ANA pattern?

in by mytozhurt

I am a 35 year old mom of three. My youngest is six months old. I started having symptoms of autoimmune shortly after he was born, but I chalked it off to stress because my baby has serious heart issues and has spent a lot of time in the hospital and had five surgeries. Two of which were open heart. Anyways, I have been bad the last six weeks and had a positive ANA. My test results said the pattern is nucleolar. Does anyone know what that means? Post pregnancy my main symptoms were pain in my calves symmetrically and pain in my sternum. In the last six weeks I have had horrible pain in my hands and feet, some mild numbness and tingling, extreme cold sensitivity, and bruising/petechia. Other joints and the long bones of my arms and legs hurt sometimes, but not nearly as bad as my hands and feet. My nose is also really red(doesn’t look like a rash to me) and rashes on my upper arms. Do these symptoms sound like anything anyone else has experienced? Sorry so long!

About mytozhurt

Conditions: Not sure right now

Doctors seen: MD – primary care

Children: 3

Age: 35-44


1 Answer


This is a complicated case and I would suggest that you see a specialist like a rheumatologist if you haven’t done so already. Autoimmune diseases are commonly aggravated after pregnancies, so it is not surprising that you started having symptoms then, especially if there was significant postpartum stress.

In short, nucleolar ANA antibodies are commonly elevated in conditions like scleroderma and polymyositis. Your symptoms might be representations of these conditions, but a full assessment by a rheumatologist should be done to be sure. Scleroderma may cause structural changes in the connective tissue, and so if you can detect it earlier rather than later, then it is easier to treat. I have several patients with scleroderma, and they have done well with treatment over time. Polymyositis is an inflammatory muscle condition, and sounds like this could be something that explains some of your symptoms. A full work up should be done, including an ANA reflex test to know exactly what antibodies are elevated and having a good provider on board will be helpful to answer any questions you might have and help figure out what is going on.

Jenny Bennett, ND LAc

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Answered on May 14, 2016

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