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Can a ANA test be negative if done so before more symptoms become prevalent?

A few years ago I was complaining to my pcp of joint pain, it was intermittent In fingers, elbow and wrist. I now am having more Severe symptoms as well as a butterfly rash that appears every so often and goes away. My hair has become much thinner just this year. My hands become very red sometimes, as well as pins and needles pain in fingers and toes.

I wasn’t sure if I can request another test or if it was once negative it will always be negative.
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1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
Butterfly rash? Hi, I'd say that you should definitely go again - ideally when the butterfly rash is showing. Or at least take several pictures in good light. You also probably have new onset Raynaud's in the hands. Have some pictures of that, too.  

You can check in a mirror for any mouth sores. It also wouldn't hurt to ask the doc for a blood test to make sure that your kidney function is okay.

It is even possible, though rare, to have a negative ANA test yet still have lupus.

There is a sort of subset of the ANA test called the anti-dsDNA antibody test. Docs normally won't do that test if the ANA test is negative - but if the doc thinks that your symptoms really, really look like lupus, then the doc might do that test as well as another called anti-Smith.

It's complicated.
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1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
To your overall question: the ANA test does not necessarily go up and down accordingly as the disease gets worse and then better again. But is is not true that once it is negative, it will always be negative.
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