Positive ANA EvaluationOrlando, FL
One of the main tests for detecting an autoimmune disease is an ANA evaluation. Since an autoimmune disease involves the body’s immune system attacking itself, this test alone will not necessarily identify the condition. However, it can greatly help determine the source of the issue. Many autoimmune diseases can cause multiple symptoms that are difficult to diagnose without a specializing medical professional.
At Anika Alar MD, we offer treatment as a rheumatology center and rheumatologist. Our treatment strives to help relieve pain in patients and find the most effective treatment for each individual. In order to effectively diagnose the condition and customize the treatment, we will need to run tests.
New Patients Only
Positive ANA Evaluation
Regardless of the type of autoimmune disease, the main issue is that the body is developing and directing antibodies to attack a specific part of the body. The antibodies contain white blood cells and normally target any viruses or foreign substances in the body.
With an autoimmune disease though, they will target a specific area of the body and cause pain, along with other symptoms. One test to help determine the condition is an autoimmune disorder is an ANA evaluation, which can target autoantibodies. This type of antibodies will target the natural proteins in the body and cause many of the symptoms that people will feel with an autoimmune disease.
While most people have a small amount of autoantibodies, they are typically not a threat. There are a variety of conditions that we can use an ANA evaluation to test for, including:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
Since many of these conditions can cause soreness and pain in specific areas of the body, an ANA is one of the tests that will help to determine if the symptoms are the result of an autoimmune disorder. A method of this testing is known as Fluorescent Antinuclear Antibody Test, also known as a FANA.
This test will examine blood samples on a glass slide under a microscope to search for fluorescent antibodies. If the test comes back positive, then there is a chance the patient has an autoimmune disease.
Processing the Results
What people may not understand is that results from a positive ANA evaluation do not mean that the patient has an autoimmune disease. For instance, a patient who has a viral infection would measure positive on an ANA evaluation. Thus, we use this test to determine if we need more tests or if the cause of the pain is something besides an autoimmune disease.
In fact, this type of test is especially popular in determining lupus. Following a positive ANA evaluation, we will take a variety of other factors into account, including:
- Medical history
- Current condition
- Test results
- Results from any other tests
Once we gather this information, we will go over the specific condition and what the treatment will look like. We understand that this can be a long and sometimes, frustrating, process for patients. Many who struggle with these conditions are told by family members and professionals in other fields to just take painkillers and deal with it.
At Anika Alar MD, we are here every step of the way to help the patient find a treatment that works for his or her condition. While we are happy to answer these questions during an appointment, here are a few questions that we hear about this process on a regular basis and our answers to them.
Is there a treatment for autoimmune disease?
In short, yes. However, the treatment will vary on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, type of autoimmune disease and overall health. While there is no cure for most autoimmune diseases, there are treatments that can help the patient cope with the pain.
Will this test prove what is causing me pain?
Not entirely. While an ANA evaluation can come back positive, we will probably need to run multiple tests to be sure. In fact, there are situations in which certain medications or viral infections can cause positive results on the test but not be signs of an autoimmune disease.
Will an ANA Evaluation be Painful?
No. In most cases, it will involve taking a blood sample. However, if the patient’s condition complicates that, we will find a way to complete the test without causing harm.
Can any Medication I’m Currently Taking Interfere with the Test Results?
Yes. We need to know of any medications you are taking since those can create a positive ANA reaction. Even over-the-counter medications can cause complications.
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