Re: Am I Sick?Positive ANA test I don't have answers.
Hi Abu Tarek!
You're on the right track. Getting a diagnosis can take a long time, but seeing the Rheumatologist is a good step. In order to expedite a diagnosis you must be proactive and prepared.
Before your appointment tomorrow take the time today to write down EVERY medication, vitamin, herb, over the counter medications, you have been taking. Include the doses.
Go through your medical history with a fine tooth comb. Try to remember dates of onset of any kind of symptom you have had and write a chronological history. Include any tests that you have had, injuries, illnesses, hospitalizations, name of hospital and Dr. who treated you. They'll want to know your family health issues as well. If you have any medical records bring them with you.
Write down a list of all of your questions. Trust me - when you get there you'll forget about half of what you wanted to ask the Doctor.
I've been through this my entire life. T his will be extremely helpful for both you and your Dr. Keep a copy for yourself and put it in a file for safe keeping. You'll most likely need it again for any other Dr. you get referred to.
An ANA number like yours is something to get checked out by a Rheumatologist, but is not a definitive positive test on its own without accompanying symptoms. There are multiple reasons for elevated ANA. Your Rheumatologist will take more tests. You will have a bit of blood drawn and have a urinalysis, so drink some water before you go. The first apointment usually takes a while to complete with a thorough exam. Your Dr. will need to review your new tests and then compare them with your last ones. The ANA levels change depending on your health status. When you're feeling great it may be in a normal range. Different labs also have differing parameters of "normal", so it's important to keep going to the same lab once you're established with you Dr.
Don't get frustrated. It may take some time and your Dr. probably won't tell you much at first, and don't expect a diagnosis - expect more tests.
I've also had the nerve conduction test twice - not fun.
I also have a severely degenerated spine, including 14 discs. Your lower discs wouldn't have anything to do with your upper body weakness. I would think you would be having an MRI on your spine, at least for the cervical area to rule out any disc issues in your neck.
I wouldn't worry about Rheumatoid Arthritis with a negative RF. Let's just hope this is a simple fix. You'll go in prepared tomorrow. Between appointments keep a diary of your symptoms and medications daily, and any questions for the next appointment.
Hope this helps. Let us know how you're doing.
Good Luck - Jane