The immune system is what protects you from myriads of ailments, infections, and pathogens causing these conditions around the clock. However, in some cases, the immune system fails to identify healthy cells from rogue ones, and that can cause trouble. When the immune system mistakes the healthy cells and tissues in a person’s body and rogue ones, it attacks those healthy cells. This triggers the onset of autoimmune disorders. To identify if a person is afflicted with any autoimmune disorder, the ANA test is done.
What is the antinuclear antibody blood test?
The ANA test is meant to identify special proteins in the bloodstream. This test is often used to figure out the existence of common autoimmune disorders like lupus. It is a blood test, and the doctors doing the test also analyse many other important clinical factors. If the result is positive and the level of antinuclear antibodies in the blood is found to be above the expected limit, it denotes the person may have an autoimmune disease.
Apart from lupus, the ANA test is also used to detect autoimmune diseases like Sjögren’s disease, scleroderma, systemic sclerosis, Dermatomyositis, Autoimmune hepatitis and Raynaud’s phenomenon. Typically, a majority of people with lupus tend to test positive for this test. However, not everyone with ANAs in his/her bloodstream has an autoimmune disorder.
The ANA test- all you need to know about
When you suspect you Amy have developed an autoimmune disorder, you will look for a diagnostic centre in Hyderabad offering the test, naturally. However, it is also important that you know the details about this test.
For this test, a healthcare professional will use a vial or syringe and collect blood from a vein in your arm. The good thing is for an ANA test, no specific preparation is required. You will not have to stay on an empty stomach or adhere to any specific diet, etc. However, inform the doctor about any medication you take before undergoing the test.
The Implication of an ANA Test result
You should know about the ANA test results and what they mean. A positive test result does not always indicate the presence of an autoimmune condition. Some people with no conditions tend to possess antinuclear antibodies. In fact, these can be triggered by using certain types of medications.
The ANA blood test may not be the only thing the doctor will rely on for a proper diagnosis. More tests and an analysis of your medical history may be needed. Women over 65 and those with infections may often test positive for ANA, but those cases can be termed as false positives.
As the ANA test indicates the possibility of an autoimmune disease but does not pinpoint the exact one, more tests may be needed. You should ask the doctor about follow-up tests and medical procedures to determine the exact position.
The Link between Vitamin D and ANA
Study results indicate people with low vitamin D levels may test positive for ANA. This vitamin is often linked with autoimmune diseases. So, a deficit in Vitamin D may boost the risk of contracting autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus type 1 and rheumatoid arthritis. Low Vitamin D levels may enhance the chances of getting a positive ANA test result.
When to opt for the ANA test?
It may not be possible for people without a clinical background to figure out that they have developed an autoimmune disorder. However, these ailments often have some recurring and common symptoms.
- Muscle pain.
- Swollen glands.
- Abdominal pain.
- Skin rash.
- Light sensitivity.
Finally, the doctor will take the call on undergoing ANA testing. After the doctor confirms the presence of any autoimmune disorder, repeat ANA testing may not be required.
Are there any risk factors for the ANA test?
The risk factor for the ANA test is minimal. It is like any other blood test, and no prior preparation is necessary. Neither do you get exposed to radiation. During the blood collection, you feel the needle sting on your arm for a while. People do not face any side effects from this test. Even if the skin area from where the blood is taken for the test swells a little, it will go away soon. In clinics and diagnostic centres, the staff use antiseptic fluids after collecting the blood to eliminate the risk of contamination.
What about the time and cost of an ANA test?
The time taken to deliver the report of the ANA test will vary from one diagnostic clinic to another. If you opt for the tests alone, the lab will take less time compared to when you opt for several other tests. In most cases, the test result reporting is done within 24 hours. The cost of this test will not be the same in each clinic, and methods used by the lab to conduct the test may impact the cost as well.
Typically, the diagnostic labs resort to three methods for conducting the ANA test. These are- IIF, MIA and EIA. To find out how much it may cost you, you may search for ana profile test cost in Hyderabad.
Summing it up
The ANA test is important when you want to find out about the presence of any autoimmune disorder, but it is not the best or ultimate method for such a diagnosis. The doctor will analyse your medical history and resort to other tests to reach a conclusion in this regard.