Juvenile idiopathic arthritis or the Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis is a type of arthritis that is seen in children. It has different characteristics from the arthritis commonly experienced by adults. It is called idiopathic for this illness does not have any defined cause. This is commonly experienced by children whose ages are below 16 years old. This is a chronic condition described to be an autoimmune disorder of children.
What is difficult in this illness is that it has no specific symptoms. At the start, the patient just feels lazy, has a poor appetite, and physical activity is reduced. In young children, initial indication is limping and the children frequently getting sick. These are mostly the children who are always getting flu or fever. The patients experience persistent swelling of the affected joints in wrists, ankles and knees. The difficulty to determine the swelling areas makes this illness very difficult to treat. This requires imaging techniques to detect swelling of joints such as those of sacroiliac joints, jaw, hip, and shoulder. An ultrasound or MRI is the required imaging technique for this illness.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is painful but young children would not be able to explain the symptoms clearly. Children with this illness experience them in the morning and become worse in the day. Joint damage and joint contracture or stiffness is the later effect of Juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Complications may be possible if Juvenile Idiopathic arthritis is not given attention. Proper medication should be followed to reduce the risk of developing complications. There are types of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis that affects the eyes. When left untreated, this will result to cataracts, scars, glaucoma or blindness to the extent.
Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis commonly have growth retardation. In addition to that, the medications also to treat JIA is said to have contained properties that limit the growth of children. Over time, delayed treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis will lead to joint deformities on affected parts. Hence physical therapy is deemed necessary for this illness. Delayed treatment could mean a lost function of hand or fingers if these are infected with JIA.
The cause of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis remains in ambiguity. In spite of this, the disorder is autoimmune as such the body’s immune system can attacks and eliminates cells and tissues for no distinct reason. It is said that immune system triggers when there is a change in its environment.
It is believed that Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is commonly experienced by young girls. This disease is generally common in Caucasians. There are some factors cited that aggravates the rheumatoid arthritis which includes genetic predisposition. Hence, if one family member has been diagnosed with this disease, chances would be higher to siblings to have this kind of illness. At all ages, females are prone to Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.