Has anybody been told that your high ANA (antinuclear antibody) titer probably relates to DM?

Let's step back for a moment. To most people, the first thing that comes to mind with high ANA titer is lupus which, I do not have. I haven't studied PubMed and other databases to review the literature, if any, on this. Most of what I know about it would fit on a post-it note. Hence, my contribution this time is somewhat less than authorative.

Here's the chronology.

1. In 2009, my internal medicine doc included, for his own idiosyncratic reason, added an ANA test during routine lab work.

2. My ANA titer came back unexpectedly high at 1:1280.

3. So he sent me for a comprehensive work up by a board certified Rheumatologist in a premier setting in Boston. She ordered a huge list of lab work.

4. I had an extensive DM-related symptom complex including vascular and neurological issues, but also chronic inflammation.

5. The ref range for a normal ANA titer is negative or maybe up to 1:40 with no clinical significance. There are about ten different subsets of ANA with various names. We should note that few internal medicine docs and few PWD's are familiar with it.

6. The rheumatologist said that when taken with other antibody results that this ANA result probably relates to T1. I think she said that on it's own, ANA is useless info. She also said I was T1, not T2.

I've never been hung up on the DM type wars and knew that it didn't actually matter as far as DM treatment was concerned. However, it always interested me to ponder if the rheumatologist was shooting-from-the-hip, or had heard something to that extent relating ANA to T1 in a major medical meeting and was spot-on?

Three years later, in 2012, my ANA was negative.

Does anybody have an impression or similar ANA experience within the dramatic pantheon of various specialist visits?

Feel free to speculate.

I had my ANA checked when I developed what I thought was arthritis. It turned out to be frozen shoulder. My doc ordered an ANA because he wanted to be sure it wasn't an auto immune form of arthritis like RA which I was also checked for and both were negative.

ANA is sort of a catch all. If it is high then they look for specific things.
During the time that your islet cells are being destroyed, it makes perfect sense that your ANA would be elevated. After all the islets are gone, your ANA would come back to normal.
Since we have type 1 Diabetes, I think that makes it more likely that we will have other forms of autoimmune diseases. I don't know that there is any direct link between them.
I have eczema though which is also an autoimmune disease and is very common in other T1's.
Although I am not sure there is a link between them that has been studied at least.

ANA stands for Anti-Nuclear Antibodies, the general levels of all antibodies directed against cells (there are immune reactions against things besides your own cells). The ANA test has basically no specificity, it can't tell you what kind of immune reaction is occuring. I believe that in most people, high levels of GAD, ICA or I-A2 (the T1 antibodies) would generally be reflected in ANA levels. ANA is more used for things like Lupus and Arthritis which are more systemic varied autoimmune conditions.

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