The Anti-Ds DNA test is prescribed to confirm if the person is suffering from lupus or not. This test is used as a diagnosing and monitoring test for lupus. Unlike the other autoimmune disorder screening test, this Anti-Ds DNA Antibody test is specific to detect and monitor lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Antibodies are always a vital component for checking infections. In the case of autoimmune disorders, these antibodies are specific to the nuclear material found in the person’s healthy cells. The Anti-Ds DNA test helps determine the same.
The Anti-Ds DNA antibody test checks for anti-nuclear antibodies that are produced when the immune system attacks its own host body. This condition is known as an autoimmune disorder. One such disorder is lupus.
Lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition where the immune system attacks healthy tissues and organs of the person’s own body. When the immune system goes into overdrive to kill these ‘foreign pathogens’, it displays certain signs and symptoms. Lupus causes inflammation and hinders organ functions.
People suffering from lupus displays the following symptoms:
The Anti-Ds DNA test measures the presence of autoantibodies specific to lupus. This specific autoantibody is an anti-double-stranded DNA antibody (Anti-dsDNA). More than 30% cases have reported finding anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies in the blood sample. This helped determine that the person is suffering from lupus.
This test is prescribed when the results for both anti-nuclear antibody test and extractable nuclear antigens test are positive for autoimmune disorders and lupus, respectively. Often a person might display one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms and the ANA test would come back positive and ENA would show a slight amount of antibodies in the sample. In such cases, the Anti-Ds DNA test is prescribed to tally with physical traits and symptoms.
The Anti-Ds DNA Antibody testing is conducted by examining the person’s blood. Blood samples are collected and sent to the laboratory for testing. Blood collection is done by experienced phlebotomists and hence the collection process poses no serious side effects or risks. That said, people who are anemic might feel dizzy or nauseous. This can be overcome with rest and by eating healthy iron-rich food.
Since this test is prescribed for people who are suspected to be suffering from lupus, special care needs to be taken in terms of ensuring that the person does not feel too much pain or develop a bruise around the area from where the blood is drawn.
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Autoimmune disorders are mainly genetic. People often inherit these diseases from their direct blood relatives. In the case of lupus, the condition needs to be triggered for the disease to activate and affect the person. The trigger can be environmental or medications.
Like all autoimmune disorders, lupus is not completely curable. It can, however, be kept in check with proper medications, therapies, and monitoring tests.
Most arthritis cases are related to autoimmune disorders. Hence, sometimes lupus pain can be felt in the joints, but, what differentiates the two is that there is no inflammation that is characteristic of arthritis in the case of lupus.
The Anti-Ds DNA test can yield only two results. The test can report no findings of the lupus specific autoantibodies, or it can report a positive finding in terms of confirming the presence of autoantibodies. Additional tests for lupus are also prescribed. The most common test that is prescribed along with the Anti-Ds DNA antibody is the Anti-Sm (Smith antibody) test.
When it comes to autoimmune disorders, the test results are not the only factors that aid doctors in determining the cause and the condition. Constant monitoring of symptoms and repeated testing help rule out or confirm lupus.
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