July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness month: Watch out for symptoms, say doctors

With July observed as Juvenile Arthritis Awareness month, doctors highlighted that despite being common, the condition often gets ignored
Picture for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)
Picture for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)

Arthritis isn't a condition that affects only the adults. According to experts in the field, even youngsters, especially children, can suffer from a type of arthritis called juvenile idiopathic arthritis. According to doctors, juvenile idiopathic arthritis affects 1 in 10,000 adolescents each year and is a matter of concern, stated a report in The New Indian Express.

Doctors advise parents to keep a check on their children to see if they complain of pain in the joints, stiffness or swelling of the knees, and not take it lightly.

Doctors explained that rheumatoid arthritis itself is a highly prevalent condition affecting almost 1% of the entire adult population. The same condition that occurs in children is called juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Dr Sagar Bhattad, Consultant, (Paediatric Immunology and Rheumatology), Aster CMI Hospital, explained that children as young as two to three years and up to 16 years are affected by juvenile idiopathic arthritis. “I get at least 15 new patients each month who suffer from juvenile idiopathic arthritis... 20% of them are chronic cases (with body deformities) that occur due to late diagnosis," Dr Sagar said.

With July observed as Juvenile Arthritis Awareness month, doctors highlighted that despite being common, the condition often gets ignored. Children in the growing age (three to eight) often complain about joint pains which are not taken seriously by parents as they feel it is normal at that age. According to doctors, swelling of the knees is the first sign of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Dr Sagar said that 500 children were diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at his hospital in five years.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is an autoimmune disease which can last for several months. A child, especially in the growing age ends up suffering from lasting issues like disproportionate limb length or short stature. Even the quality of life is affected due to social factors like unwillingness to attend school, doctors opined. Though treatment is available which is taken over a course of time, children grow up to be healthy adults. "Early diagnosis plays a crucial factor to avoid worsening of the condition involving surgical treatments," Dr Sagar added.

Studies have explained that in juvenile idiopathic arthritis, the body’s immune system — which normally helps to fight off infections and heal cuts and wounds — mistakenly attacks some of its own healthy cells and tissues. 

Related Stories

No stories found.
X
logo
EdexLive
www.edexlive.com