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Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: autoimmune disorder


 Dyana - Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:27 am

I am a 48 year ole female,have had joint pains and stiifness for many years - started very suddenly in one wrist but now affects most joints at some time. My joint pain is not always symettrical. I also suffer with low back pain and have low grade sacroilitis.I have tested negative for RF twice.Also, extreme fatigue.
I have recently had blood results as follows;
ANA weak positive
ESR 24
FBC normal
TFT normal
My doctor tells me these results suggest an autoimmune disorder, waiting to see rheum. From what I have read, I have symptoms of various disorders - any suggestions?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:45 pm

User avatar Hi Dyana,

Your symptoms certainly could be caused by an autoimmune disorder. Your labs are very non-specific and do not necessarily suggest anything. ANA is positive in some rheumatologic diseases but in many others it is negative. Add to this that a significant amount of the normal population will have a weakly positive ANA without having any disease and your left with a test that is only helpful in certain instances. The ESR is mildly elevated (depending on your labs normal values) and can be elevated from almost anything as well. With acute flares of rheumatological diseases it will often be much higher (but doesn't necessarily have to be).

Unfortunately, based on these labs, I think you're basically exactly where you started. The labs don't rule in or out much. However, joint pain and stiffness very much suggests a possible rheumatologic condition so I agree with your doctor about seeing a rheumatologist.

Best wishes.

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