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Old 06-21-2002, 11:05 AM   #1
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Post trying to understand diff in immune diseases

I AM TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT COULD CAUSE A POSITIVE ANA. I HAVE BEEN SICK FOR A WHILE AND THAT IS ONE OF TWO TEST THAT WAS POSITIVE AND THE READING WAS 1:160. IS THAT HIGH? CAN A HEALTHY PERSON HAVE A POSITIVE ANA READING OF 1:160?. THE OTHER WAS A SED RATE THAT WAS 27. I READ ON A WEBSITE THAT AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES ARE SECONDARY TO HIV INFECTION. YOU KNOW THE MEDIA RUNS WITH HIV STORIES. I AM NOT IN A HIGH RISK GROUP BUT I STILL HAVE PARANOIA I GUESS BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER BEEN SICK AND NOW I AM AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS. CAN ANYTHING LIKE HIV CAUSE A POSITIVE ANA. I AM SO CONFUSED AND SCARED. IF I KNEW ANYTHING ABOUT MEDICAL TERMONOLOGY I GUESS I WOULD FEEL BETTER.

 
Old 06-21-2002, 01:09 PM   #2
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Hope this helps.... I could find no connection between HIV and autoimmune disease...since they are the opposite of each other. For HIV testing.....
[There are several types of tests associated with HIV disease. Some test for antibodies that the body makes in response to the virus, some test for levels of a protein (called p24) found in the virus, some test for the actual number of copies of the virus per milliliter of blood (called viral load testing), some test for levels of immune cells called CD4 cells that are attacked by HIV, and some test for whether patients are resistant to anti-HIV drugs. ]

About Autoimmune disorders:
Autoimmune disorders fall into two general types: those that damage many organs (systemic autoimmune diseases), and those where only a single organ or tissue is directly damaged by the autoimmune process (localized). Some of the most common types of autoimmune disorders include:
Systemic Autoimmune Diseases Localized Autoimmune Diseases
Rheumatoid arthritis (joints; less commonly lung, skin)
Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (pancreas islets)

Lupus [Systemic Lupus Erythematosus] (skin, joints, kidneys, heart, brain, red blood cells, other)
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease (thyroid)

Scleroderma (skin, intestine, less commonly lung)
Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, Ulcerative colitis (GI tract)

Sjogren’s syndrome (salivary glands, tear glands, joints)
Multiple sclerosis*, Guillain-Barre syndrome (brain)

Goodpasture’s syndrome (lungs, kidneys)
Addison’s disease (adrenal)

Wegener’s granulomatosis (sinuses, lungs, kidneys)
Primary biliary sclerosis, Sclerosing cholangitis, Autoimmune hepatitis (liver)

95%-98% of patients with SLE will have a positive ANA test, but the majority of people with a positive ANA test do not have SLE. A positive ANA test can be found in many conditions, including Sjogren's Syndrome, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, & mixed connective tissue disease. Many normal healthy people will also have a positive ANA test. Therefore a positive ANA test, on it's own, does not mean that person has lupus.

Because of this, the physician has to look very carefully at the titer (number) & pattern of the ANA test. The titer shows how many times the technician had to mix fluid from the patient's blood to get a sample free of ANAs. Thus a titer of 1:640 shows a greater concentration of ANA than 1:320 or 1:160, since it took 640 dilutions of the plasma before ANA was no longer detected. The apparent great difference between various titers can be misleading. Since each dilution involves doubling the amount of test fluid, it is not surprising that titers increase rapidly. In fact, the difference between titers of 1:160 & 1:320 is only a single dilution. And it doesn't necessarily represent a major difference in disease activity.

ANA titers go up & down during the course of the disease, & may or may not reflect disease activity. Therefore it is not always possible to tell from the titer how severe a person's lupus is.




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Old 06-21-2002, 01:28 PM   #3
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I APPRECIATE THE TIME YOU SPENT TO GET ME THE ANSWERS. THANKS SO MUCH, THE RESPONSE WAS MUCH NEEDED AND I DO FEEL SOME BETTER! THANK YOU!!

 
Old 06-21-2002, 01:30 PM   #4
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Wow. That was a great message. I appreciate all that info. about ANA. The rheumatologist said they test the blood over dead rats(?). I had a slightly elevated ANA and after doing more blood work (per my request), two rheumys said it's not Lupus. I was diagnosed, however, with myofascial pain syndrome. It's like fibromyalgia, except with "local" pain. For some reason, my muscles don't relax after they contract like most people's do. If it gets too tight (such as with my neck), the nerves get involved and that's the part that hurts - the infamous 'flare up.' Thanks again.

 
Old 06-21-2002, 01:31 PM   #5
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p.s. - I don't think the ANA blood work has anything whatsoever to do with my diagnosis, so I didn't mean to insinuate that. The rheumy said it may have been slightly elevated due to my having herpes.

 
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