July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

Juvenile arthritis

July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month. A special month dedicated to raising awareness for this very unique condition. This year Discount Medical Supplies joins the efforts of spreading the message of hope and education about this condition. It affects the joints, bones, and muscles causing different ranges of pain and stiffness. It can halt physical movement and render a patient physically impaired for the rest of their lives. This is a disease that affects 294,000 children in the US alone. There are at least eight different types of the disorder, all similar in nature but with different effects on the body. Sadly, there is no cure for it yet. However, with treatment, it is possible to improve the quality of life of children who are diagnosed with it.

Types of Juvenile Arthritis

  • Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is known to affect girls more than boys, affects the knees, wrists and ankles, and in some cases it can affect weight bearing and other joints, including hips, neck shoulders and jaw.
  • Pauciarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. This type affects larger joints in the body, such as the knees, ankles or wrists. Has the particularity that it can appear only in one joint (specially on the knees). May cause eye inflammation, an effect that happens mostly on girls.
  • Systemic Onset Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. This type of Juvenile Arthritis affects both boys and girls equally. It can cause spiking high fevers that can last for weeks and even months in some extreme cases. It can cause a rash of pale, red spots on the thighs and chest areas of the body. It can also cause pain and stiffness in the small joints of the hands, wrists, knees and ankles.
  • Juvenile Spondyloarthropies. This is a smaller group of diseases that involves the spine and joints of the lower extremities, most commonly the hips and knees.
  • Juvenile Psoriatic Arthritis is a type of arthritis affecting both girls and boys in association with skin condition psoriasis.
  • Juvenile Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness and a characteristic skin rash on the eyelids.
  • Juvenile Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is an autoimmune disease associated with skin rashes, arthritis, pleurisy, kidney disease and neurologic movement.
  • Juvenile Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels and can be both a primary childhood disease and a feature of the other syndromes, including dermatomyositis and systemic lupus arythematosus.

Common Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis

All of the previously mentioned types of Arthritis share a group of common symptoms easy to identify but, at a first glance easily mistaken as regular conditions on a child’s life. They are, pain, swelling, tenderness and stiffness of joints, causing limited range of motion, joint contracture, damage to cartilages, and altered growth of bone and joints leading t o short stature.

Causes and Diagnosis of Juvenile Arthritis

Unfortunately, the cause for this condition has not been discovered yet. It is not contagious and there is bot evidence that foods, toxins, allergies or vitamin deficiencies play a role. There is not a single test to diagnose juvenile arthritis. A diagnosis is based on a complete medical history  and careful medical examination. Laboratory studies including blood and urine tests are often needed to assist in a diagnosis of Juvenile Arthritis.

Managing Of Juvenile Arthritis

The search for a cure is still being researched, but the advancements of modern medicine now allows for doctors to fully control the condition and improve the quality of life of the patients greatly. Monitoring the disease is vital, and it ranges based on the JA type and how severe it is. The main objective of treatment is to control inflammation and soothe pain, preventing damage to the joint and muscles. In younger children the treatment plans include medication, physical activity and rehabilitation, eye and dental care and a proper nutrition. Medication is required but it depends on the treatment plan deviced by the child doctors.

Many studies are being developed and the hope for a cure is alive now more than ever. We proudly join and stand by the message of awareness and hope for the thousands of children all over the world affected by this disease. We believe in a cure.