Juvenile Arthritis: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

2014Aug06_GenPharma_AWhen you hear the word ‘arthritis’, the elderly typically comes to mind. It’s difficult to link the term with anyone under the age of 16, but according to the Arthritis Foundation, the disease affects children more than juvenile diabetes and cystic fibrosis.

It’s essential to be informed about this condition, as you never know when someone close to you or your own children could be attacked. Check out some important details that will help broaden your knowledge and compel you to continue getting the word out about early signs and preventative techniques.

Defining Juvenile Arthritis

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH) defines Juvenile Arthritis (JA) as an autoimmune disease that typically leads to joint inflammation in children. Swelling occurs in the synovium, the tissue that lines inside of the joints. In some cases, JA can also have an impact on the eyes, skin, and gastrointestinal tract.

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is the most common form and umbrellas 5 distinct types of arthritis conditions found in children:

#1: Oligoarthritis

Also known as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Oligoarthritis typically damages the wrists, knees, and ankles within the first six months that those under the age of 16 contract the disease. It can also take a toll on the eyes, girls tend to show signs of this condition more than boys.

#2: Psoriatic Arthritis

This is a combination of arthritis and the skin ailment referred to as psoriasis. Kids who exhibit signs of both illnesses usually have pitted fingernails. It’s typical for children to develop one condition before the other occurs in the body.

#3: Systemic Arthritis

Children with this form of arthritis generally suffer from high fevers and skin rashes on their arms or legs. It’s also known to affect internal organs, including the spleen, heart, lymph nodes, and liver. Another name for this condition is still’s disease.

#4: Polyarthritis

Like the term suggests, this condition usually affects multiple joints in the body, especially during the first six months that it’s experienced. The jaw, neck, hands, and feet are the areas most impacted. More girls contract polyarthritis than boys.

#5: Enthesitis-related Arthritis

This affliction mainly takes its toll on boys over 8 years old. Health experts have discovered that there’s a history of back pain caused by arthritis on a child’s male side of his family. Sufferers experience pain and irritation in the eyes, spine, hips and entheses.

What’s the Origin?

Doctor’s still aren’t certain about what causes Juvenile Arthritis. However, there’s theories involving a child’s genetic make-up, as well as environmental factors like diet and exposure to food that triggers allergies.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

It’s extremely vital to pay attention to your child’s body and movements. JA sufferers tend to have swelling, stiffness, and excruciating pain that nearly cripples them and keeps them from having an enjoyable quality of life. If you notice any red flags, consult with a pediatric rheumatologist right away because, as the Arthritis National Research Foundation indicates, the outcome can be fatal if left untreated.

Treatment & Prevention

While there’s no known cure for JA, there’s a number of preventative treatments that can help lessen the discomfort and keep the disease from permanently disabling a child by the time they reach adulthood. Many physicians recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that alleviate pain. Patients may also be encouraged to engage in more natural remedies like routine physical therapy to calm the bones and restore movement. Medical tools like splints and orthopedic shoes are also beneficial to the joints.

Whether you have questions about a specific health issue, need supplies and medication, or just need general advice for a healthy lifestyle, the staff at [company_short] is here for you! Just stop by the store of give us a call.

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