Archive for December, 2016

Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA) Blood Test

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When exposed to a pathogen, your body’s immune system creates antibodies in order to fight the infection. However, a specific kind of antibody, antinuclear antibodies, actually do damage to your body because they attack your tissues, targeting cells’ nucleus.

anti-nuclear-antibodiesAn ANA blood test can determine the amount of antinuclear antibodies in your blood. A positive ANA result may indicate that your immune system has a misdirected attack to your tissue, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have a disease or are unhealthy. A few reasons why you might have to get an ANA test is to see if you have

  • Lupus,
  • rheumatoid arthritis,
  • Other auto-immune diseases

Obtaining an ANA test can be helpful because it may rule out some diseases. If ANA results are positive, it may prompt your physician to conduct additional blood tests to determine which specific type of antinuclear antibodies are present to determine if you have a certain disease. Some blood tests require special preparations such as fasting, but the ANA does not. You may want to let your physician know the medications you take because certain drugs can compromise the accuracy of the blood test.

Remember that a positive ANA result doesn’t necessarily mean you are unhealthy:

  1. women 65 years or older tend to have positive ANA and are also perfectly healthy.
  2. Some chronic infectious diseases have been associated with antinuclear bodies such as mononucleosis.
  3. There are some medications that may trigger the creation of antinuclear antibodies like blood pressure lowering medication and some anti seizure medication.

As you can see there are a number of things that may cause antinuclear antibodies to be formed in your body. The ANA test may be one piece of information your physician needs in order to figure out why you are showing the symptoms that you are.


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What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?

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Flu season is upon us which means that almost everyone is sniffling, coughing and sneezing so you have to take many precautions if you don’t want to get the flu as well. The University of Arizona found that when even one person is sick in an office, it only takes about four hours for surfaces like copy machines, door handles, etc. to show trace of the flu virus. The 2014-2015 flu season was one of the worst the U.S. has had, it was even considered an epidemic. It is important that you take all the precautions possible to prevent getting the flu this season.

flu-and-sneezing-image

Everyone knows you should wash your hands often, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes, cover your mouth when you sneeze and so forth. It is also imperative that you are getting enough quality sleep. Lack of sleep can actually weaken your immune system, thus making you more susceptible to get a virus if exposed to one. Excessive amounts of stress can also weaken your immune system and prevent you from getting enough sleep, so it is important you maintain your stress levels as low as possible. Furthermore, your diet can also affect whether or not you get the flu, or any other virus for that matter. You should try to get enough protein in your diet like fish, beans and lean beef. Diets that are low in protein may deplete the immune system as well. You may also want to consider drinking a lot of tea… and sniffing it. It has been found that the steam of the tea stimulates the cilia to move out germs. Adding lemon thins the mucus and honey is an antibacterial. Lastly, one of the most effective precautions you can take is getting the flu vaccine.

  •  avoid touching your face
  • wash hands often
  • minimize stress
  • eat well and hydrate often
  • sleep

So, as you can see there are so many ways to prevent the flu and stay healthy this time of year. Remember, getting the flu vaccine doesn’t mean you are immune so you should still take other precautions to stay healthy. The holiday season is here and you are not going to want to miss it because you have the flu, stay healthy!


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