Health Mondays: A Sharp Focus on Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Health Mondays: A Sharp Focus on Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

 

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis was initially known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It is a type of arthritis that affects children below the age of 16 years.

It is an autoimmunity condition(a condition in which cells meant to protect the body's systems from harm/infection, accidentally turns to fight it's normal cells).

It's duration varies, it may resolve after a few months however in some cases it may prolong for several years.

Symptoms of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Some of the symptoms that one may present with are joints stiffness especially in the morning, joints pain, swollen warm joints, reddening of the joints, recurrent fevers.

Types of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

  1. Oligo articular: affects less than five joints. 
  2. Polyarticular: affects five or more joints
  3. Enthesitis related: involves bones at their connection to tendons and ligaments.
  4. Systemic: affects the entire body.

Diagnosis of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

This is first made by taking the patient's history and examining them. 

Based on the patient's state, some of the the following diagnostic tests may be done: Rheumatoid factor, Antinuclear antibodies, C- reactive protein, X-ray/MRI may be done to rule out other possible inflammatory conditions.

Treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

The modality of treatment will be determined by the grade of the patient's condition.

The treatment strategy focuses on- resolving pain and inflammation, preventing further disease progression/joints or organs damage and improving quality of life.

The treatment modalities are in three categories: 

  1. Medical(e.g Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs/non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). 
  2. Surgical repair in case of a marked joint damage.
  3. Healthy lifestyle(non-aggressive exercises, balanced diet).

Complications of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Some of the complications that may develop includes- stunted growth, uneven limbs, anemia, visual limitations, heart failure.

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