Tags: Arthritis | juvenile rheumatoid arthritis | teens

No Kidding: Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Problematic for Teens

By    |   Friday, 15 Apr 2016 03:16 PM

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), sometimes referred to as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), is a condition that causes stiffness and joint inflammation in as many as 50,000 children under the age of 16 in the United States each year, says WebMD.

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body begins attacking its own cells and tissues, having mistakenly identified them as foreign substances. The resulting inflammation causes heat, redness, pain, and swelling in the affected areas.

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While affected children may not complain about the joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, the Mayo Clinic describes some symptoms to watch for:

• Limping, especially in the morning or after a nap
• More clumsiness than is normal, particularly in the morning and after naps
• Swelling of the joints, most often noticed first in large joints such as the knees

The root cause of the autoimmune response that causes juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is not well-understood, says the Mayo Clinic. The disease is more common in girls than in boys.

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It is important to watch for symptoms of JRA because if left untreated, inflammation in the eyes can result causing glaucoma and blindness. JRA may also affect the child’s growth and bone development. Even treatment of the disorder with corticosteroids can stunt growth.

According to the American College of Rheumatology, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is very treatable and children who are affected can and should lead normal lives that include plenty of activity and physical exercise.
The first-line treatment option for most children is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS such as ibuprofen or naproxen, but if the child does not respond to this treatment, second-line therapies are approved to treat JRA in children. The goal of treatment is to prevent damage to joints, maintain joint function, and alleviate the symptoms.

The American College of Rheumatology also recommends that parents of children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis seek out local support groups with other children who have the disorder. Maintaining physical activity and having a positive attitude with plenty of support are helpful in long-term management.

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Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), sometimes referred to as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), is a condition that causes stiffness and joint inflammation in as many as 50,000 children under the age of 16 in the United States each year, says WebMD.
juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, teens
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2016-16-15
Friday, 15 Apr 2016 03:16 PM
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