An ANA test can help to identify antinuclear antibodies or ANA in your blood. A part of the human immune system is comprised of antibodies to fight infection. Antinuclear antibodies attack the tissues of your body by targeting the nucleus of each cell. In general, a positive ANA test means that the immune system has initiated an autoimmune reaction to your own tissue. Some people might have positive ANA tests even though there are no outward symtpoms. Your doctor at the walk in blood test clinic in London may suggest an ANA test to screen for autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma or lupus.
An Antinuclear antibody or ANA test detects the presence of antinuclear antibodies in the blood. If there are antinuclear antibodies in your blood, then this might mean you have an autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder can cause the immune system to attack your own tissues, cells, or organs, leading to serious complications.
Antibodies are actually proteins that the immune system prepares to fight foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses. But an antinuclear antibody attacks healthy cells - hence"antinuclear" since it targets the nucleus (centre) of the cells.
Other names include – antinuclear antibody panel, ANA, FANA, fluorescent antinuclear antibody.
An ANA test can help to diagnose autoimmune disorders such as:
Your walk-in blood test health care provider might suggest an ANA test when you have symptoms of lupus or another autoimmune disorder. Some of these symptoms are:
Different rheumatic diseases show similar signs and symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain and fever. Though an ANA test cannot verify a specific diagnosis, it might rule out some diseases. If the ANA test result is positive, then your blood may be tested to detect the presence of specific antinuclear antibodies.
An ANA test requires a blood sample, there are no pre test requirementsso you can eat and drink normally before the test. Certain drugs can affect the accuracy of the test and so these should be discussed with a clinician prior to undergoing the test.
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in the arm with the help of a small needle. Once the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood is collected into the test tube or vial. You might feel a sharp scratch when the needle goes in or out however the phlebotomy (blood taking) procedure is typically painless and over within a minute.
You do not require special preparations to perform an ANA test.
There is little risk with a blood test but you might feel slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle is inserted but if you experience any of these symptoms, they will resolve very quickly.
The presence of antinuclear antibodies provides a positive test result. Many people without any kind of disease show positive ANA tests especially women who are above 65 years. Certain infectious diseases and cancers are related to the development of antinuclear antibodies, like some drugs.
If the doctor suspects you are suffering from an autoimmune disease, then they will probably perform several additional tests. The result of an ANA test is the information that your doctor at the walk-in blood test near me may use to identify the exact cause of your symptoms.
A positive result for an ANA test means that antinuclear antibodies had been found in the blood. You might get a positive result if:
A positive result will not always mean you have a disease. Some healthy people might have antinuclear antibodies in their blood. There are certain medicines that can affect the results and if the ANA test results are positive, your health care provider will probably perform more tests, especially if you are have symptoms of the disease. If you have questions about the test results, it is advised that you talk to your health care provider about it.
Antinuclear antibody levels seem to increase with age and almost one-third of healthy adults over 65 years might have a positive ANA test result.
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