In the U.S Juvenile Arthritis affects 300,000 children, Juvenile Arthritis or, “JA” is an autoimmune disease, which attacks and inflames the synovium in children 16 and younger. The Synovium is a special tissue that lines your joints and cushions them. JA can be related to genetics, infections, or different environmental triggers. Some common symptoms include pain, joint swelling, and redness. Depending on the type of arthritis the eyes, skin, muscles and gastrointestinal tract may be effected.
There are seven types of JA.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis- The immune system accidentally attacks body tissue, causing inflamed joints.
Juvenile Dermatomyositis- Causes a skin rash on eyelids and knuckles, and weakens muscles.
Juvenile Lupus- An autoimmune disease, causing the body to turn against itself. Lupus affects the joints, kidneys, heart, nervous system, lungs, and skin.
Juvenile Scleroderma- Type one, a skin disease seen out commonly in children. Can damage skin, bones, muscles, and joints. Type two, affects the whole body, may cause internal organ damage.
Kawasaki Disease- Inflammation of blood vessels, mainly coronary arteries. Present in infants and young children.
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease- Autoimmune disorder with signs and symptoms of, Lupus, Scleroderma, and polymyositis( inflammation of the muscles)
Fibromyalgia- Widespread muscle tenderness and pain.
There are several symptoms of JA, such as, swollen tender joints, fever, rash, limping or favoring one limb more than the other, joints that feel warm to the touch, pain, fatigue, less activity, stiffness, sleeping problems, swollen lymph nodes, and more. Not every child will have the same symptoms, some of the symptoms are linked to the different type of JA. Sadly there isn’t a cure for JA, but remission is possible. Some treatments include, medications, eye care, healthy eating, and exercise. If your child starts to show any symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis, its best advised to take them to their pediatrician to get a start on treatments and how to handle the pain they may be in.