Re: Ana 1:1280
Hi, Confused. Welcome! I'm sorry for your problems & worry. All of us here know how nervous-making this is. The evaluation, tests, etc. can take a few weeks to yield answers, hopefully firm answers, but sometimes only preliminary... In the meantime, the sticky posts (permanent info posts) are a good place to start reading. They're right above the user posts; look for the word "sticky" in their titles.
The first sticky has the lupus diagnostic criteria, which are a mix of symptoms and labs. Generally (not always) you must meet 4 or more of the 11 to sustain a diagnosis of systemic lupus. These can be fulfilled over time, meaning don't have to appear simultaneously.
Many people with lupus have rashes, but not all do.
In lupus, the immune system is creating unwanted antibodies that attack our own cell matter, and thus are called "autoantibodies". The cornerstone test is ANA, but it can't diagnose anything really, because it can be positive in a number of conditions. I believe an ANA of 1:1280 is considered significant.
So when ANA is meaningfully positive and symptoms suggestive of lupus are present, more specific tests are run for specific autoantibodies like anti-ds-DNA, anti-Sm, and various others. Also, urinalysis is done to check whether kidneys are filtering properly.
Another sticky discusses antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), a/k/a "sticky blood syndrome". APS is seen in some (not all) people with lupus, or it can appear "standalone". It can cause strokes, migraines, and other things. Tests include lupus anticoagulant, antiphospholipid antibodies, and a syphilis test (startling, however it's run only because it can be *false-positive* in APS).
So it's those additional tests, plus your symptoms and lifetime medical history, that are the next necessary steps. I hope you DON'T have lupus or APS or anything else. But if you do, please know that many people remain relatively mild.
I hope this helps some. I hope you post anytime the mood strikes, also that you let us know how your appt. goes. Hang tough! Warm wishes, Vee