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Antibodies Question
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Antibodies Question

I recently had a battery of autoimmune tests done by my oncologist. I'm a Hodgkin's cancer survivor so I go every year for remission scans. My CT scan and remission blood work all came back good. Still in remission and very good candidate for permanent remission according to my doctor...Anyway, even though this is great news, I've been having a variety of random unrelated symptoms for over 2 years now. My ANA came back as 1:160 speckled and I tested "borderline positive" for Anti-dsDNA. The negative cut off is 24. I was at 26. As I understand it having Anti-dsDNA is very specific for lupus. I also have noticed that the "positive" cut off is much lower for most other labs than the one I was drawn at. I saw a Rheumatologist earlier today and he felt that he wasn't convinced that I had lupus. He thinks my insomnia is the source of a lot of my problems. (I didn't develop insomnia until the onset of all these other symptoms however...)Anyway, I was wondering if I should believe what the doctor said about "a lot" of people having low positive of antDNA without actually having lupus. I know it sounds like I "want" to have lupus. I don't. I've heard it is a horrible disease. However, what I do want is some help. I've felt/been sick in some way or another the last decade of my life. At this point, I just want to know what this is, so I can start treatment and move on with my life. So, any information about the significance of these antibodies would be great. Thanks in advance.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know how it feels to just want to be diagnosed so you can be fixed. No harm in that. However the dr is right. These tests can come back positive a lot of time. The number one confirmatory tests for lupus diagnosis is symptoms. Plus there are multiple tests that must come back positive. Anti DNA anti Ana sed rate, etc. not just one slight result. But good luck- and it doesn't hurt to have the tests rerun later, either, just to be sure
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Avatar_f_tn
I know how it feels to just want to be diagnosed so you can be fixed. No harm in that. However the dr is right. These tests can come back positive a lot of time. The number one confirmatory tests for lupus diagnosis is symptoms. Plus there are multiple tests that must come back positive. Anti DNA anti Ana sed rate, etc. not just one slight result. But good luck- and it doesn't hurt to have the tests rerun later, either, just to be sure
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for responding. I've had my Sed rate and CRP tested every 6 months or so in the last two years. Those have all been elevated as well. Sed is usually in the mid 30s (supposed to be under 15 for my age). The CRP is only mildly elevated. My ANA was positive as I stared above. I'm not looking at just the Anti-DNA results as "proof." I appreciate your response though. i realize no one on here can help or diagnose me. I just wish I had a doctor that could figure this out. Take care and I wish you good health.
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434278_tn?1324709825
Hi lovelee,
Love the pin name.

A positive anti-dsDNA does not automatically get you a lupus diagnosis, although it is one of the most specific auto-antibody tests for lupus. It can on rare occasions appear for no known reason/in the absence of lupus.  
There are 11 criteria for a lupus dx.  You must have at least 4 of the 11 to recieve a dx.

They are:
1. malar rash over cheeks (butterfly rash) (74%)
2. discoid rash, red raised patches
3. photosensitivity - reaction to sunlight, resulting in skin rash (50%)
4. oral and nose ulcers
5. arthritis (95%)
6. serositis - inflamation (inflammation) of the lining of the lung or heart
7. reanl disorder - excessive protein in urine and/or cellular casts
8. neurologic disorder - seizures, or psychosis
9. anemia or low white blood count or lymphopenia or low platelet count
10. positive ANA
11. positive anti-DNA or anti-Sm, or antiphospholipid antibody or false pos. syphilis test

Other symptoms are:
fever (90-95%)
low vit D levels
abdominal pain
chest pain
shortness of breath
blood in urine
hair falling out (27%)
fatigue (90%)
muscle pain and weakness (90%)
dizziness
poor memory
headaches
poor circulation in fingers and toes
tingling in extremities
diarrhea
bloating
nausea
weight loss
blurred vision
depression
palpitations
raynauds (where fingers turn white when cold)
intollerance to cold
sore throat
lymph node swelling (50%)
...to name a few


If you believe you have at least 4 of the 11 symptoms, and there is strongly positive bloodwork and you feel as if your doctor is not treating you appropriately, then definitely get a second opinion from a recommended rheumatologist.
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