ANA TEST DEFINITION
The ANA test (also known as an Antinuclear Antibody Test) mainly works by detecting antibodies in your blood in order to screen you for autoimmune disorders like lupus. Your body typically synthesizes antibodies in order to fight infection, while antinuclear antibodies attack your own tissues, particularly every cell's nucleus, hence the name.
ANA TEST PURPOSE
An ANA test is a blood test used to find out whether or not you have lupus or other autoimmune conditions, meaning it tells the doctor whether or not your immune system has launched a self-destructive attack on your own tissue. This is a straightforward blood test requiring little to no preparations on your part.
Image: ANA TEST
ANA TEST RISKS
Because this is a blood test, the immediate side effects of blood drawing include bruising and pain at the site of the drawn blood. There's also risk in finding a proper vein to puncture because various people will have various vein sizes and the like.
ANA TEST PREPARATION REQUIRED
You should tell your doctor first about all the medications you're taking prior to taking an ANA test as well as your medical history just in case. Aside from that, you can eat and drink normally prior to taking the test because, as already mentioned, it takes little preparation to take this fairly straightforward blood test.
ANA TEST PROCEDURE
The doctor will simply take a sample of your blood by sticking a needle into a vein in your arm and drawing out blood from there. Afterwards, the blood sample is taken to the lab in order to be examined and analyzed thoroughly for antinuclear antibodies (or lack thereof).
ANA TEST COMPLICATIONS
Some ANA tests can offer false positives even though the person is healthy, which could lead to misdiagnoses and the like. Typical complications include hematoma or bruising, excessive bleeding, fainting, lightheadedness, and infection
ANA TEST SIDE EFFECTS
You can expect little to no side effects from taking an ANA blood test aside from discomfort on the blood-drawn site. As long as the administering physician's tools are clean, there will be little to no risk of infection or tetanus.
ANA TEST RESULTS
A positive test result entails the presence of any antinuclear antibodies, although such a result isn't a surefire assurance that you have an autoimmune disease. Birth control drugs, mononucleosis infection, and age (women older than 65) have been known to affect the results of ANA test and are associated with antinuclear antibody development.