ANA "normal"

Help! I'm going to see GP in morning, ANA test normal, my symptoms ... Fatigue,hair loss,skin rash in summer,raynauds,joint pain so bad I scream in agony yet I had a fractured elbow years ago and didn't realise as my pain threshold so high!my list goes on , I took list on first visit to my GP and he said maybe Lupus,had blood tests, then ANA came back normal, not sure what this means and really don't know what to ask the GP tomorrow ! Please help if you have any ideas x

4 Replies

  • There is a type of Vasculitis that is very similar to Lupus that generally shows ANA normal but with other slightly different symptoms and bloods.

    Are you only being seen by your GP? If so it might be worth asking them to refer you on to a Rheumatologist who might have a wider view on what is going on.

  • Have you had a skin biopsy? All my blood tests were normal, but skin biopsy was positive for lupus. Rheumy said that it can happen that one has all these symptoms yet not much to show for it. Called my condition "a bit loopy"! :)

    Good luck!

  • Just remind your GP that Lupus or autoimmune diseases can still be present despite ANA being negative, it is just that it didn't show that time you had your blood tests done. Secondly, a diagnosis for lupus is given by relying not only on ANA but also on the clinical symptoms you exhibit, so he needs to take those into account Before dismissing it.

    The only thing I would say is that if your ESR and CRP (inflammatory markers) are normal and the rest of the blood tests are also normal, then the conclusion is likely to go against connective tissue disease/lupus. Which is good, no one wants to have this awful disease but you mustn't leave there without getting the doctor to resolve your symptoms. There is a tendency for doctors to focus on blood tests but forget the rest, so you need to remember to ask him/her what next for your symptoms.

  • Hi, my blood tests are almost always normal, even my ANA was only 1:160 originally and subsequent tests have been normal. Lupus anticoagulant was positive after about a year after a major flare, it was suspected though so I was put on warfarin. I was diagnosed with lupus in Turkey, when I came back to England they thought I had MS but the neurologist thought I was just depressed, lol - I'd been hospitalised, given steroid infusions and chemo monthy for 6 months for depression????? Anyway, after I sent a letter of complaint to the neurologist copying in all my medical consultants they referred me to St Thomas' lupus unit, had to wait 8 months for an appointment. After 45mins of talking to me Dr D'Cruz diagnosed lupus with suspected APS which was later confirmed as Lupus anticoagulant. He put my neurological symptoms down to the APS.

    Moral of story - fight for a diagnosis, write letters, stamp your feet and make some noise. I have very little clinical evidence of lupus so without that diagnosis I would be struggling desperately for any kind of support. Good luck. :-)

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