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eblue

Positive Ana Test ?

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I found out a few months ago that I have celiac. All of my blood tests were extremely positive. I also had a positive Anti Nuclear Antibody (ANA) test. Could anyone possibly know what this means? Could that test be positive because of Celiac? Or would it mean that I could possibly have a totally different autoimmune disease? 

 

My doctor isn't much help. She mentioned that I should annually get tested for lupus (she mentioned it twice) so I am wondering if the positive ANA test is why she said that...? When I called back to have a nurse further explain the test results to me I did not get any help :(

 

Any idea on what a positive ANA might mean? Could it just be elevated just because of Celiac? Or does that test have nothing to do with Celiac?  Could I possibly have a totally different autoimmune disease?

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Here you go.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-nuclear_antibody

 

They (ana antibodies) are found in many disorders including autoimmunitycancer and infection, with different prevalences of antibodies depending on the condition. This allows the use of ANAs in the diagnosis of some autoimmune disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosusSjögren's syndrome,[3] scleroderma,[4] mixed connective tissue disease,[5]polymyositisdermatomyositisautoimmune hepatitis[6] and drug induced lupus.[7]

 

All the best.

 

Colleen 

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I am not a dr and I am speaking from my personal experience:   Do you know what your ANA number was?   I have have a slightly positive ANA (Anti Nucular Antibodies) for years, approximately 10.   I see a rheumatologist annually that tests me for the items (maybe not all) that gluten-free Lover mentions above.   She also tests my vitamin levels.   My ANA has never raised above that slightly raised, and my Rheumy told me  this is not totally uncommon and that I would most likely develop an autoimmunen disese.    Well fast forward 7 years and I now have 3, Raynauds, Celiac, Hoshimotos.     

 

Ask to see your lab work and make sure she/he has tested your vitamins, thyroid (TPO as well as TSH, T3 and T4) and for Sjorgens and Lups.  

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I am not a dr and I am speaking from my personal experience:   Do you know what your ANA number was?   I have have a slightly positive ANA (Anti Nucular Antibodies) for years, approximately 10.   I see a rheumatologist annually that tests me for the items (maybe not all) that gluten-free Lover mentions above.   She also tests my vitamin levels.   My ANA has never raised above that slightly raised, and my Rheumy told me  this is not totally uncommon and that I would most likely develop an autoimmunen disese.    Well fast forward 7 years and I now have 3, Raynauds, Celiac, Hoshimotos.     

 

Ask to see your lab work and make sure she/he has tested your vitamins, thyroid (TPO as well as TSH, T3 and T4) and for Sjorgens and Lups.  

No I do not know what my ANA number was. It just said positive. Not sure what that means. It says that my ANA pattern is speckled. Not sure what that means either

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Was that a report from the lab or a "letter" that your doctor's office generates?  If it's from the doctor, ask for the actual lab report.  I'd want to know exactly what that number is.  I insist on every single lab copy, report, etc.  That information stays with me and has been so helpful over the years.  I often type up a medical history (plus a little family health chart) and have handed over to a new doctor (mine all keep retiring!)

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I would really push to see a rheumatologist, if you haven't already. I had a positive ANA that was discovered when I was hospitalized for unexplained ataxia a few years ago. It was a relatively low titre (1:100, speckled) and my RF was only 1:10, so my doctors dismissed it as meaningless and never followed up. The worst of the ataxia lessened when I stopped a medication I'd been on, but it never went away and I had lots of other unexplained symptoms that continued. Everything worsened again this summer when I did a gluten challenge before celiac testing, and I still don't have any conclusive results but several doctors now think I might have primary Sjogren's (and I'm waiting for those test results). I really wish I'd pushed harder for follow-up on my ANA a few years ago, but I was never even sent to a rheumatologist. 

 

It seems like many primary care doctors are overly willing to dismiss a positive ANA as meaningless, without further investigation.  It can be meaningless, especially at low titres, but you do want a rheumatologist monitoring it so they can catch anything else that needs a more thorough work-up. It's one thing for doctors to ignore a positive ANA if you're healthy and feel fine, but it's quite another to ignore it if you have lots of symptoms that remain without explanation. (Since your celiac diagnosis was recent, I imagine it might be hard to tell what's unexplained and what's still healing from gluten damage at this point.)

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I had a slightly positive ana test before I was gluten-free.  That was what lead me to investigate and find that I needed to be tested for Celiac.  I was retested six months after going gluten-free and my ana levels were back within range.  It's definitely something you want to keep an eye on.  Hopefully after a while your system being gluten-free, it will heal and your numbers will move back to normal range.

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Ok, So I just got an actual lab report sent to me. ANA Reflex says POSITIVE A. ANA Titer says 1:40. ANA pattern says SPECKLED. From the research I have done, (which may or may not be accurate) a titer of 1:40 does not seem extremely positive. But I am not sure why it says POSITIVE A in big bold letters beside ANA Reflex? Everything else says negative, so there must be some reason they determined it as positive.

 

Does anyone know what any of this means? I do have some lupus like symptoms ( chronic body aches, fatigue, headaches) but at this point it is hard to determine whether that is from Celiac healing or whether it is something totally different....?

 

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Since your Doctor correctly suggested you be tested for Lupus I would follow her recommendation. With your clinical indications she must suspect another autoimmune disease.  It is common to have more than one.

 

Colleen 

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Since your Doctor correctly suggested you be tested for Lupus I would follow her recommendation. With your clinical indications she must suspect another autoimmune disease.  It is common to have more than one.

 

Colleen 

Thanks! I have an appointment tomorrow to have some blood work done. Hopefully I will get some answers

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I am not a dr and I am speaking from my personal experience:   Do you know what your ANA number was?   I have have a slightly positive ANA (Anti Nucular Antibodies) for years, approximately 10.   I see a rheumatologist annually that tests me for the items (maybe not all) that gluten-free Lover mentions above.   She also tests my vitamin levels.   My ANA has never raised above that slightly raised, and my Rheumy told me  this is not totally uncommon and that I would most likely develop an autoimmunen disese.    Well fast forward 7 years and I now have 3, Raynauds, Celiac, Hoshimotos.     

 

Ask to see your lab work and make sure she/he has tested your vitamins, thyroid (TPO as well as TSH, T3 and T4) and for Sjorgens and Lups.  

Just got my numbers sent to me. The number is 1:40. I am not sure what that means...?

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1:40 is positive, albeit lowest positive.  I also am at 1:40.  You really need more tests to find out what is going on.  It just indicates that "something is going on.

 

Colleen 

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1:40 is positive, albeit lowest positive.  I also am at 1:40.  You really need more tests to find out what is going on.  It just indicates that "something is going on.

 

Colleen 

Thank you for the help!

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I would not get all worried about an ANA test that comes in at 1:40.  It is not indicative of something else going on, either, and the reason I say this is because Celiac disease alone can give you an elevated ANA.  ANA is a very general test for inflammation and does not diagnose any one disease in particular.  It just means you have inflammion going on and if you are a diagnosed Celiac, that's a no-brainer.  :)

 

I have 4 AI diseases in total, 2 of which will elevate ANA.  My latest blood work from a couple of months ago was right around 1:340, give or take a little.  I have never seen a rheumy and refuse to go because I am asymptomatic for anything at this point and rheumatologists are not all that helpful.  It's a real guessing game, from what the other posters have said, to figure out if you have any of the many AI diseases out there.  If you have no symptoms of anything else other than recovery from Celiac, then your numbers may return to normal after awhile on the gluten-free diet.  Mine have not but I have 4 AI diseases.  I don't worry about it. Unless you are sick and want to be on meds, then rheumatologists aren't of much help.....really.  They will keep you coming regularly for blood work, look at the blood work and say "Well...I am not sure but we'll keep track".  There are little to no definitives in AI issues, as far as diagnosis is concerned.  That's why people tend to get really bad before they will bless you with a diagnosis.

 

Your doctor has you overly worried about a number that is common in healthy individuals with no AI issues.  Most will not say ANA is positive until is reaches 1:160...or higher. 1:40 is barely positive, from a labs reference point of view. On paper, normal is defined as less than 1:40......if that makes sense.  You also do NOT have to be tested annually for lupus. Lupus takes forever to diagnose and, even if your ANA remains slightly positive, unless you see a malar rash on your face, don't spend precious recovery time worried about things you need not be worried about. I have 4 AI diseases and I have been strictly gluten-free for 8 years.  I feel fine. No symptoms of anything but my blood work might scare some.  I choose to focus on the positive.  ;)

 

 

 

 

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hi,

I too have high ANA.  Mine is 640.  I have been tested for everything under the sun.  The Rheumatologist says, stop coming back here!  You don't have anything in rhuematology.....They said sometimes people can have a high ANA for no reason.  

I don't buy it at all.  It has gone down to 320 and now is back up....I don't know if that means there is something going on that hasn't worked itself up to the blood yet...bc all my blood tests are fabulous.   

But then again, I think, they say sometimes it can take years for an accurate celiac diagnosis...maybe that's the case with other AI diseases.  

Either way it is frustrating.  And I won't just take...it's a phenomenon and go away.....

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1:640 is pretty high. :( A positive is usually 1:80 or 1:160; 1:320 is next and then that 1:640.  What was your pattern? The speckled one is the least specific and the most likely not to indicate a disease; the other ones can often point in a direction that is more clear.

 

Good luck. I know it's frustrating. I had a lower positive for years (doctors didn't tell me - idiots) and by the time I looked into making myself well, it had dropped to a negative. It's frustrating not to get an answer.

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hi,

I too have high ANA.  Mine is 640.  I have been tested for everything under the sun.  The Rheumatologist says, stop coming back here!  You don't have anything in rhuematology.....They said sometimes people can have a high ANA for no reason.  

I don't buy it at all.  It has gone down to 320 and now is back up....I don't know if that means there is something going on that hasn't worked itself up to the blood yet...bc all my blood tests are fabulous.   

But then again, I think, they say sometimes it can take years for an accurate celiac diagnosis...maybe that's the case with other AI diseases.  

Either way it is frustrating.  And I won't just take...it's a phenomenon and go away.....

Celiac Disease can raise ANA so don't worry too much that you are popping with something else.  Mine has been elevated for almost 9 years...or longer but that's when I started getting tested and I have not popped with any more AI diseases in that time than the 4 I already have.   <_< If you have Celiac, then you probably will have elevated ANA. As the immune system can modulate, it can go up and down.  If you feel well and your other blood work is fine, don't worry about it.  Life is too short to worry about something that may never happen.......and many people have elevated ANA and go on to live healthy lives. 

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