Contrary to what some people believe, juvenile arthritis is not a disease in itself. It’s a term used to describe a number of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions affecting children under the age of 16.
The Different Types of Juvenile Arthritis
There are different types of juvenile arthritis, including:
- Juvenile lupus
It’s an autoimmune disease that can affect joints, kidneys, skin, blood, and other areas of the body.
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
This is the most common type of juvenile arthritis and it has 5 subtypes: psoriatic, oligoarthritis, systemic, polyarthritis, and enthesitis-related arthritis.
- Juvenile dermatomyositis
Juvenile dermatomyositis is an inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness and skin rash on the eyelid and knuckles.
- Kawasaki disease
It’s a blood vessel disease that can cause heart complications.
- Juvenile scleroderma
Literally means “hard skin,” juvenile scleroderma is a group of skin conditions that causes the skin to tighten and harden.
- Mixed connective tissue disease
It’s a group of conditions associated with high levels of anti-RNP, a type of antinuclear antibody.
Fibromyalgia is an arthritis-related condition that causes stiffness, aching, fatigue, and sleep problems.
What causes juvenile arthritis?
There’s no specific cause that can be pinpointed for most cases of juvenile arthritis. However, scientists believe a familial history increases one’s chance of developing it.
How can juvenile arthritis be treated?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for juvenile arthritis. However, there are ways to manage their symptoms and improve the child’s quality of life.
Most treatment plans for juvenile arthritis involve medications, dietary changes, physical therapy, and eye care.