Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
Okay, that's helpful to know because when the ANA is positive, other blood or urine test results may take on added significance.
When the ANA is positive
anemia could be related to red blood cell breakdown, or hemolysis; this is characteristic of lupus
a low white blood count is common in lupus; in addition, a certain type of white blood cell, the lymphocytes, may be low
a low platelet count can be a sign of platelet destruction in the bloodstream or in the spleen; this can occur in lupus
the urine may show excessive protein and/or red blood cells which ordinarily are not present in urine; this can be a sign of kidney inflammation (called glomerulonephritis) as occurs in lupus
an elevated creatinine may indicate poor kidney function due to glomerulonephritis (see above)
jaundice (yellow discoloration of the skin and/or eyes), fatigue, itching, or pain in the upper right abdomen could be a sign of liver disease
prominent or bulging eyes, racing heart, a lump at the bottom of the neck could be symptoms or signs of thyroid disease.
Of course, you could have blood test abnormalities or other medical conditions that have nothing to do with the ANA detailed review of the test results by your doctors is important and other potential explanations should be considered.
Do you have any other symptoms or conditions from the list below:
temporary color changes (white, blue, red) in the fingers after cold exposure (also called Raynaud's)
difficulty getting out of a chair without using your hands
difficulty combing/brushing your hair or lifting your arms above your head
chronic virus infection (such as Hepatitis C or HIV)?