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Lupus

Dr won`t help

05/06/2004

Question:

Hi. I`ve had a positive ANA test of 1:1280 4 weeks ago along with severe fatigue, headaches, nausea, migraine, blue fingers and toes, tingling in fingers and toes, missed periods. My GP said it was probably a false positive and I had another blood test to day. I get the results back in a couple of days.I`ve been experiencing pain in the kidney and spleen areas on and off for about a month. My GP felt around the spleen and said it didn`t feel enlarged. He did nothing re the kidney pain. I`ve got swollen lym ph nodes under my arm and on my neck. This has been going on for about a year but has been getting worse for the last 6 months. My GP has prescribed anti depressants. He has tested me for all the routine blood tests and the only thing that came back abnormal was the ANA. Does it sound like Lupus or another auto immune disease? Should I just take the anti depressants? Should I demand to be referred to a rheumatologist? I don`t know what to do but I am sick of feeling sick.

Answer:

ANA is used as a screening test for autoimmune diseases. However it is not helpful in establishing the diagnosis since it is positive in approximately 20% of people without any autoimmune disease. The diagnosis of autoimmune diseases is primarily a clinical diagnosis and hence requires a clinical assessment. It is impossible to tell from your description whether you have an autoimmune disease.

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Go to the Lupus health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Anne-Barbara Mongey, MD
Formerly, Director, Arthritis Clinic, Univerity Hospital
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati