called "ANA Negative Lupus". In simplest terms, ANA-negative lupus is a condition in which a person’s ANA – or antinuclear anitbody – test comes back negative, but the person continues to exhibit traits/symptoms consistent with someone who is diagnosed with lupus. The thing that too many doctors forget is that the ANA test is used to screen for lupus, not to diagnose it or to dismiss it!!
If your ANA is negative, your doctor SHOULD then test you to see if you have a high titer anti-double stranded DNA antibody; test you for that Anti-Sm (Smith) antibody; consider doing a biopsy to determine if there is kidney damage, consider doing a biopsy on your lesions/rash to determine if there is skin disease consistent with Lupus. Lupus SHOULD NOT be ruled out just because the ANA is negative!
Also, it is quite common for our ANA to be positive at one reading and negative at the next. This is because Lupus is a disease that changes within us. Symptoms that we display today may go away only to be replaced by new symptoms tomorrow. Or, symptoms that are causing minor problems today can turn into serious complications tomorrow and visa- versa! That is the heinous nature of our disease and one of the major reasons why it is so misunderstood, so hard to diagnose, and why our family often does not believe us when we constantly complain about different symptoms. Lupus is also a disease that affects THE ENTIRE BODY, that is why it is called a systemic disease. Lupus attacks ourconnective tissues, our joints & ligaments, our skin, our internal organs, our blood, etc. So, it is the nature of the disease to attack us in different parts of our body and in different ways. Since it is a disease that attacks every single part of our bodies, then it stands to reason that we would have numerous complaints about what is happening to us and our complaints would be as varied as the disease is. If anyone understood the disease, they would understand that concept.
It might be helpful for you to educate yourself about this disease AND to insist that your husband educate himself about the disease. He can come here to read the posts in the forums here. It is important that he understand that you ARE NOT making anything up, you are not a hypochondriac and that this is a disease that can be fatal..so this is a serious issue that he should take seriously.
It might also be helpful for you to seek treatment from a rheumatologist. Lupus is a rheumatic disease and rheumatologist specialize in these types of diseases. This type of doctor might know better what tests should be run and what medications you can take in order to alleviate some of your symptoms.
In the meantime, please know that we are here to help you in any way that we can, to let you know that we understand and to make sure that you know that you are not alone. I wish you the very best.
Peace and Blessings
Look For The Good and Praise It!