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mssleeper, hi & welcome. I'll add some thoughts that you might turn into questions for your dr. at your upcoming appt.

ANA is positive in various conditions in rheumatology & other specialities. In rheumatology, examples are lupus (almost always), rheumatoid arthritis (sometimes), Sjogren's syndrome (usually very high), etc. Also, ANA can be low-positive only due to a passing virus or family tendency.

1:80 looks low---but you could ask at your appt. (The progression goes
1:80, 1:160, 1:320, 1:640, 1:1280, etc.; 1:1280 would be considered pretty high.) But I think ANA can fluctuate in conditions that flare and recede, so if you do have such a condition and if your blood is tested as symptoms are "on the rise", I think the result could differ. i.e., the timing of blood tests can be very important. (You could ask about that, too.)

Because ANA is a "general" test, if it's positive and if you have "interesting" symptoms, more specific auto-antibody tests are usually run. Only two are considered pretty much diagnostic of lupus: anti-ds-DNA and anti-Sm. But there are others seen in lupus, too (anti-Ro, anti-La, anti-Ro, etc.) You could ask if your next bloodwork will include these more specific tests.

Also skin rashes can be very useful in diagnosing lupus. While there are a lot of lupus-specific rashes, the ones you see most often in the lupus literature are malar (butterfly on face), discoid (scar &/or depigment), and SCLE (one form is targetlike, the other looks like psoriasis). Have you had any rashes? If YES, do you see any correlation to UV from sun tanning beds, etc.?

Sure can't blame you for feeling impatient! I bet all here were. So hang in there & keep reading, as that will help you speak more succinctly and hear your doctors better. I'm glad you found us & hope you keep posting. Sending my best wishes, Vee

P.S. I had hideous IBS-like symptoms for many years. No theories, then finally fibromyalgia was suggested. I also had irritable bladder, urinary stones, migraines, depressed WBS, elevated sed rate, low-grade fever, hair loss, weight loss, pain along long bones & some joints, some joint swelling, and WEIRD episodic non-scarring targetlike rashes on photoexposed skin. Intesrestingly, while my MANY local GP's and specialists didn't see my bowel problems as lupus-like, the teaching hospital rheumatologist I finally saw absolutely did! Moral: I hope your drs. don't let that one issue define you. Bye again, V.

Adding this P.P.S. afterwards! In paragraph about specific auto-antibodies, was trying to say that people can have lupus without having either anti-ds-DNA or anti-Sm. (I had only anti-Ro, for example.) In paragraph about RASHES, I was asking if you react to sun *or* to tanning beds. Bye, V.

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