Autoimmune Tests

Autoimmune lab tests are beneficial in determining the presence of an autoimmune disease. Get your autoimmune tests from Ulta Lab Tests to help diagnose and treat your condition.

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that 23.5 million Americans are affected by autoimmune diseases. Although most conditions are rare, the overall number of cases is increasing due to unknown reasons.

Diagnosing autoimmune diseases can take more than five years. Out of all 80 types of autoimmune diseases, there is no one test to diagnose them all. However, there are blood tests that can determine whether there is an inflammatory process in the body.

At Ulta Lab Tests, we offer lab testing services to help diagnose autoimmune disorders. You can order autoimmune tests online and get them done at one of our 2,500 approved patient service centers.

We will send your test results within a few business days so that you can share them with your physician during consultation.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Autoimmune Conditions?

Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to recognize and diagnose. Disorders that affect multiple organs can result in highly variable signs and symptoms that change in severity over time.

Individual diseases can also have unique symptoms. For instance, type 1 diabetes causes fatigue, extreme thirst, and weight loss, while IBD causes bloating, belly pain, and diarrhea.

Some of the more common symptoms of autoimmune diseases include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Low-grade fever
  • A general feeling of being unwell (malaise)
  • Dizziness
  • Achy muscles
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rashes
  • Swelling and redness
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Hair loss

Common Autoimmune Diseases

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) occurs when the immune system attacks the healthy joint tissue. This chronic form of arthritis causes joint pain, soreness, stiffness, or loss of mobility.

Other common forms of arthritis, like osteoarthritis, affect people as they age. However, RA can start as early as 30 years old or sooner.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder where the immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. This disease can occur at any age.

The hormone insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels, is produced in the pancreas. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and other organs, like the eyes, heart, kidneys, and nerves.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease affecting the central nervous system (CNS). MS causes the inflammation and destruction of the myelin sheath, the protective coating that surrounds nerve cells.

Damage to the myelin interferes with the nerve impulse transmission between the brain and spinal cord to the rest of your body. This “demyelination” process can lead to several motor, sensory, and psychological symptoms.

Some symptoms include balance issues, weakness, numbness, and trouble walking. Multiple sclerosis comes in various forms that progress at different rates.

Psoriasis

Normally, skin cells grow and shed when they are no longer needed. However, psoriasis can cause skin cells to multiply quickly. The extra cells build up to form inflamed, red patches on the skin with silver-white scales of plaque.

Psoriasis is most commonly found on the scalp, elbows, trunk, and knees. This skin condition tends to go through cycles, often flaring for a few weeks or months and subsiding for a while.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of chronic disorders characterized by inflammation and swelling in the intestinal wall lining. The severity of these conditions vary for different individuals and change over time.

Each type of this disease affects a different part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. For instance, Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus. Meanwhile, ulcerative colitis only inflames the colon (lining of the large intestine) and rectum.

Autoimmune Vasculitis

Autoimmune vasculitis occurs when the immune system attacks and inflames blood vessels. The inflammation of blood vessels results in narrowing arteries and veins, which allows less blood to flow through them.

The blood vessels may also be thickened, enlarged (aneurysm), blocked (occlusion), weakened, or scarred. There are several types of vasculitis depending on the size of the vessel affected. They may or may not be associated with other underlying health problems.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the digestive system. The body’s immune system reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, and proteins in rye or barley.

Once gluten is in the small intestine, the immune system causes inflammation. It also damages the small intestine lining and villi (the small tissue folds that line the intestinal wall).

When villi are destroyed, the body is much less capable of absorbing vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and fluids. Patients with Celiac disease may develop malabsorption or malnutrition without proper treatment.

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s disease affects the body’s adrenal glands. These glands are responsible for producing the adrenal hormones, cortisol and aldosterone, and androgen hormones.

Not having enough cortisol can impact how the body uses and stores sugar (glucose) and carbohydrates. Meanwhile, aldosterone deficiency will result in excess potassium in the bloodstream and sodium loss.

Symptoms of Addison’s disease usually include fatigue, weight loss, low blood sugar, and weakness.

Graves’ Disease

Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). This disease attacks the neck’s thyroid gland, which causes the overproduction of its hormones.

Thyroid hormones control the body’s metabolism or energy usage. Too many of these hormones cause symptoms, including a fast heartbeat, heat intolerance, nervousness, and weight loss.

Another potential symptom of Graves’ disease is bulging eyes, also called exophthalmos. This symptom can occur as a part of Graves’ ophthalmopathy.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto thyroiditis is the most common cause of underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and thyroid gland inflammation (thyroiditis). The immune system attacks the thyroid gland by producing thyroid antibodies.

Damage to the gland affects thyroid hormone production. It leads to symptoms of hypothyroidism, including enlarged or swollen thyroid (goiter), fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, and sensitivity to cold.

Lab Tests for Autoimmune Diseases

Antinuclear Antibodies (ANA)

An Antinuclear antibodies test looks for antinuclear antibodies in your blood. These antibodies are called “antinuclear” because they target the center (nucleus) of cells.

While healthy antibodies fight bacteria and viruses, antinuclear antibodies attack healthy cells and tissues. An ANA test detects the presence of an autoimmune disorder.

C-Reactive Protein (CRP)

This test measures the level of CRP, a protein produced by the liver and released into the bloodstream to respond to inflammation. 

Changes in CRP levels can show active inflammation caused by autoimmune disorders, chronic conditions, and bacterial or fungal infections. 

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)

The ESR test measures how quickly red blood cells (erythrocytes) settle at the bottom of a test tube containing the blood sample. Normally, red blood cells collect relatively slowly.

A faster-than-normal rate can indicate inflammation in the body, including autoimmune diseases, infections, chronic kidney diseases, or cancer. 

Rheumatoid Factor (RF)

The RF test detects the presence of the rheumatoid factor. It is a protein produced by the immune system that can mistakenly attack healthy joints, cells, or glands.

This test is typically used to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. However, it can also detect other diseases, like lupus, juvenile arthritis, tuberculosis, and leukemia.

Frequently Asked Questions About Autoimmune Lab Testing

What is the first test performed for a patient suspected of having an autoimmune disease?

An antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is usually performed first when evaluating a patient for autoimmune disease. The immunofluorescence assay (IFA) screens for approximately 150 autoantibodies that can occur in several autoimmune diseases.

IFA is recommended by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) as the gold standard method for ANA testing.

Can you screen and test for specific antibodies using one patient specimen?

Yes, the test starts with an ANA screen using IFA technology. The first tier includes 5 antibodies. If all of them are negative, testing proceeds to the second tier.

The second tier of testing includes 4 more antibodies. If they are negative, testing proceeds to the final tier, which includes 2 more antibodies.

If the ANA IFA produces a positive result, but all 11 specific antibodies are negative, an autoimmune disease may still be present. This disease may be associated with an antibody not tested for.

How predictive are the specific antibodies in various autoimmune diseases?

The presence of a specific antibody highly suggests an autoimmune disease.

The results must be interpreted in the context of the antibody prevalence and clinical information.

Benefits of Autoimmune Lab Testing With Ulta Lab Tests

At Ulta Lab Tests, we offer tests that are highly accurate and reliable, so you can make informed decisions about your health.

  • Secure and Confidential Results
  • No Insurance or Referral Needed
  • Affordable Pricing Including Doctor’s Order
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Order your autoimmune lab tests today, and we will send your test result to you confidentially online. Take control of your health today with Ulta Lab Tests.

Disorder Main Body Part Affected Patient Gender % Female Average Age at Onset Frequency in Population
Psoriasis Skin and Mucous Membranes 50% 20 to 49 Yrs  > 1 in 100
Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroiditis  Endocrine System 90% 40 to 60+ Yrs  1 in 100
Celiac disease  Digestive ane Biliary Systems 55% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 100
Graves' disease Endocrine System 80% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 100
Rheumatoid arthritis Muscles and Bones 70% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 1,000
Type 1 diabetes mellitus  Endocrine System 45% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 1,000
Vitiligo  Skin and Mucous Membranes 50% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 1,000
Rheumatic fever  Heart and Blood Vessels 50% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 1,000
Pernicious anemia  Digestive ane Biliary Systems 60% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 1,000
Alopecia areata Skin and Mucous Membranes 50% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 1,000
Immune thrombocytopenic purpura  Blood and Bone Marrow 65% 40 to 60+ Yrs  1 in 1,000
Multiple sclerosis Nerves and Brain 60% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 1,000
Systemic lupus erythematosus Multiple 85% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Narcolepsy Nerves and Brain 40% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Ulcerative colitis Digestive ane Biliary Systems 60% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Temporal arteritis Heart and Blood Vessels 80% 50 to 60+ yrs 1 in 10,000
Crohn's disease  Digestive ane Biliary Systems 40% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Scleroderma Multiple 90% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Antiphospholipid syndrome Blood and Bone Marrow 75% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Type 1 autoimmune hepatitis Digestive ane Biliary Systems 75% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Primary biliary cholangitis Digestive ane Biliary Systems 80% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Sjogren's syndrome Multiple 90% 40 to 60+ Yrs  1 in 10,000
Addison's disease Endocrine System 60% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Dermatitis herpetiformis  Skin and Mucous Membranes 33% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Kawasaki disease Heart and Blood Vessels 33% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 10,000
Sympathetic ophthalmia  Eye 50% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
HLA-B27-associated acute anterior uveitis Eye 30%   1 in 10,000
Primary sclerosing cholangitis Digestive ane Biliary Systems 30% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Discoid lupus erythematosus Skin and Mucous Membranes 65% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Polyarteritis nodosa Muscles and Bones 30% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
CREST syndrome Multiple 80% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Polymyositis/dermatomyositis  Muscles and Bones 60% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Myasthenia gravis  Nerves and Brain 65% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
Still's disease  Muscles and Bones 60% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis Heart and Blood Vessels 40% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Type 2 autoimmune hepatitis Digestive ane Biliary Systems 85% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Mixed connective tissue disease Multiple 80% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Microscopic polyangiitis Heart and Blood Vessels 50% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome 2 Endocrine System 70% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Felty's syndrome  Blood and Bone Marrow 65% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia  Blood and Bone Marrow 60% 50 to 60+ yrs 1 in 100,000
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy  Nerves and Brain 30% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Guillain-Barre syndrome  Nerves and Brain 45%   1 in 100,000
Bullous pemphigoid Skin and Mucous Membranes 50% 50 to 60+ yrs 1 in 100,000
Autoimmune neutropenia Blood and Bone Marrow 55% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 100,000
Linear morphea Skin and Mucous Membranes 70%   1 in 100,000
Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome 1  Endocrine System 55% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 100,000
Acquired hemophilia A  Blood and Bone Marrow 70% 50 to 60+ yrs 1 in 100,000
Autoimmune pancreatitis Digestive ane Biliary Systems 30% 40 to 60+ Yrs  1 in 100,000
Hashimoto's encephalopathy  Nerves and Brain 90% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Goodpasture's disease Kidneys and Lungs 20% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Pemphigus vulgaris  Skin and Mucous Membranes 60% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis  Nerves and Brain 45% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in a million
Relapsing polychondritis Muscles and Bones 60% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in a million
Takayasu arteritis Heart and Blood Vessels 85%   1 in a million
Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis  Multiple 45% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in a million
Epidermolysis bullosa acquisita Skin and Mucous Membranes 55%   1 in a million
Pemphigus foliaceus  Skin and Mucous Membranes 50% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in a million
Cicatricial pemphigoid  Skin and Mucous Membranes 75% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in a million
Main Body Part Affected   Disorder Patient Gender % Female Average Age at Onset Frequency in Population
Blood and Bone Marrow   Immune thrombocytopenic purpura  65% 40 to 60+ Yrs  1 in 1,000
  Antiphospholipid syndrome 75% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Felty's syndrome  65% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Autoimmune hemolytic anemia  60% 50 to 60+ yrs 1 in 100,000
  Autoimmune neutropenia 55% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 100,000
  Acquired hemophilia A  70% 50 to 60+ yrs 1 in 100,000
           
Digestive ane Biliary Systems   Celiac disease  55% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 100
  Pernicious anemia  60% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 1,000
  Ulcerative colitis 60% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Crohn's disease  40% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Type 1 autoimmune hepatitis 75% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Primary biliary cholangitis 80% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Primary sclerosing cholangitis 30% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Type 2 autoimmune hepatitis 85% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Autoimmune pancreatitis 30% 40 to 60+ Yrs  1 in 100,000
           
Endocrine System   Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroiditis  90% 40 to 60+ Yrs  1 in 100
  Graves' disease 80% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 100
  Type 1 diabetes mellitus  45% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 1,000
  Addison's disease 60% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome 2 70% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome 1  55% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 100,000
           
Eye   Sympathetic ophthalmia  50% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  HLA-B27-associated acute anterior uveitis 30%   1 in 10,000
           
Heart and Blood Vessels   Rheumatic fever  50% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 1,000
  Temporal arteritis 80% 50 to 60+ yrs 1 in 10,000
  Kawasaki disease 33% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in 10,000
  Granulomatosis with polyangiitis 40% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Microscopic polyangiitis 50% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Takayasu arteritis 85%   1 in a million
           
Kidneys and Lungs   Goodpasture's disease 20% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 100,000
           
Multiple   Systemic lupus erythematosus 85% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Scleroderma 90% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Sjogren's syndrome 90% 40 to 60+ Yrs  1 in 10,000
  CREST syndrome 80% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Mixed connective tissue disease 80% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis  45% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in a million
           
Muscles and Bones   Rheumatoid arthritis 70% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 1,000
  Polyarteritis nodosa 30% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Polymyositis/dermatomyositis  60% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Still's disease  60% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Relapsing polychondritis 60% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in a million
           
Nerves and Brain   Multiple sclerosis 60% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 1,000
  Narcolepsy 40% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Myasthenia gravis  65% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy  30% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Guillain-Barre syndrome  45%   1 in 100,000
  Hashimoto's encephalopathy  90% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis  45% 0 to 19 Yrs 1 in a million
           
Skin and Mucous Membranes   Psoriasis 50% 20 to 49 Yrs  > 1 in 100
  Vitiligo  50% 0 to 29 Yrs  1 in 1,000
  Alopecia areata 50% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 1,000
  Dermatitis herpetiformis  33% 10 to 39 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Discoid lupus erythematosus 65% 20 to 49 Yrs  1 in 10,000
  Bullous pemphigoid 50% 50 to 60+ yrs 1 in 100,000
  Linear morphea 70%   1 in 100,000
  Pemphigus vulgaris  60% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in 100,000
  Epidermolysis bullosa acquisita 55%   1 in a million
  Pemphigus foliaceus  50% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in a million
  Cicatricial pemphigoid  75% 30 to 59 Yrs  1 in a million