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Questions About Blood Test Results

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#1 Jersey-Itch


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Posted 20 January 2007 - 03:34 AM

Hi everyone!

Last night I got the results of my blood tests. They came back within normal range. The results look pretty extensive and do include the anti-nuclear antibody part.

So this is good news - on the other hand, I'm more confused too. I'm going on 6/7 months of moderate to major involvement with this rash (it started actually 9/10 months ago), with some very short respites in between (maybe a day or two here and there). I haven't majorly changed my diet in years; and in October, I stopped taking all vitamins and herbal supplements to see if that would make a difference. I've used over-the-counter drugs that contain Ibuprophen and Naproxin, but, the rash hasn't responded to that use in a connective way (and I haven't taken them nor anything else for more than two weeks at a time - and they've been months apart). I've stopped using ALL fragrance products that could touch my body.

I just can't seem to connect this to anything practical.

So, my current Dermatologist doesn't really have an answer for me. :mellow:

She gave me, sort of reluctantly, the name and number of her Rhuematologist - only after I told her that one of my Grandmothers had crippling arthritis in her hands - and that another relative (I thought it was the same Grandmother, but my mother corrected that by saying it was her Grandmother) died of a brain anuerism.

Here are my questions:

1)Someone mentioned in my other thread that blood tests would still show *some* involvement even if a person was in remission. Since my tests were in normal range - does this then mean that what I'm dealing with is NOT autoimmune?

2)I see that Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis can be a "secondary occurance" to a strep infection. I had a BAD strep infection almost a year ago for which I was hospitalized for several hours. Could this be what's causing my LV? Would it last this long --- AND not show up in bloodwork?

3)Should I still go see this Rheumatologist - or will he basically dismiss me because my bloodwork is normal?

4)Because this has lasted as long as it has - doesn't it indicate that something[u] systemic is going on? Why would that not show up in bloodwork? Because it just involves the skin tissue?

5)Would the fact that my Great Grandparent dying of a brain anuerism be too far out of the family medical history chain to make a difference?

I'm beginning to feel like I'm just going to be stuck with this rash with no explanation.

Any answers, suggestions, or comments welcome. Thanks in advance! :)

#2 Sweet


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Posted 20 January 2007 - 05:57 AM

Hi Jersey,

Here is my humble opinion. Although I am not a doctor - I am a nurse.

Negative or positive results of blood work is only part of the picture. YES you can still have an autoimmune disease and it might not be showing up in the blood work. Symptoms are just as important as the blood work. My ANA has gone from positive to negative, to positive, high, low etc. My rheumatologist states the symptoms are just as important.

YES, go see a rheumatologist. They see this stuff all of the time and may be able to put your mind to rest.

Great grandparents are usually not considered too heavily in weighing health decisions. It usually rests with immediate family such as father, mother, aunt, 1st grandparent.

I would think it fair to say that YES you have something systemic going on. Again, seeing a rheumatologist would be the best thing you can do right now.

I know this must be so frustrating for you. It will really help to put your at ease if you get some answers, so go ahead and make that call to the rheumatologist.
Warm and gentle hugs,

ISN Support Specialist
International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

#3 Jersey-Itch


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Posted 20 January 2007 - 09:22 AM

Thanks Pamela - that was a really big help.

At least I know I'm not crazy ...

Had a moderate flarae-up today even.

#4 nan


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Posted 20 January 2007 - 02:09 PM

I agree with Sweet. In 1998 I was diagnosed with Sjogren's, Raynaud's, and Fibromyalgia. When I had bloodwork in 2006 everything was within normal range. Except by this time I also had watermelon stomach which showed up in 2004. Watermelon stomach is strongly connected with scleroderma. My rheumatologist didn't really take it seriously because my bloodwork was normal. He kept saying that it wasn't really important what I had as long as I had my symptons treated. My question was how can you have an autoimmune disease and have it go away? My understanding is that once you have it , you have it. Well to make a long story a bit shorter I went to a rheumatologist at Johns Hopkins. Knowing that all of my bloodwork was within normal range she still diagnosed me with CREST(limited scleroderma), Sjogren's, and Fibromyalgia. She took 16 vials of blood and 4 urine samples. The only one that wasn't normal was my ANA and that was high. So I guess my point is you need to find a doctor that will listen to you. It doesn't always show up in the bloodwork. Go for it and I send hugs your way! You have had quite a struggle.

#5 Jersey-Itch


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Posted 22 January 2007 - 03:56 AM

Thank you nan.

I'm going to try to get an appointment with someone today. My dermo said that her referral is very busy ... so I may have to see someone else.