Blood Basics: Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) | Trivida Functional Medicine

Blood Basics: Anti-nuclear antibody (ANA)

This is a test to evaluate for autoimmune diseases like lupus along with several others. An autoimmune disease is a disease in which the body’s own immune system attacks healthy cells. Antibodies are a blood protein produced by the immune system in response to counteracting substances that the body recognizes as alien, such as bacteria, viruses, and foreign substances in the blood. ANA specifically targets substances found in the nucleus of the cell hence the name anti-nuclear. This blood test is one of the primary tests to aid a healthcare provider in the diagnose a suspected autoimmune disease or ruling out other conditions with similar signs and symptoms.

This attack on the body’s own healthy cells causes signs and symptoms such as:

  • Organ and or blood vessel inflammation
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever
  • Rashes
  • Skin sensitivity to light
  • Hair loss
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands or feet

There is the possibility that an ANA can be positive in a person without any known autoimmune disease (a false positive), thus this result needs to be evaluated carefully in conjunction with an individual’s history, physical exam, signs and symptoms.

If you or someone you know has a suspected autoimmune disease please consult with your healthcare provider for further information, evaluation and to set up a treatment plan.

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