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ANA Test: Purpose, Preparation, Timing, and Cost

Antinuclear antibodies are found in our bodies by the ANA test. Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) are a class of antibodies. They are spontaneously produced by the immune system when it cannot discriminate between self and foreign substances. These antibodies frequently attack the tissues of our bodies, specifically the nuclei of cells. It might be harmful. Thus, an ANA test is necessary for the analysis of several disorders. The ANA test cost differs across cities and hospitals depending on the facilities offered.

ANA interacts with healthy cell components in the body. It can lead to weariness, joint discomfort, and muscle and organ inflammation. While some antinuclear antibodies are normal, having an excessive amount of these proteins indicates an ongoing autoimmune illness. The ANA test can determine your blood’s level of ANA. A positive result does not always indicate an illness. Antinuclear antibodies can occasionally be seen in the blood of healthy individuals. Additionally, some medications may have an impact on your outcomes. It is also established that antinuclear antibody levels typically rise with aging.

What is the purpose of the ANA Test?

The ANA test provides the basis for diagnosing connective tissue autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease that affects the connective tissue in our bodies is known as connective tissue autoimmune disorder. Systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions fall under connective tissue autoimmune disorder. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most frequent of all of these. 

The ANA test evaluates the level of autoantibodies or antinuclear antibodies in the serum. Your doctor may recommend an ANA test if you experience some typical symptoms. These include joint pain, muscular discomfort, stiffness, fatigue, rash, and fatigue. However, one should remember that it is a screening test. Even if the results are positive, you must not get overwhelmed. Doctors prescribe other tests to confirm the presence of suspected autoimmune disorders.  These tests help in the clinical diagnosis of the disorder.

When to take the ANA Test?

If you face any symptoms mentioned below, you should take the ANA Test immediately.

  • Joint pain 
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Swelling
  • Red butterfly-shaped rashes

It is advisable to consult a doctor before undergoing any test. 

What are the preparations involved in the ANA Test?

There is no extra preparation needed for the ANA test. It is very similar to a blood test. You may give your blood sample to a nearby diagnostic facility. However, several professional healthcare experts also visit homes to collect samples.

A medical expert wraps an elastic band around the patient’s arm. After that, they clean the area and draw the blood. The blood is taken in a tube using a syringe. After this, the medical expert removes the syringe and the band after drawing the blood sample. 

IMPORTANT: A patient need not fast for the ANA test. However, it may be essential to do another test simultaneously, depending on its requirements.

When can you expect the results of the ANA Test?

Normally, the results are available in 2 to 3 days. However, it depends on several factors. These include diagnostic facility, weather, holidays, or if you have given any blood samples previously. A complete test is necessary for any autoimmune condition diagnosis. It is a time-consuming process; without one, diagnosis and therapy are pointless.

Is the ANA Test cost-efficient?

In India, the price of an ANA test or ANA profile test typically ranges from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000.  ANA profile test prices in India vary by region, diagnostic facilities, and pathology labs. Usually, the ANA Test cost is not too high. You can get the ANA blood test from various medical facilities and pathology labs. 

Are there some other tests required after the ANA Test?

If the ANA test is positive, you might have an autoimmune disease. However, it does not specify which condition you might have. As a result, the doctor may suggest the following tests: 

  • Scleroderma is diagnosed using an anti-centromere test.
  • Lupus is identified by the anti-double-stranded (ds) DNA test.
  • Moreover, an ENA panel helps your doctor identify your autoimmune condition.

Conclusion

Tests for autoantibodies are entering a phase of evolution in medical practice. Several new test methods are providing better insights into the condition. Scientists and researchers are conducting several tests to find cures for the illness. If detected early, the risk can be somewhat decreased. Get your test done from a lab that has performed ANA tests for several years. It may be the best way to ensure accurate findings.

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