Still’s Disease: difficult to diagnose, mimics other diseases

Arthritis is a common joint disorder in adults and even in children, it gives chronic pains to patients especially in the affected areas. With some clinical tests or medical examinations, it can usually be detected and treated. However, one of the types of arthritis, which is called Still’s Disease, is quite difficult to diagnose. Only when other symptoms are isolated and tested, and appears negative in other illnesses can Still’s Disease be diagnosed.

Still’s Disease is a form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which is named after the English physician, George Frederic Still. It was first discovered in children, which is characterized by high fever and transient rashes. Recently, Still’s Disease has been affecting adults as well, which is also known as “adult-onset” Still’s Disease. Several theories have been known to have caused such illness, but until today, the real cause remains unknown. It is suggested that it is an autoimmune type of disease, or possibly a microbacterial infection.

There are several systematic symptoms under Still’s Disease, but as mentioned earlier, proper laboratory testing must be done before Still’s Disease can be diagnosed. Some of the usualy symptoms, which will warn a patient of possible Still’s Disease are: very high fever with extreme fatigue, faint transient salmon-colored skin rash, flu-like pain throughout the body, muscle pain, swelling of lymph glands, spleen and liver enlargement, sore throat, inflammation of pleura and pericardium with accumulated fluids, and pain and swelling in several joints. However, despite the many symptoms there are, it is still difficult to give a diagnosis because these symptoms are presented in so many ways, that a process of elimination must be done — test it first with other illnesses — before arriving at a Still’s Disease diagnosis.

Still’s Disease patients, which are usually children, will have high fever that may last several months, but this arthritis will last a long time, it may be a long-term illness for the patient, which can still be present until adulthood. These symptoms may actually go in remission, although the arthritis will still be present. Either the symptoms will return in adulthood or may occur in some pattern, but it will be there indefinitely, even until adulthood.

Still’s Disease may just be common in children, but this sickness will be carried on until adulthood. It is always better to seek a physician’s help on how to keep this symptoms and illness at bay.