Paulinebias, hi. What "ebunselmeyer" posted is also how I understand the usefulness & meaning of ANA. It's only a "threshold" test. A meaningfully high positive typically encourages a dr. to take a very hard look at lifetime medical history, incl. current symptoms; and to consider ordering tests that are *much more specific* than ANA is.
To go a few steps further... There are three "sticky posts" ( = permanent info posts) at the top of the thread list, right here. They include diagnostic criteria for lupus, symptoms, "alternative criteria" (problems seen earlier in people who later on develop lupus), and info on APS (a clotting disorder seen in a fair # of lupus patients).
After you read these, I hope you post again & let us know how far along they brought your thinking. Lupus is such a complex subject! When I first had to read up, I found I did better reading in digestible bites.
Did your dr. run an ANA because he/she (and you!) thought you have symptoms in the ballpark of lupus, or some other autoimmune in the same ballpark? Did he/she run specific tests BEYOND the ANA?
Hope this helps some---let us know, OK? Bye for now, with best wishes, Vee