ANA (Antinuclear Antibodies) is an auto-immune condition in which the body makes higher than normal levels of antibodies to DNA-related products such as RNA and DNA; while it’s quite normal for these antibodies to be present in low concentrations, in about 5% of the population they reach abnormally high levels, and in about half of this 5% an autoimmune disease is triggered which involves the immune system actively targeting healthy chromosomal tissue in the body.
RNA and DNA carry our genetic material (the coding for how the body functions) and they’re vital for the daily function of all processes in the body. There is an ANA test that’s able to measure the pattern and quantity of the body’s antibodies that attack the body’s own genetic material as if it was foreign, and in fertility this will includes the mother’s immune response to an embryo or fetus, which can prevent the normal development of the baby or cause a miscarriage.
People with autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease usually test positive to the ANA test, and unfortunately a positive ANA test indicates there’s more chance of a range of immune conditions being present.
There’s a pattern to when and where antibodies form and how an immune response spreads through the body: