Most of us think of arthritis as something that may strike in old age. Few of us equate it with youth, and the adventures of childhood.
But arthritis, the body’s immune system attacking its own cells and tissues, targets victims at all points in their lives.
In the U.S, nearly 300,000 children suffer from some form of the disease, with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, or JIA, being the most common.
Back in 2016 scientists identified the protein that triggers JIA, but more research needs to be done to find out just how and why it starts.
Here are 5 signs that your child may have juvenile idiopathic arthritis:
Children will experience pain with JIA, but they might not vocalize it. Limping after a nap or in the morning? This can be a sign that all is not well.
2) Swollen Knees
Swelling associated with JIA usually begins in the larger joints, including the knees.
If your child appears clumsier than usual- especially after sleeping- this can indicate they’re actually experiencing stiffness in their joints, which is making it difficult for them to move.
4) A Fever in the Evening
Some patients experience evening fevers and swollen lymph nodes that act up at night.
5) A Rash
While not all people experience a rash with JIA, it can appear. While being a common symptom of other illnesses, it’s something to look for.
The good news is that JIA is fickle. It might appear in one joint for a few months, and then disappear. In other patients, symptoms can remain for a lifetime. Talk to your doctor for more information and a diagnosis.