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Anyone test positive for ANA?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all! I'm currently 4w1d pregnant with my first baby, though I had a missed miscarriage in August at 7w4d (though to be chromosomal, no hb detected). Just had my first visit with my OB for this pregnancy and due to my family history he ordered blood testing for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). My mother has both Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis, so there is a possibility that I'll have the antibodies present. I'll know more tomorrow but obviously I am concerned now & just doing a little research!

 

Has anyone here had a positive ANA result and if so, how did it work out for you? I understand that if I am positive, they may put me on baby aspirin or even heparin injections. Thanks in advance for anything you can share. :)

post #2 of 12
Hi Sarah, So sorry to hear about your missed miscarriage. I was diagnosed with RA in my early 20s, then after marriage, had 2 miscarriages that prompted genetic testing as Autoimmune Disease runs in my family. My ANA was negative, but my pregnancy with my now 13 yo son put me in kidney failure for unknown reasons then. I was hospitalized my last trimester with continuous multiple complications for a classic Lupus pregnancy but ANA still negative. Miraculously my son was born healthy though premature due to danger of my health & his. It took 3 years to be finally diagnosed with Lupus along with RA. My story isn't the norm: you can have a positive ANA & not have Lupus! However, if you also have a clotting disorder that causes miscarriage, your OB is treating you correctly with baby aspirin or heparin if needed. There's no reason why you shouldn't carry your baby to term! Keep open communication w OB & ask for labs on blood clotting disorders as well as panels specific to RA & SLE. My son is strong & healthy, my miracle!! I'll pray for answers, but always keep a positive attitude, it really helps!
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for responding Jennifer! That helps so much. I'm very, very glad to hear your boy is healthy!! I am hopeful that my panels will come back with good results, but trying to prepare for the worst of course. My Mom was dx with both Lupus & RA in 97 but ANA has been in normal range since 2002, so that is hopefully a good sign for me. I am 30 years old, I haven't had any other symptoms of autoimmune disease, and have (thankfully) been able to get pregnant relatively easily.

 

My OB is the one that brought this to my attention, and after only one miscarriage. I understand normal protocol is to not to testing until after the third m/c, so I am grateful to get this information now! I will certainly ask him about clotting disorders, I think he may have even mentioned that today (so much information at once).

 

Keeping a positive outlook & praying for the best...trusting that my body will do what is best for me & baby. :)

post #4 of 12

I tested positive for ANA a few years before I had my first child.  They told me the markers were present but not active.  I was tested because my mother has Lupus and I was experiencing some sudden joint pain.  After two miscarriages I tested for clotting disorder and was negative.  I was able to get pregnant 6 months after my last miscarriage.  In part I attribute my success this time to natural progesterone supplementation from several months before conception all the way till 17 weeks (when I could tell the supplementation was too much progesterone in my system).  Now at 20 weeks I still have moments of strong anxiety about the health of the baby but I do my best not to dwell in those emotions.  I have my first ultra sound next week and I am so looking forward to it! 

 

Wishing you the all the best for this pregnancy.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

thank you so much for the reply, joy. It's nice to hear about people that have had success conceiving with +ANA. My test results actually came back negative, which was a relief, but I wound up miscarrying at 5 weeks anyway. So, back for more testing to see if we can't discover the cause. My progesterone was fine with both of my pregnancies, but I'm not ruling out taking supplements (if my OB thinks it's a good idea I guess!) to help sustain the pregnancy. Once I am pregnant again and reach the 2nd tri (hopefully), I am all too sure that I will be in your shoes, anxious even when I know it won't do any good! I guess it just comes with the territory of having multiple losses, and perhaps it is a preview of the worry that comes with being a mother. Hope your ultrasound next week goes well and that you continue to have a healthy pregnancy! :)

post #6 of 12
I had two positive ANA's but only directly AFTER my third miscarriage. I never tested positive for any autoimmune disease and my titer went down a few weeks after the miscarriage but was still positive. I was found to be deficient in Vitamin D and I started supplementing in August and had an ideal Vitamin D level (over 50) when I was 6 weeks pregnant. I am now 13 weeks pregnant and I feel very strongly about getting Vitamin D levels checked. I also was taking Vitex and drinking nettle/RRL infusions to help my body detox and prepare for pregnancy.
post #7 of 12
Hi, I have positive Ana and it caused no problems during my first pregnancy. My doctor says it won't for this one either. I do not have any diagnosed autoimmune disorder but do have some wacky blood work:)
post #8 of 12

Sorry to hear about your miscarriages. :( I had two, and when I became pregnant the third time, I started to worry, of course. My pregnancies were more spaced out. Anyways, one of the blood clotting disorder tests I asked for was the anticardiolipin antibody test. I believe my doctor ran one other, but can't recall the name. It wasn't the ANA, which for me, had been negative in the past. Also, my lupus panels had been all negative. My grandmother and other family memebers have RA though, and I have unexplained chronic fatigue. My thyroid antibodies are always abnormal, but since my other thyroid testing IS normal, they say not to worry. And sure enough, this pregnancy has been fine for me, I am now 20 weeks. :)

 

Anyways, while I was waiting for my results for the anticardiolipin antibodies, I was kinda freaking out, and started taking baby aspirin anyways, which honestly, I wouldn't recommend doing unless the doc okays it, but hey, I did it. (the one thing I will suggest, if your result is positive and they want you on 81 mg aspirin, is to go with Bayer Women's, because it doesn't have an enteric coating, which is intended to protect your stomach from ulcers, but the coating has phthalates, which is bad for the fetus. just FYI, so I chose no enteric coating).

 

But my test ended up neg for that. I guess some women have found that taking the 81 mg of aspirin does help them "hold" a pregnancy, whether or not their tests for clotting disorders are positive. I read that online. They stop it around 10-12 weeks though. Their OB's guide them through this, and normally women only opt to try it when they've had multiple miscarriages with not much explanation.

 

Anyways, that blood test was also neg for me, like I mentioned. I only took the aspirin for a day or two, then was like, "why am I doing this?" and stopped.

 

What I DID decide to take, however, and my OB said it was fine, was bioidentical folate, for possible MTHFR mutation, which can also cause bloodflow issues. So I was taking "Solgar 800 mcg Folate as Metafolin". With my prenatal, that put my folate up to 1600 mcg, but my OB said "extra B's won't hurt you." Some women have a genetic mutation called MTHFR, and they either have both or one mutation. I asked my OB about it, and she said that something like 30% of women have at least one mutation and carry pregnancies just fine, so she wasn't going to bother testing me, but if it made me feel better, I could take the extra folate. It did make me "feel" better, so I did. She kinda blew it off, but I did it anyways. I guess having these mutations CAN cause the blood to not flow as well. Since I have so much fatigue, and B vitamins in general help me, I thought that was more reason. So here is the link to the folate:

 

http://www.iherb.com/Solgar-Folate-As-Metafolin-800-mcg-100-Tablets/13961

 

Basically, when you have the mutation, your body is inefficient at converting the folate you get from food, and also the form in your viatmins!, into something usable by the body. So thus, this "special form." Only a few brands sell this form of folate. Your doc may blow it off like mine, and not want to test you, or they may test you. I personally know women who say they had miscarriages because of this mutation, so I took it more seriously.

 

I also decided to take this fish oil, to just reduce inflammation in MY body in general (because who knows what they can't test for.....maybe I do have some inflammation/autoimmune):

 

http://www.iherb.com/Carlson-Labs-The-Very-Finest-Fish-Oil-Orange-1000-mg-120-Soft-Gels/6125

 

I actually take 5 at a time. :) It helps my anxiety, I have found, maybe by reducing inflammation in the brain. AND, it's good for developing baby.

 

Sorry so much info. I put a lot of thought into all this, so I thought I'd pass along the conclusions I came to, and what I did. Who knows, my two miscarriages could have just been random, but I wanted to do "something." I don't think extra folate or fish oil can really hurt (ask your doc of course), so what the heck. Best of luck to you!!!!!!!

post #9 of 12

Also, you can take that folate and the fish oil before conceiving, obviously. :) It would probably help to be on them before you know you're pregnant.

 

I am also taking a bioidentical B12:  http://www.pureformulas.com/activated-b12-2000mcg-100-lozenges-by-perque.html  simply because it helps my chronic fatigue greatly, so I figure, why stop it now that I'm pregnant? My OB said it was fine. That is really the only form that helps me, that exact brand. However, I haven't ever heard a link between B12 issues and miscarriage, so I didn't bring it up above.

 

I think we are all built differently, and some us of us just need extra vitamins, in special forms, to be at our peak. You can research the MTHFR more online.

post #10 of 12

I have Sjogren's and always tested positive for ANA, as well as positive for ssA & ssB.

 

I've had bi-weekly sonograms to check 'pr' intervals. So far so good and I'm 26 weeks and my last scheduled sono is this Friday. If all is good I can transfer to see my midwives group.

post #11 of 12
Kara, i have positive ssa and have to go for a million extra scans as well to check heart valves. Is that what your doc is checking? How many apts. did you have to go to? I haven't started them with this pregnancy yet as I'm only 10 weeks but had to do it with my daughter and everything was fine.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Bobcat, thank you SO much for all that info! Wow! You sound like you like to research just like me. After our miscarriage (and the holidays ended) I went in for blood testing. My doctor was wonderful and willing to test for a lot of things most women don't get until after their 3rd m/c. He tested for lupus anticoagulants, Factor V, Factor II, Protein S, anticardiolipin antibodies, MTHFR, a whole laundry list of possibilities.

 

The only thing that came back was that I do indeed have a homozygous MTHFR mutation of C677T, aka the worst possible mutation. :) He is calling in a prescription for Folgard (2.2 mg of folic acid plus B6 and B12 I believe), which I will be taking in addition to my prescription prenatal that has 1mg. While I'm waiting for my prescription I'm taking 3 generic folic acid 800mcg tablets a day. You are right with B & C vitamins you cannot overdose because they are water soluble! Doc also told me to take the 81mg aspirin, unfortunately I didn't get that Bayer's Women, I had no idea! I will have to pick up a bottle. He told me not to take it until I get a positive. 

 

Fish oil/omega 3s are great NO MATTER our reproductive state so I take that regularly as well! Once I get a positive I'll probably switch to the Expecta DHA omega 3 supplement.

 

I'm thankful to have this info now of course, but after everything I read online I start to worry again because many say that it's not the mutation that matters, but the level of homocysteine. I got tested today to check homocysteine levels but won't know anything until Monday. If it is elevated I may have to take Heparin.

 

I do agree with you, we're all wired similarly but minor physiological differences can make a big impact on how our bodies work. Thank you again for sharing all that info, I know it will help countless women that are searching for answers! 

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