Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), which is akin to Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA), is a common form of chronic and persistent arthritis in child population. The sufferers of this disease are children, especially below the age of sixteen years. Idiopathi, is a condition where there is no definite reason and arthritis means an inflammatory disorder of the synovium. This disease generally differs with arthritis, which is commonly observed in adults having Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Other than JIA, some other types of arthritis can be found in children who are chronic in nature like Psoriatic Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis, which are types of autoimmune disease.
JIA is also a type of autoimmune disease where the immune attacks the joints by leading it to swelling, pain, inflammation, and sore. This inflammation may sometimes get better or may disappear, but sometimes it may get worse. So its diagnosis and treatment is very important in an early stage for relief and help to lead a better life for a children suffering from this disease. Depending upon the number of joints affected, it helps the doctor to determine, what type of JIA, a child is suffering from. There are three subtype of JIA found in children. They are Oligoarticular JIA, Polyarticular JIA, and Systemic JIA.
- Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: As from the name one may know ‘oligo’, which means few, which involves few joints that are affected. It is very common in nature and regarded as a mean type of JIA and is known by another name called Pausiarticular JIA. In this JIA, girls are reported to have affected mostly than the boys and 60 percent of the child population are affected with it. It generally attacks the age group between 1 to 5, in their knees, elbows, and ankles.
- Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: As the word ‘poly’, means many, it suggests involvement of many joints under this disease. This disease can begin at any stage and 20 percent of the child population, mostly girls, is affected with this JIA. This involves the small joints of hands and feet and further to those joints of shoulder, neck, hips, etc. Some Rheumatoid factors are also found in the blood tests, which are same like RA.
- Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: As the word ‘systemic’ means the whole body, it is the later stage of JIA, which is not common and is most serious type of JIA, also called Still’s disease. This disease is equally found in 10 percent of the child population and this can begin at any stage. Most joints like wrists, knees, ankles, etc and the organs like liver, stomach, spleen, etc are affected followed by fever and rashes in the body of a child.
As we know it is an autoimmune disease and incurable in nature, we cannot let our children to suffer in pain as we care and love them dearly. There are some treatments which may be helpful for them to relieve their pain and inflammation, and by restricting the disease to become fatal. But some basic things like regular exercise, therapies, and some medication will surely provide relief to the children in a long run.