ANA and Gastroparesis

Just wondering if anyone has had recent blood work done and told their ANA (autoimmune) came back positive.I have had gastroparesis for a long time and have been dealing with like the rest of the gp folks out there. Tried all the meds all the do eats and dont eats and now I am going for the gastric pacemaker. But every time I have this test ran I am told I have some kind of autoimmune but no seems to be able to find out what the problem is. Just wondering what the chances that it's connected to gp. Have not spoken to my GI doc about it yet but I certainly will. They (P.C Doc's) alway's send me to a rheumatologist who wants more calcium in my diet NOT listening to the fact that I am constantly constipated and have gp and calcium reeks havic on things. So I gave up on that one. Just looking for answers.. Good Luck to all...

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Debbie,
Prior to my GP/SOD/CIP/pan dysmotility disorder my ANA would be + on one test and - on another. Saw a Rheumatologist who thought I had RA, but after a year or 2 nothing changed. Went to a specialist in NY for another opinion who said after running more tests said I did not have an autoimmune disease so he took me off all RA meds. He couldn't explain the why my test would be + one time and - the next. Then came the GI diagnoses and my Sed Rate was also elevated which told them I have inflammation. I guess what I am trying to say or ask, did they run other tests to r/o autoimmune diseases? I wish I could be of more help. As far as calcium, the doctor has me chewing 2 tums a day and it doesn't seem to make a difference in my bowel habits.
Jan

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Debbie- when my small bowel motility study came back slow I was told I had intestinal dysmotility and when I asked what would cause that, I was told "lupus, diabetes, scleroderma, or autoimmune disease." As an afterthought she added "or you could have just had a very bad virus that caused it." So she tested me for all of the above and it all came back negative.
So if you DO have auti-immune disease it could definitely explain the GP. The problem is, saying you have autoimmune disease is so vague- it's like saying you have GP. What the heck does that mean? There is a whole range of degrees, causes, etc.

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And I have the same problem with calcium, no matter what form I take. Very frustrating because I have osteoporosis and need to take calcium, but it plugs me up.

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Wendy, THANK you. Seems like what you wrote is exactly how I feel. They tell me I have an auto-immune disease but they do not know the cause and they just keep sending me to other Doc's, SO this time when they did the test and it came back + I said no thanks, let's just keep it this way. You see I to have osteoporosis and I did the Reclast IV Injection. and I will NEVER do it again. I was so sick for weeks and weeks after it. I called the place where I got the injections numerous times and they kept saying it was a part of it and I should feel better soon. YEA I did after 6 day's in the hospital. It was horrible. Of course no one can explain what happened but I am not going to do that again. So for now I am going to leave things alone, if my + numbers get worst we will address that then I guess.. Thank you for your response,

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Yep! I have a positive ANA and carry the diagnosis of mixed connective tissue disease. I have gastroparesis and slow intestinal motility. When I asked my rheumatologist about it, he says "it's autoimmune". That's it. No more specifics, cuz they really don't know. Of his huge practice, and many years in the field he only has had one other person that has gastroparesis that is not from diabetes. I've found that I have a gluten intolerance. Now that I am gluten free, my GI symptoms are much better. It's weird cuz most folks with gluten intolerance or celiac disease seem to get diarrhea. Well, gluten intolerance IS an autoimmune disorder, so maybe it does make sense. And, I have osteoporosis and low calcium. Guess it all goes together, huh?

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imvein- I also have a gluten intolerance, always test negative for celiacs, and what gluten does for me is completely stop my digestion cold. Although the usual symptom for celiac disease is diarrhea, if you google it they will also list constipation as a symptom.
My completely made-up non-medical seat of the pants theory is that for some of us, gluten causes an inflammation and that swelling is what causes everything to slow down. I know it causes my face to swell, and if I do gluten three days in a row I get a horrible headache. My motility issues are much much better if I don't do gluten.
I discovered the gluten thing not from blood or skin testing, but by doing an extremely restricted and controlled elimination diet under a doctor's care that took several months to complete. The gluten thing came as a huge surprise to me- I have always loved bread, pasta, anything baked, and never thought it contributed to my issues. I also think eliminating gluten from my diet is why I have finally dropped 20 pounds after struggling with an inexplicable weight gain for about ten years. I think it was causing me to retain fluids from inflammation. I honestly don't think it is a matter of calories- I eat the same amount, just rice or gluten free stuff.

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I've not been tested for ANA but will ask about it during next visit to my nurse. (I have a nurse practitioner as primary) Were I to be tested I'd be stunned if it were negative. My siblings and I are all riddled with autoimmune-type diseases and conditions. It's as if each of us has a body intent on destroying itself. Allergies, hypothyroid, GP, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, degenerative osteo arthritis, gall bladder disease, diabetes and that's just my list! Allergies for each of the daughters including Reynaud's, Lupus, and Grave's Disease. No allergies for the boys, but one has the high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and wonky digestion; another had diabetes; the other had Leukemia. Can't be coincidence that we all have autoimmune issues.

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Had my ANA done and mine came back negative. I thought I could have Lupus or something because I am also a free bleeder and wanted to have an answer for it but it did come back negative.

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When I recently saw a biliary specialist at Duke for the first time and he reviewed my case, he did an ANA and calcium level. I was suprised when the ANA came back positive. An additional panel of antibodies came back entirely negative, so it does not look like scleroderma, mixed connective tissue, lupus, sjogren's, etc. I have no other problems to support autoimmune issues, so haven't gone to rheum yet. I'm a family nurse practitioner, so will recheck my ANA again in several months.
One theory of why I may have developed the GP symptoms is viral illness- in Dec, I had a horrible sinus infection. took 1 antibiotic, but became horribly nauseated. When my left cheek began to hurt again, I did another round of antibiotics with prednisone. It was shortly after that when I developed all the GI issues.
I'm hoping the ANA was a fluke finding or linked with the illness. Fingers crossed that it may all resolve/improve.
Kathy in NC

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Hi

I've been dealing with Lupus, Lupus-like, mixed connective, undifferentiated connective tissue disease, sjogrens( all the different names they call my lupus.) I also was dx 3 years ago with a Mitochondrial disease (Muscular Dystrophy.) Anyway, both lupus or whatever they want to call it, and Muscular Dystrophy causes dysmotility and intestinal obstructions. I may never know which one caused my problem for sure, and it probably is a combination of the two. My ANA is sometimes low positive mostly, and negative at times, lucky me, to be in the grey area! So yes autoimmune diseases can cause intestinal dysmotility as far as I read and was told. My lupus has caused so many health problems. I hope you get answers, but I wonder if the Dr.'s even know what Lupus really is???? Too many confused people out there who have this disease are told what I've been told. Basically you have a collection of symptoms and they point to a certain autoimmune disease, and then you may overlap with other autoimmune diseases. No clear cut answers unfortunately for most people I've found! I'm facing TPN in 2 weeks, anyone on this for their intestinal dysmotility? Take Care, Linda

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Linda- you and I sound very similar. UCTD, low-positive ANA, lots of "weirdo" symptoms. Who knows? It is so frustrating. I removed gluten from my diet and have done a lot better with my gastroparesis...my rheumatologist says "it's autoimmune". Not diabetic. I think the doctors really don't know what it is -- all the symptoms overlap. The whole thing is so unsatisfying or, rather, un-validating (if that is a word). I just wish someone would say, "you have this" and "this is how you treat it". Apparently, the gi dysmotility happens with autoimmune disorders...but, there is a lot of work to be done on differentiating what causes it and how to best deal with it. I know I am rambling...but I, like you, am frustrated. So, to summarize -- a gluten free, low fiber, GP diet helps me greatly. Along with Elavil (a tricyclic antidepressant) for nausea, lots of small meals. I used to take domperidone, which helped alot, but I have found the gluten free diet has been enough for now so I stopped the domperidone. I am desperately trying not to take SO many meds. I also take probiotics, digestive enzymes and a multivitamin as well as an "anti-inflammatory diet" (I eat walnuts, dried cherries, green tea -- of course, I chew everything to death like WendyRB). Let me know if you find out anything else that helps!

Good luck, Jill

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I THINK I HAD ANA (THEY WERE LOOKING FOR LUPUS) IT WAS POSITIIVE TWICE. THE DOCTOR I SAW SAID HE THOUGHT IT WAS A FALSE POSITIVE. I LIKED THAT EXPLANATION. I AM SO SICK OF DOCTORS THAT I HAVE FOUND IT IS BEST TO AVOID THEM (AND SINCE IT WAS A FALSE POSITIVE NO FOLLOW UP APPT).

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So Uber, if it was negative, would that have been a false negative? With follow-up? Are Dr.s insane? (Purely a rhetorical question.)

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I PROBABLY SHOULD, BUT I AM SICK OF DOCTOR'S AND ANYTHING RELATED TO THEM.

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1 HEAR YOU THERE. I GET SO FRUSTRATED WITH DOCTORS SOMETIMES I COULD SPIT. MY LAST DR. ENCOUNTER WAS SO TRAUMATIC I CAN'T EVEN BLOG ABOUT IT YET!

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actually, when my doctors implanted my gastric pacer, they took biopsies of my stomach and had various test run on them. One of the tests they run has to do with autoimmune and T-cells attacking your GI system. Well, my biopsies came back positive. There is actually a theory by some of the most prominent GP doctors that in some cases of GP, the autoimmune is involved. The doctor I see for my GP has started a trial with a rheumatologist and they are working this trial together. There is a new treatment they are testing. They thought I would be a good fit, so after many long hours of thought and prayer on whether I should go down this path or not, I decided to and received my first treatment yesterday. So, yes I think there is the possibility for autoimmune disease to cause more problems with your GP. This is different than having autoimmune disease throughout your body and then it hits your GI tract. This is that you have GP and some form of autoimmune which is confined to the GI system.

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Thanks for all the feed back on ANA tests. My apt with the Surgeon to put the pacemaker in is in June and you can bet we will discuss this issue. The other doc's keep wanting to send me to a rhuematologist and all they want to do is give me more meds and say "I think" well I can't go on "I think's", anymore need answers.... dealing with GP is enough..

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Jen has had several +ANA tests-the first being about 8yrs before any of her problems with GP and then again in this past year as she was endlessly tested. We have seen Peds Rheumatology and they cannot come up with anything-she does have some other symptoms as in joint pain etc. Best of luck-we're just as baffled.

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