ZocdocAnswersWhat do these blood tests mean?

Question

What do these blood tests mean?

I've been experiencing some symptoms - swollen right foot, burning in both feet, joint pain and stiffness, alopecia, dry eyes, and sacroiliitis. My recent blood tests show my vitamin D is 27.4 (30.0-100.0 ng/mL), my Complement Total CH50 is >63 (22-60 u/mL), my ANA w/IFA is 1:80 with a speckled pattern, and my Antihistone Antibodies is 2.5 (0.0-0.9 Units). I have a family history of autoimmune disorders. What do these tests indicate?

Answer

Given your family history and symptoms, you may benefit from consultation with a rheumatologist to discuss the lab findings, have a physical examination and to address your concerns. The symptoms described are common, and together could suggest an autoimmune disorder; however autoimmune disorders are not the most common cause of these symptoms. For example, joint pain and stiffness are most commonly caused by osteoarthritis, over an inflammatory arthritis. Similarly, alopecia and dry eyes are quite common symptoms and rarely of autoimmune origin. The vitamin D level is slightly under the normal range for that laboratory analysis. Vitamin D is primarily synthesized by the body with exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency is quite common, and many doctors choose to screen patients, particularly in areas with little sunlight. You may consider taking vitamin D supplementation, recommended 1200 IU daily, which your doctor can prescribe. The ANA (anti-nuclear antibody) is a broad screening test for autoimmunity. It is sensitive, meaning it will pick up the majority of cases, but not specific, meaning there will be several false positive results. An ANA ratio of 1:80 is not quite high enough to be diagnostic of an autoimmune disorder. There is also variability among different laboratories which can cause different ANA results. Please follow up with a rheumatologist at a reputable practice to discuss further testing and your concerns.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.