Yesterday my sister(43)tested positive for ANA. Has had reoccuring problems for years that have been unable to diagnose. Also same with our mother(63) and myself(33). Mom is being tested as we speak and awaiting results. They smoke and do things that are hazardous to their health which could definitely be a trigger. On the other hand I am a 13 year Navy veteran that was medically discharged 2 years ago and suffering the last 8 years with a plethera of symptoms but no cause. I could tell youwhat "I" have been "exposed" to but I don't think I have the time or space or be allowed to mention it. But I would imagine that you could sumise with the military and all. Here is a short list of symptoms that have been progressivly worse in the last few years: burning and spasming muscle and joint pain, itching and burning skin, GI problems, heart and lung wall inflammation, sore in lymph and thyroid areas(but no signs of an infection), dizzy spells, weird headaches, memory lapses, and fatigue just to name a few. Plus symptoms are episodic which is very frustrating. I am normally a very active person but am tired of the ups and downs and not knowing what is wrong. Some days I am at the top of my game and some days I feel so bad I wonder if I may wake up in the morning. My wife gets mad at me and dosen't understand what I am going through and usually ignores me on this subject. so I get stressed and depressed which problably doesn't help either. so no support there.I was starting to think is my wife right? Is it all in my head? But not with so many ******dly physical symptoms,it can't be. I have had a whole bank of tests done, in fact, I have felt like I was donating blood every time i had a test because they were taking so much. I have had cardiac(and stress echo), organ function, muscle enzyme, thyroid, and standard panels among others and everything comes back right down the middle. The doctors are baffled and me left "clueless". Anyway my doctor is sending me to a toxicologist but mentioned nothing about auto-immune disorders to see if I have been "exposed" to something. Then a ray of light when my sister told me her story. Granted I don't relish the thought of being diagnosed with a disease but hopefully and finally a relief to find out what is wrong after all this time. And get along wife my life with some kind of normallacy. So bottom line, is it genetic? And is there any one out there with a simular situation?
Yes, there is a genetic factor to autoimmune diseases. It can cover
all of the autoimmune family. My Mom has Renaulds and a thyroid
involvement, I have Lupus and my cousin has Lupus. I know sisters who have rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus and scleraderma.
All in the autoimmune family. I understand your feeling that
you have not abused your health, so why are you sick? I too,
have never smoked , drank nor used drugs. It's easy to want to put the blame on chemical exposure too but the bottom line is
they just don't know what causes these problems. In a sense,
our bodies are working too good. Our immune system actually is
over working. Then we have the added problem that our disease can be present but not show up in actual tests for years. So, it's
easy for Dr.s to say it's all in our heads. Makes for a real catch 22
situation. Good Luck to you and hang in there.