June 25, 2008

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) in teenagers

Posted in Category : Bone, Joint & Muscles Disorders

Most young people are of the opinion that it is only old people like their grandparents who would get affected by arthritis. Many people like these teenagers also think the same. But this is not so. As a matter of fact arthritis is a disease which practically affects people of all ages. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis or JRA is what affects children who are below the age of 17.

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis JRA is also known by different names like Childhood arthritis, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis and Stills’ disease. This disease which affects mostly children below 17 years causes swelling in the joints, stiffness, unbearable pain and also immobility in some cases. This disease does not affect any particular joint as most people think   but any joint in the body and can even affect the internal organs like the eyes, liver, lungs and heart too in more severe cases. If you find that your child is limping after getting out of bed in the morning then it is an early sign of Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis

Medical studies are yet to find the cause of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis in children though it has been established to be a autoimmune disorder. In this disorder, the body’s immune system which is supposed to protect you from diseases, fails to identify the foreign bodies like viruses and other disease causing organisms actually begins to attack the body’s tissues.

Children especially teenagers who are affected by Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis find that they experience intense pain and stiffness in various parts of their body which can vary from day to day or even at different periods in a single day. They can experience flares which mean the symptoms become very severe and they go through an agonizing time. Many young children especially teenagers experience growth related problems when they become susceptible to this disease. Though children can experience these symptoms from childhood in to their teen’s years it is possible that the symptoms also can go away as they grow up. This is called remission. Teenagers are known to have gone through difficult times with this disease and have later found that they come out of it with no permanent damage to their joints.

When teenagers become susceptible to Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis they find that their social life and school activities get hampered. This causes a strain on the children both emotionally and physically. Proper medical care and family support will go along way to elevate the trauma that the teenagers are undergoing when stricken with this disease.