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Positive ANA and Anti Scl 70 test results


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#1 Ella

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 09:30 AM

I recently had bloodwork done to get a referral to a endocrinologist due to my hair falling out. I have been complaining to my doctors since about 6 years ago now about hair loss, joint pain in my hips, knees and wrists, fatigue, insomnia and low grade fever (for about 3 years).

I have had borderline ANA test results about 5 years ago. I have been on prenatal vitamins, iron, prescription vitamin D, biotin, etc due to my body not absorbing them well I guess.

I have stopped complaining to my doctors actually for a couple of years now due to them acting like I'm a little crazy. But the fact that I have lost over half of my hair now compelled me to try one more time to see if I could get some kind of answer to my problem. I don't know how you all feel, but losing my hair gets my attention more than all the other problems because I have always had thick, pretty hair.

I was recently diagnosed by my family doctor with Raynaud's Disease, which mostly affects my feet. But back to the original reason I came to this forum....My gynecologist did the bloodwork for me to be sent to an endocrinologist. He called me and told me that the results showed a positive ANA, so he sent me for an ANA titer and the results came back as positive for Anti Scl 70 of 4.4. Not sure if that is really that high or not but he is now sending me to a rheumatologist.

Of course I went straight to the internet to see what that could possibly mean and it came up with scleroderma. I guess what I would like to know is if there is a high possibility that I have a type of scleroderma or if it might be more like lupus. Or maybe nothing at all.....any advice or ideas?

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 10:31 AM

Hi Ella,

Welcome to Sclero Forums! I'm sorry it is because of concerns about possible scleroderma, but I'm glad that you've found us.

The meaning of the Scl-70 results depend on what laboratory your blood was analyzed at, and what their reference range is. We have a discussion of Scl-70 here.

The only advice I have to render is just about totally useless....like, don't worry until you get more input from your doctors.

That went over like a lead balloon, didn't it? See, I knew it was useless.

Oh well, others will have lots finer and better ways to address your questions than I do, at the moment. So I want to give you a great big warm hug. :emoticon-hug:
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 11:18 AM

Hi Ella,

I'm going to second everything Shelley has just said and then add not everyone with a positive ANA or Scl-70 will develop the disease (either scleroderma or lupus or any of the other myriad autoimmune diseases) or if they do that it will become severe.

That said, it isn't too cheery to lose your hair either. We do have a page on Alopecia (hair loss) as it relates to scleroderma and other autoimmune disease.

I know that a number of us have lost varying quantities of hair and have had varying amounts of it grow back. For a while there I was shedding more hair per day than all three of my border collies put together. I do have a diagnosis of systemic sclerosis and a sluggish thyroid (and that's where your endocrinology consult comes in), but whether it was due to either of those things or stress or mistreatment, who knows. It has grown back over time, but I'm now pretty careful with what I do with it. The days of a tight ponytail are gone. Posted Image

I'm glad you found us and I'm sure others will likely chime in. I hope everything turns out OK. Will you let us know how you get on?

Warm hugs,
Jeannie McClelland
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#4 Ella

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 03:43 AM

I went to the rheumatologist and she sent me off for more bloodwork to confirm positive results from another lab. ANA titer of 1:1280 and Anti SCL 70 of 4.4 still. She is a little concerned but since I do not have any skin issues, she wants to wait 4 months and test again. Is this normal? Should I be concerned?

#5 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 02:19 AM

Hi Ella,

Sorry I missed your new post.

Well, yes, it is not at all uncommon to be 'put on hold' for a while, especially if there are no symptoms of organ involvement.

The criteria for getting a scleroderma diagnosis include a number of things and reads a bit like a Chinese menu. I have no significant skin involvement other than telangiectasia and don't believe I ever tested positive for Scl-70, but I did have pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, Raynaud's, significant GERD and a high ANA titer at time of diagnosis. My tick list was pretty well marked up, but any one of those things alone (especially the ANA) would not have gotten me a diagnosis of scleroderma.

All that being said, if you develop any significant new symptoms, you should certainly let your doctor know.

Should you worry? Nah, that just causes wrinkles. ;)

Best wishes,
Jeannie McClelland
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#6 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 03:59 AM

Hello Ella

Welcome to the forums! Waiting for something to happen or not is a difficult place to be in but be assured by the fact that you are being monitored albeit in 4 months time.

Keep us informed and take care.
Amanda Thorpe
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