Juvenile Arthritis: Everything You Must Know (Types, Causes & Treatments)

Janice

Introduction

If you look through the 100 different Arthritis types you will get across this one type called Juvenile arthritis. Now, if you are reading this article, chances are that you are in fact researching either your own or the diagnosis of a close family member or friend.

And that is why we are going to make sure that through the following article you get all the vital information that you need to get to know this difficult diagnosis and increase the chances at getting better with time.

No matter if you are hearing this term for the first time, or you are already familiar with it, do use this chance to find out everything that you need to know about Juvenile arthritis today!

What is the definition of Juvenile Arthritis?

Although Arthritis is something that is most commonly associated with the elderly, it turns out that there is this one special type of Arthritis known as Juvenile arthritis that develops within children. In actuality, Juvenile arthritis is the term that is being used to describe the rheumatic diseases in children under the age of 16.

These patients experience the same symptoms as an older Arthritis patient does, with the difference that these symptoms occur within children when we are talking about Juvenile arthritis. Juvenile arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which basically means that the body is attacking itself and that is how the characteristic symptoms of Juvenile arthritis develop.

There are many different types of Juvenile arthritis[1] of which the most common one is the Juvenile Idiopathic arthritis. There are also Juvenile dermatomyositis, Juvenile lupus, Juvenile scleroderma, Kawasaki disease, Fibromyalgia and so many others under the term of Juvenile arthritis.

Definition Of Juvenile Arthritis

What are the Causes of Juvenile Arthritis?

Unfortunately, the cause of Arthritis, in general, is yet unknown, and the same goes for Juvenile arthritis. That is what the term Idiopathic in Juvenile Idiopatic Arthritis[2] (JIA) means in the first place. For the other types of Juvenile arthritis, it is suggested that certain food allergies, toxins, viruses, infections and a history involving any type of Arthritis can lead to the occurrence of Juvenile arthritis.

What are the Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis?

Juvenile arthritis characterizes itself with the usual signs and symptoms[3] of Arthritis – pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion, inflammation, and redness in the affected joints. But there are other symptoms as well that can develop starting from fever, rash, sleep difficulties, unexplained weight loss, irritability, depression, eye problems (blurred vision) and swollen lymph noodles.

Most commonly, it is the knee joint and the small joints on the hands and feet of the child that are affected by Juvenile arthritis. Juvenile arthritis, as any other type of Arthritis, characterizes itself with the occasional flare-ups and remissions.

Unfortunately, a child diagnosed with Juvenile arthritis is to deal with these symptoms for the rest of their life which will develop as certain flare-ups and remissions over time.

It is important to remember that in some cases, the child can experience no symptoms of Juvenile arthritis although the disease is still present and progresses with time.

How is Juvenile Arthritis Diagnosed?

Juvenile Arthritis Diagnosed
Since the symptoms may not develop at all, diagnosis of Juvenile arthritis may turn out to be a more difficult process than imagined in the first place.

There is no actual exam or a test that will conclude the presence of Juvenile arthritis, so the first step is to exclude any medical conditions that might be the cause for the symptoms that you may have been experiencing.

Bone disorders, Lyme disease, cancer, infection, and lupus are some of the medical conditions that can easily be mistaken for Juvenile arthritis since they are commonly causing similar symptoms to those that we mentioned before.

The next step is for some blood and urine tests, X-rays and MRI scans, blood culture, test for Lyme disease, virus and bone marrow test to be performed. The key is, of course, for the diagnosis to be set up as soon as possible in order for the patient to receive its treatment while the disease is still at its early stages.

How is Juvenile Arthritis Treated?

Unfortunately, there is no found cure for Juvenile arthritis yet. However, that does not mean that you should lose all hope.

Since we are talking about a condition for which we are currently left with no cure at hand, the key is to prevent those annoying flare-ups as much as possible. An early diagnosis is a way to do it. And of course, there is the aggressive treatment[4] plan that it is necessary.

A proper treatment plan will be able to decrease the present symptoms, focusing on the inflammation, pain, decreased range of motion and stiffness in order to give the patient some relief.

In most cases, a combination of medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy and lifestyle changes is the way to fight against Juvenile arthritis.

Conclusion

It seems as if there is no limit to the number or the type of patients that Arthritis can affect. In today’s article, we have talked about a very sensitive topic – the presence of Juvenile arthritis in children under the age of 16, also known as Juvenile arthritis.

As you can see, Juvenile arthritis affects children who as a result to it, experience difficult symptoms such as pain, stiffness, inflammation, decreased range of motion of the affected joints as well as fever, irritability, depression and sleep problems among the other symptoms. And as if this cannot get any worse, the cause and the cure for Juvenile arthritis are yet to be found.

Until then, an early diagnosis and a proper treatment plan that includes a proper diet, medications, physical therapy and occupational therapy are the ways to help these unfortunate children. Unfortunately, we are left to hope for a cure to be found one day, not only for this one type of Arthritis but for the all 100 different types of Arthritis as well.

Image Credits
Feature Image- Shutterstock.com
In-Post Image- Shutterstock.com & Tendonitisexpert
Author

Contributor : Janice (Joint Health Magazine)

Janice Carson is a freelance journalist who specializes in Joint health issues and provides treatments and solutions to the sufferers. She is having medical writing experience of many years. She is contributing her work to jointhealthmagazine.com.