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Hi I've just had a letter from ra saying ana positive. Dsdna raised 85.crithidia postive Esr 19 then it goes on to say suspecting mild lupus wot does all the bloods mean is it lupus or not and if so wot sort any help appreciated

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    Hi,

    ANA positive means that you have antinuclear antibodies - these are present in varying patterns and quantities, and are usually present in autoimmune disease. They can be present in other diseases (certain cancers for example) and as a result of ageing, generally speaking the higher the titer the more concerned the specialist is likely to be. For example a mildly positive result with a titer of 1:160 with a homogenous pattern is linked to Lupus (more Lupus sufferers have this pattern than with other autoimmune diseases), a similar titer with a speckled pattern or nucleolar pattern may indicate Scleroderma (more people with Scleroderma have these patterns). Lower titers would suggest milder forms of disease - but that doesn't mean any less of an impact in regards to pain experienced by the sufferer!! The Dsdna (Double-stranded DNA) is almost always positive/linked with Lupus. Crithidia pertains to the testing process. The raised ESR (and usually a raised CRP) is an inflammatory marker, when elevated it can indicate disease activity, bearing in mind ESR and CRP can both be raised in a multitude of other illnesses, such as Tonsillitis, a chest infection etc. ESR is the rate, in seconds, at which the red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle to the bottom of a test tube, the more time it takes the higher the level. CRP is a protein which is produced in the presence of disease, injury, inflammatory changes etc.

    As to the type of Lupus, that is determined by the signs and symptoms. Whether you have skin lesions, internal organ involvement, joint pain and so on. I presume that you have seen a Rheumatologist? He/She should have asked for a detailed medical history from you, including that of your family, in addition to a complete list of your symptoms. From this and your blood results a diagnosis can be made. The treatment would then be tailored to your specific problems. Do you have access to a Rheumatology Specialist Nurse, if so contact him/her and ask for some advice as they will have access to your medical records.

    I have a positive ANA titer of 1:160 with a homogenous pattern, previously it was 1:320 with a nucleaolar pattern! I also have raised ESR and CRP, and low lymphocytes (white blood cells). Some of my other blood results were deranged too, e.g. low Vitamin D. From my blood results and my many interesting symptoms, (and taking into account my family history), the Rheumatologist diagnosed Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease. I have features of Lupus and Scleroderma. I cannot begin to tell you how much of a relief it is to get a diagnosis, no matter how ambiguous it may be! So far the medications have helped. I still get pain in my joints and muscles but generally speaking it is more of a background pain rather than full on agony. Every now and then I get an increase in pain and feel like crap whereas before seeing the specialist and starting treatment it was every now and then that I felt fine with the feeling crap pretty much every day for years!!

    Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as possible of your specialist, he/she is there to help you. No question is too stupid, even as a qualified nurse I still ask some dumb questions on occasions!

    Best of luck, and I hope the above has helped.

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    • Posted

      Wow thankyou susan .my symptoms are headacky pain threw out my body foggy head. weak legs start to shake and give was wrist and shoulders freeze up legs fingers swell up sick in surah on hands hope this helps
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    • Posted

      Hi, Rachel,

      Do you get any kind of rashes anywhere or even just a change in colouration especially over the nose and cheeks, especially when you've been out in the sun? Some Lupus sufferers get rashes but not all. My rash appears on my thigh! I also get one on my wrists and my feet. My Rheumatologist is not convinced that the thigh rash is a Lupus rash, however, it always occurs when the pain is worse! One thing to bear in mind is that Lupus affects each person differently and to a lesser or greater degree. It can also mimic other conditions and there are many symptoms which occur in Lupus as well as other autoimmune diseases.

      The foggy head can be linked with Lupus but also with Fibromyalgia. Most Rheumatologists consider Fibromyalgia to be a separate condition with its own criteria. It doesn't usually give rise to abnormal blood results though. Also people with Lupus can also have Fibromyalgia! This is why these conditions are difficult to diagnose. At my worst I couldn't spell or do simple calculations or even speak properly to save my life!! Concentrating while at work on a very busy surgical unit is becoming increasingly hard during flare-ups, I've been advised to take more time off work if I feel like that again, luckily the most recent flare-ups have only involved an increase in pain.

      Do seek out as much information as you can from Health Care Professionals and take their advice, it will make a big difference.

      Best wishes.

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