July Is National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

children

Each year at this time, we commemorate the estimated 300,000 children and their families in the United States who face the everyday challenges of living with juvenile arthritis (JA) and related diseases. Juvenile arthritis is an umbrella term used to describe the many autoimmune and inflammatory conditions or pediatric rheumatic diseases that can develop in children and teens.

The various types of juvenile arthritis share many common symptoms, like pain, joint swelling, redness and warmth, but each type of JA is distinct and has its own unique characteristics and how it affects the body.

Common Types of Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)

Considered the most common form of childhood arthritis, JIA includes six subtypes: oligoarthritis, polyarthritis, systemic, enthesitis-related, juvenile psoriatic arthritis or undifferentiated.

Juvenile dermatomyositis

An inflammatory disease, juvenile dermatomyositis causes muscle weakness and a skin rash on the eyelids and knuckles.

Juvenile lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease. The most common form is systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE. Lupus can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood and other parts of the body.

Juvenile scleroderma

Scleroderma, which literally means “hard skin,” describes a group of conditions that can cause the skin to tighten and harden.

Kawasaki disease

This disease causes blood vessel inflammation that can lead to heart complications.

Mixed connective tissue disease

This disease may include features of arthritis, lupus dermatomyositis and scleroderma, and is associated with very high levels of a particular antinuclear antibody called anti-RNP.

Fibromyalgia

This chronic pain syndrome is an arthritis-related condition, which can cause stiffness and aching, along with fatigue, disrupted sleep and other symptoms. More common in girls, fibromyalgia is seldom diagnosed before puberty.

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