What is an Autoimmune Blood Test?

Published: July 26, 2021
Dear TeenHealthFX,
What is an autoimmune blood test?
Signed: What is an Autoimmune Blood Test?

Dear What is an Autoimmune Blood Test?,

An autoimmune blood test, also known as an ANA test, is looking for “antinuclear antibodies” in your blood. Normally, when your body gets invaded with a bacteria or virus, your body amps up its antibodies to fight it off. Sometimes, the body thinks healthy cells are invaders and attacks them by accident. This is why it is called an autoimmune blood test. It is your body attacking itself.

The Mayo Clinic explains, a doctor would request an ANA test if they suspect an autoimmune disease such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or another inflammation disorder.  There is not much you need to do to prepare for an autoimmune test because you can eat or drink and still go about your usual activities before the blood test. A positive result does not always mean you have an autoimmune either and may require additional testing. Once you receive the results, your doctor will go over everything with you and discuss next steps.  We hope this helps!

Signed: TeenHealthFX