What is Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There are over one hundred different types of arthritis that a person can suffer from, but did you know about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis? A rheumatoid arthritis symptom in an adult can often be the same in a case of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, but there are many major differences as well that you should be aware of.

What Is The Cause?

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that causes joint inflammation for at least six weeks in children. This form of arthritis is actually just as common as adult arthritis, which is frightening because statistics show that one out of every four people will be diagnosed with some type of arthritis over the course of their life.

This type of arthritis can become very complex and complicated, and if left untreated can even be potentially life threatening. There are several different types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that you can be diagnosed with, and these are classified based on the joints that are affected as well as the symptoms that are being experienced.

In terms of symptoms there are a few that are particularly common. Joint swelling with pain and stiffness is one of the most common, and so if you notice that you are experiencing pain that you never felt before or swelling in your bones and joints especially after being physically active then chances are that you are dealing with an arthritis condition.

Fever and rash also often accompany these arthritis conditions, especially if they are persistent. This is the biggest thing that will tell you that you are not just dealing with a regular cold or flu when you are a fever and rash, is because they will not just stay with you for a day or two but instead will continue to come back time and time again.

Another commonly experienced symptom of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is eye inflammation. This is one of the more unique symptoms which means that you are much less likely to mistakenly associate it with a different condition. This problem occurs mostly in children with pauciarticular JRA, and initially produces no signs or symptoms but then can end up causing blindness.

It is believed to be an autoimmune disease where white blood cells lose their ability to differentiate between the healthy cells of the body and harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses. The protection that the body should get from its immune system against such harmful invaders fails and instead releases chemicals that are harmful to the healthy tissues leading to inflammation as well as pain. An early diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis would help in effectively managing and minimizing the effects of arthritis. There are several different types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis including polyarticular arthritis, paucuarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Polyarticular arthritis will affect girls more than it does boys and common symptoms are swelling or pain in five or more joints and affected areas include the small joints of the hand as well as weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, ankles, neck and feet. There may also be accompanying fever of low intensity and there may also be bumps or nodules on the body on areas that feel pressure such as those that are used for sitting or leaning.

Pauciarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can affect four or less than four joints and common symptoms are pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. Areas that are most commonly affected include the knee and wrist joints and there may also be inflammation of the iris with or without symptoms in active joints and such an inflammation are known as iridocyclitis or iritis or uveitis which may be detected at an early stage by an ophthalmologist.

The third type is the systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that can affect the entire body and symptoms consist of high fevers that intensify in the evenings with a sudden drop to normalcy. The child may feel extremely ill when the fever begins and would appear to be very pale or may develop a rash which may suddenly disappear as quickly as it first appeared. This may cause the joints in the body to get swollen and be painful as well as have a certain degree of stiffness.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: Nearly 50,000 Children Affected In The US

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can start as a swollen knuckle or a high fever or an unexplained rash and whatever be the symptoms; arthritis symptoms can cause much confusion in the minds of the patient. Arthritis is really an inflammation of the joints accompanied with swelling, heat as well as pain and it is believed that there are approximately 300,000 children in the US who may be having some sort of arthritis or the other, which may be short-term or long term and in rare cases, may even last a lifetime. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is very common among kids and it is believed that there are approximately 50,000 children in the US suffering from it.