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DrRussMD
DrRussMD, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 63856
Experience:  Practice Director
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I'm a 40 yr. old female who has recently been dealing with a

Customer Question

I'm a 40 yr. old female who has recently been dealing with a case of what doctors have just now termed "chronic" hives. Hives every day, that fade during the day and come on at night, for just over six weeks. My doctor did a basic blood workup and the ANA came back slightly high. He then did what he called a "connective tissue disease panel" that came back "positive". The nurse read off the three or four that tested higher than they were supposed to, but I didn't recognize anything and she didn't know enough to answer questions. He basically said "there is a chance hives are being caused by an autoimmune disease", that is the exact words she gave me. My question is what does this all mean? Has he gone from trying to find the source of the hives to trying to diagnose a probable autoimmune disease? I did know that an ANA can come back high and not necessarily mean you have autoimmune issues, but can you also get mild-moderate highs on this other panel and still not have one?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 months ago.

Hello

A slightly high ANA is not very meaningful.

We don't know what is positive on the panel, and that makes a difference.

Hives alone do not indicated a connective tissue disease.

at this point, you need to see a rhematologist, if you are not.

That will get better answers.

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The only specific I happened to catch when she read things off was "a chromatin level of 40 when it should be under 100", there were several others, but then she stopped and said she didn't really know for sure what they all meant so I should just wait to see the rheumatologist. The only other symptoms I can think of are slight weakness issues in my left shoulder/arm. It gets tired very easily and will shake easily from fatigue. It does seem to have gotten worse lately but it has been like this on and off for well over ten years. It does get better with rest and then will come again with strain. For example holding a baby in that arm for a period of time, maybe ten to fifteen minutes, will induce it. Other than that, the hives, and possibly fatigue (but I've been on antihistamines for the hives), there is nothing.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Whoops I meant chromatin should be under 20, not 100.
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 months ago.

You are talking about chromatin antibody.

Might be indicative of lupus.

So, rheumatologist.

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I guess my question is the "might be". Do all people with positives on these tests end up diagnosed? Or is it possible to have them not mean anything?
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 6 months ago.

It is possible to not have the disease.

OK, so you might have more questions or want to give me more information: Please use reply to expert if you have further questions. Also, please click a positive rating [hopefully excellent—that’s how we are paid, per rating]. If you forgot something, come back. I am here http://www.justanswer.com/medical/expert-dr-thomas/