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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness

July is National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness month. A catch it all term that is used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions all are placed in the Juvenile arthritis category of health.Rheumatic diseases that develop in children and teens are also placed in this category. 

Arthritis in children has been documented for more than a century. The pain and inflamation issues date back to the mid 1800s. Other rheumatic diseases such as lupus and sleroderma have been described in detail as well with less attention. While, the issues were documented many years before children with chronic arthritis did not receive significant medical attention until years after the discovery of penicillin. However, it was not until the 1970s when the field of pediatric rheumatology gained great attention and proffesionals and organizations of rheumatologists took note in the u.S.

Juvenille arthritis differs greatly from rheumatoid arthritis of adults. Their are many sub-categories under Juvenille arthritis and the disease can affect every stystem in the body. While there are many types of JA they all share common symptoms of pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth. There are no known causes, neither is there proof that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop JA. There is proof that genes play a factor in developing arthritis and that means that one parent could have genes for onset of JA.

While there is no cure for Juvenile arthritis the goal is to be able to diagnose early with aggressive treatment to ensure remission. Treatment often includes medication, physical activity, eye care and healthy eating as well as a combination of these. Goal of treatment is to relieve inflammation, control pain and improve child's quality of life.

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