Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis in children. As such, rheumatoid arthritis is very difficult to diagnose. There is no definite diagnostic test which can prove the presence of this disease. And if it is not identified and treated in time, there is a danger that it will be worsened and make the life of the patient utterly miserable. Therefore, the only thing you can do to identify if your child has this disease is to learn about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and observe carefully if your child shows one or more of those symptoms. By doing this, you can get your child tested for the disease in time and consequently start the treatment. The early treatment definitely helps to improve the quality of life of the patient.

There are three types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, viz. polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, pauciarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

In polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, the disease affects five or more joints. This type occurs more in girls than in boys. Generally small joints and weight-bearing joints, like knees, ankles, hips, neck and feet, are affected in this type of disease.

Pauciarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by presence of disease in four or less than four joints. Most commonly joints of knees and wrists are affected in this type. Sometimes, no active joint symptoms are seen, but iris (colored portion) of the eye is inflamed, which is called iridocyclitis, iritis or uveitis. It can be detected by an ophthalmologist.

Systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are seen in the whole body and they are the most severe ones. Even the spleen and lymph nodes can be affected to become enlarged. Gradually, many of the joints start showing pain, swelling and stiffness.

Though there are three types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, some symptoms are commonly seen in all of them. They are:

You can minutely observe if your child is showing one or more of these symptoms. You should also instruct his or her teacher about observing the child and inform you accordingly. The hardest part is the intensity of the symptoms is varying in different children and above that, in a single child too, it varies on different days.

Rheumatologists observe that the more number of joints are affected, the more severe is rheumatoid arthritis and the less are the chances that they will go away.

Thus if you know the juvenile rheumatoid arthritis symptoms well, you can detect early if your child is suffering from the disease and then you can start the treatment early too.