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Old 05-09-2011, 11:13 AM   #1
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Positive ANA: What does this mean?

I have had some weird issues lately - muscle/joint pain, tingling in arms and legs, muscle twitching, etc. As part of the blood tests that they have done, the did an ANA test. The results: postitive, 1:160, speckled.

My sister has lupus, and my uncle had lupus (although he never had a positive ANA). I might actually just have a pinched nerve (still waiting on MRI results), but I was wondering - what does a 1:160 mean, particularly with family history of lupus? Is this high and likely indicative of an autoimmune disease? Or is it just what you would expect to find in someone whose sister has lupus?

Thanks for any responses!

 
Old 05-09-2011, 11:18 AM   #2
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Re: Positive ANA: What does this mean?

Oh, and one more thing - all of my other bloodwork was fine except Vit D was slightly low (24 with a normal range of 30-100). I do have diagnosed hypothyroid, altho under control.

 
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:22 AM   #3
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Re: Positive ANA: What does this mean?

Hi. One author considers 1:1280 a high ANA reading, but I don't think you should ignore an ANA elevation when accompanied by symptoms. One reason is that levels can rise & fall as flares come & go, so 1:160 wasn't necessarily a "peak reading"... plus it could elevate further over time. Another reason is that the ANA test is difficult to perform, and not all labs are too good at it.

Also, ANA is only a general test. Because it's positive in a variety of conditions, by itself it can't diagnose anything. A rheumatologist would probably run more tests to look for SPECIFIC autoantibodies.

Vitamin D is often depressed in inflammatory conditions. (Mine was.)

I think Hashimoto's thyroiditis (which is autoimmune) alone can elevate ANA. Is your hypothyroidism of that particular subtype? But even if it is, because Hashimoto's can occur *in conjunction with* other autoimmunes, I agree with the suggestion to see a rheumatologist, to evaluate you for a possible second condition.

Have you seen the "sticky posts" at the top of the thread list? They contain info on tests, criteria, symptoms, further reading, etc. Let us know how you're doing, OK? Sending warm wishes, Vee

 
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: Positive ANA: What does this mean?

I agree with Veej, she always has such great information. I had a positive ANA when I started my journey. I have a grandmother who died from Scleraderma and my mother had autoimmune problems although she died before they were fully diagnosed. The rheumy said you can have positive results with family history. I also have Hashmotos Thyroditis and am treated for it and my diagnosed UCTD.

Glojer

 
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