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Old 02-02-2012, 05:09 PM   #2
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Re: ANA 1:160 speckled and ESR 25...I am confused :(

I've had my ANA go positive and then negative and back positive again and back and forth for years. Found out that certain meds and other disease can do this. And the ESR can go up that high for any number of reasons including stress.

The big problem with all of these auto-immune disorders and their tests is that they vary. ESR and ANA can be affected by so many things and neither ever reals points to anything conclusive. Even the Rheumatoid Factor is inconclusive in that 5% of the general population has it but no Ra and 25% of those with Ra don't have it.

Auto-immune disorders have patterns and variations in intensity. Most of them have a laundry list of symptoms and test results that when put together finally tell the docs what is wrong. For Ra, it's 5-6 out of a list of about 8(blood work is only 1 on the list) and for lupus, it 7-8 out of 10 where the blood work is 1 or 2 factors. The fact is, blood work tells the doc very little. Observation tells them a lot more.

Symmetry of joint involvement is more important with Ra than blood work. The neuro involvement of lupus is more important than blood work or that often talked about malar rash. Each disorder has a few things that really point to a diagnosis.

Find yourself a good doc who thinks you do have something developing and who is willing to watch you on a regular basis. Keep a journal of symptoms that you think are related....easy to forget what happened a few months ago to the middle joint of your pinky finger. Look for you got really tired and had a low grade fever and your elbow hurt, then exactly 6 weeks later the same thing happened. Don't worry about blood work...I have RA and am considered sero-negative as I don't have any positive "specific" tests for RA but I definitely have RA. Sometimes the blood work follows the disease instead of precedes it.

Hope this helps...I know your frustration.