ANA blood test

An ANA blood test (AntiNuclear Antibody blood test) is performed to determine the causes of symptoms like those of an autoimmune disease. The symptoms that you are experiencing may include red rashes, hair loss, fever, fatigue and joint pain. If your family’s medical history includes autoimmune diseases, you may be referred to have the ANA blood test done. This test can’t identify specifically what autoimmune disease you have, but it detects antibodies that are anti-nuclear, in your blood.

There is no fasting required before an ANA blood test, and your doctor can use that one single blood sample for additional testing. If he or she plans to use your blood work for more testing, you may have to fast for twelve hours or so, before the test. Some kinds of drugs can also affect the results of this test, so be sure that your physician knows any medications you may be taking.

The results of your blood test will show the amount your sample of blood was diluted, until it reached a point where they could not detect antibody activities. The range can vary from one laboratory to another, but if your ANA blood test result is more than 1:40, your physician may schedule additional testing. Usually, if your results are at or below 1:40, this isn’t a reason for you to worry.

You should be advised that if you are older than 65 years old, your ANA blood test may run positive, even if there is nothing wrong. This is fairly common, and is no reason for you to worry. Your physician may still decide to schedule additional tests, in order that he or she can determine the precise cause of the higher levels of ANA in your body, since this blood test won’t show the precise cause. But an ANA blood test that comes out to be within the normal range is helpful in ruling out autoimmune diseases as the cause of your symptoms.

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