Skip links

Early Arthritis

Arthritis doesn’t affect young people as much as it does adults, but lots of teens still get it. Arthritis is an inflammation (swelling and irritation) of the synovial membrane, which lines the joints (like the knees or knuckles). When it becomes inflamed, fluid is produced. 

The joints can become stiff, swollen, painful, and warm to the touch. Over time, inflammation in a joint can damage the cartilage and bone. “Idiopathic” is a medical word that doctors use to describe a disease that has no known cause. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is the most common kind of arthritis among kids and teens. Kids usually find out they have this disease between the ages of 6 months and 16 years. What Happens When Someone Has JIA? People with JIA may have pain and stiffness that can change from day to day or from morning to afternoon. These symptoms can come and go. When the condition becomes more active and the symptoms worsen, it’s known as a “flare” or a “flare-up.” 

JIA often causes only minor problems, but in some cases, it can cause serious joint damage or limit growth. Although JIA mostly affects the joints and surrounding tissues, it can also affect other organs, like the eyes, liver, heart, and lungs. 

JIA is a chronic condition, meaning it can last for months and years. Sometimes the symptoms just go away with treatment, which is known as remission. Remission may last for months, years, or a person’s lifetime. In fact, many teens with JIA eventually enter full remission with little or no permanent joint damage. Types of JIA There are seven types of JIA: 1. Systemic JIA affects the whole body. With this type of JIA, someone may have high fevers that often increase in the evenings and then may suddenly drop to normal. During the onset of fever, the person may feel very ill, look pale, or develop a rash. The rash may suddenly disappear and then quickly appear again. The person’s lymph nodes might become enlarged. Eventually, many of the body’s joints are affected by swelling, pain, and stiffness. 2. Oligoarthritis affects four or fewer joints. A person will notice pain, stiffness, or swelling, often in the knee and ankle joints. Sometimes oligoarthritis gives someone an inflammation of the iris (the colored area of the eye) that’s known as iridocyclitis, iritis, or uveitis. 3. Polyarticular arthritis, rheumatoid factor negative is a kind of JIA that affects more girls than guys. A person will have swelling or pain in five or more joints. 

The small joints of the hands are usually affected as well as the weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, ankles, feet, and neck. In addition, a person may have a low-grade fever, as well as bumps or nodules on parts of 

the body subjected to pressure from sitting or leaning. 4. Polyarticular arthritis, rheumatoid factor positive is the type of JIA that’s most like adult arthritis. This is one of the least common types of JIA, but it carries a higher risk of joint damage. 5. Psoriatic arthritis is when a person has psoriasis and arthritis together. 6. Enthesitis-related arthritis usually affects the lower joints (like the ankle) and the spine. Kids with this type of arthritis also may have juvenile ankylosing spondylitis if joints of the low back are inflamed. Arthritis that goes along with inflammatory bowel disease (like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) also falls into this category of JIA. 7. Undifferentiated arthritis is what doctors call it when someone’s arthritis doesn’t fit into any of the above categories or falls into more than one of the six categories described above. What Causes JIA? Although doctors don’t yet know exactly what causes JIA, scientists are researching it. Experts do know that JIA happens because of problems with a person’s immune system. When the immune system isn’t working properly – as happens with JIA – it has difficulty telling the difference between the body’s own tissues and damaging germs. 

This confusion causes the immune system to attack and damage the body’s healthy tissues. That’s what causes the kind of inflammation that goes along with of 

JIA. JIA isn’t contagious. You can’t catch it from someone else or pass it along to another person the way you might a cold or other infection. What Do Doctors Do? It’s not always easy for doctors to diagnose JIA right away. JIA itself can have lots of different symptoms, and some infections, like Lyme disease, have similar symptoms to JIA. So doctors will want to rule out any other possibilities before deciding something is JIA. If a doctor suspects a patient has JIA, he or she will ask about the person’s symptoms, find out if others in the family have had arthritis, and do a complete physical examination to look for joint swelling, eye problems, and rashes. A doctor may do blood tests and X-rays. In some cases, doctors may use a needle to take a sample of synovial fluid from a person’s joint. Sometimes, a doctor might need to see a patient for several months to determine the particular type of JIA the person has. Living With JIA Exercise can help keep full motion in your joints and strengthen your muscles and bones. A physical therapist can help you plan an effective exercise program to do at home. Proper nutrition can improve anyone’s overall health. A dietitian can help you to understand the basics of a healthy diet. For example, when your symptoms flare up, you might feel sick and unable to eat as much. A 

dietitian can help you find foods that have a higher nutritional value to make up for having a poor appetite. Doctors often advise taking nutritional supplements which can fill the gap of a diet lacking in proper nutrition. 

The supplements preferably should be natural and devoid of side effects and should be able to enhance immunity at the same time. A positive mental outlook is just as important as exercise and a healthy diet. 

References :

1. arthritis.html

2. juvenile-idiopathic-arthritis/symptoms-causes/ syc-20374082