Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis also known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a commonly occurring arthritis in children under the age of 15. Some common problems that are faced by patients with this disease include stiffness, joint pain, and swelling. While the symptoms might persist for a few months for some patients, for others it might continue for the rest of their lives. Patients might face serious complications such as inflammation of the eye, problems related to growth etc. The treatment of this condition focuses on preventing the bones from getting damaged, pain control and improving the function of the body.
Pain: A child suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis might face extreme pain in the joints. They might limp after a nap or night sleep due to pain or stiff joints.
Swelling: Larger joints such as the knee might swell frequently. The swelling might occur in smaller joints too.
Stiffness: In addition to limping the child might appear rough and clumsy after waking from night sleep or a nap.
What are the causes of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis occurs when the immune system of the body attacks its own tissues and cells. It is still unclear as to why it happens, although, researchers believe that the environment and heredity have a role to play. Certain genetic mutations might make a child more vulnerable and susceptible to microbes that can trigger this condition.
What are the complications involved?
There could be several complications that might arise due to this condition. It is, therefore, wise to keep a close watch on the child. Seeking immediate medical attention can go a long way in mitigating the risk of these complications.
Problems related to the eye: Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis can damage the eye by causing an inflammation known as uveitis. If this condition is not treated, it might result in other conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, blindness etc.
Growth problems: Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis could result in growth problems. To treat this, a child would require a dose of corticosteroid.
How to diagnose juvenile arthritis?
It is not very easy to diagnose juvenile arthritis. Doctors often prescribe blood tests to get an idea of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, C-reactive protein, anti-nuclear antibody, cyclic citrullinated peptide etc. A doctor might also prescribe imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI etc to detect congenital defects, fractures, tumors etc.
What are the treatment options available?
The overall treatment goal is to control symptoms, prevent joint damage, and maintain function. Oral steroids such as prednisone, deflazocort may be used in certain situations, but only for as short a time and at the lowest dose possible. Some of the medications that are prescribed for this condition include NSAID such as ibuprofen and naproxen, DMARD such as methotrexate and leflunomide, TNF blockers such as adalimumab and etanercept, immune suppressants such as rituximab. In addition to this, doctors would also prescribe exercises and therapies.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disorder (wherein the immune system attacks the body tissues) resulting in joint inflammations. Joints, which are used more frequently, such as knees, fingers, shoulders, wrists, elbows and hips get affected more commonly by this disease. Rheumatoid arthritis might also affect the adjoining tissues, such as the ligaments and tendons. While doctors are still skepticle about what exactly causes the disease, a significant dip in immunity might cause the inflammation of the joints, resulting in people who suffer from obesity, people in the age group of 40-60, people who have a family history of this condition, regular smokers and women being more prone to this disease.
The symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis include but are not limited to:
1. Intense pain in the morning
2. Recurring instances of mild fever along with the pain.
3. Abnormally enlarged joints turning red in colour, resulting in intense pain.
4. Stiffness in the joints
5. Significant increase in the pain in low-temperature conditions
6. Being severely tired and experiencing an alarming decrease in weight
If rheumatoid arthritis is not diagnosed immediately, it might lead to future complications, such as blood cancers in the lymph nodes, osteoporosis (a medical condition resulting in brittle bones), infections, blockages in and gradual stiffening of the arteries. The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes:
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body recognizes the body's own system as foreign and produces an inflammatory reaction. The synovium which is the space between the bones and the joints and contains a lubricating fluid which allows easy movement of the joints.
Inflammation of this space leads to painful, swollen joints that can also turn red and become stiff over a period of time. The joint surfaces can gradually progresses to produce deformities (the swan-neck deformity of the hand for instance) and disability.
Because it is an autoimmune disorder, the exact etiology is not known but lifestyle, stress, cold weather are supposedly predisposing factors. That being the case, it is not surprising that Ayurveda has a variety of options, both in terms of do's and don't's to manage rheumatoid arthritis - both the severity of symptoms and further progression of the disease.
Do's: A well-planned diet will help by supporting optimal functioning of the immune system and nourish the affected joints.
Don'ts: In addition to adding the above to your diet, there are some things to avoid, which can worsen symptoms of inflammation.
With simple daily food habit and lifestyle changes, the severity of RA can be managed effectively.
Arthritis is a very painful disease. It restricts you from doing a lot of the activities you would love to engage in. However, there are steps you could take to reduce the chances of it happening to you.
Here are some tips, which help you in preventing Arthritis:
Arthritis is an inflammatory joint disorder of autoimmune starting point. In arthritis, the joints get to be painful, inflamed, swollen and warm with checked stiffness. Chiefly the little joints of wrist, fingers, ankles and toes are included. Over the long haul, other huge joints may likewise get influenced.
Homeopathy is a standout amongst the most prevalent all encompassing system of medicine. The determination of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms comparability by utilizing comprehensive approach. To the extent therapeutic medication is concerned, a few very much demonstrated medicines are accessible for homeopathic treatment of arthritis that can be chosen on the premise of cause, sensation, location, modalities and augmentation of the protests. For individualized remedy determination and treatment, the patient ought to counsel a qualified homeopathic doctor face to face.
Will Homeopathy treat joint inflammation?
Homeopathic method of treatment is extremely powerful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Homeopathic medicines treat rheumatoid arthritis by directing the overactive immune system. They decrease joint inflammation and symptoms including swelling, pain and stiffness of joints. Homeopathy offers an extensive variety of medicines for rheumatoid arthritis. However, there is nobody cure for all ills connected with this condition. The most fitting Homeopathic medicine for rheumatoid arthritis is chosen in light of an inside and out analysis of individual symptoms. Exceedingly successful Homeopathic medicines for rheumatoid arthritis are ActaeaSpicata, RhusTox, Causticum, Bryonia, Kalmia, Caulophyllum, Ledum pal, Guaiacum, Benzoic acid, Calcaria Carb.
The homeopathic treatment for arthritis has the capability of forever reestablishing the health of your joints. It merits finding a decent homeopath that will regard you as the individual you seem to be, instead of essentially "obtaining" a remedy from another person's experience.
Ayurveda is a very old system of medicine, which originated in India. Using herbs found in nature to cure various illnesses, knee pain can also be permanently cured with this method indigenous to India. It reduces knee pain caused by various illnesses including arthritis, inflammation of the cartilage and wearing of the patella among others.
2. Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is medically known as Withania Somnifera. In the West, Ashwagandha is popularly known as Winter Cherry. Also, it has a lot of therapeutic properties, which include reducing joint pains.
3. Banyan: The Banyan tree's medical name is Ficus Benghalensis. It has a sap very similar to the form of rubber known as latex is derived from the Banyan tree. The Banyan tree's sap is externally applied over the joints and the pain usually disappears after a few regular applications.
4. Bishop's weed: The medical name for Bishop's weed is Trachyspermum Ammi. The oil extracted from this herb is usually applied to the knees to reduce the intensity of such knee pains.
5. Celery: The medical name for celery is Apium Graveolens. Celery is not only an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and associated pains in the knees, but it is also helpful in treating gout. It is usually agreed upon that this particular treatment is usually long lasting because of its alkaline nature.
6. Dandelion: Dandelion's biological name is Taraxacum Officinale. It is rich in magnesium and is crucial for the correct mineralization of the bones. This mineralization allows the bones to become stronger and also prevents knee pain.
8. Ginger: Ginger is biologically called Zingiber Officinale. These can be easily included in your diet and go a long way in curbing knee pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory arthritis with a prevalence of 0.5-1% in India. It is characterized by joint pain and swelling associated with morning stiffness lasting for more than 30 minutes. It generally has a slow onset - over weeks to months, though the onset can be acute also. Most common joints involved are small joints of hands and feet. Larger joints like knee and shoulder can also be involved. The incidence of RA increases with age. It is twice more common in females than in males. Early treatment is necessary to bring down the inflammation, avoid joint deformities and prevent other complications ( lung, heart, vasculitis).
Predisposition to RA is multifactorial. It has a genetic component (family history of RA increases the risk). Environmental factors like smoking also play a role.
Initial symptoms start with fatigue, malaise, generalised bodyaches, low-grade fever. The onset is generally slow and eventually patient develops joint pain and swelling. Though the joint involvement is symmetrical in most cases, asymmetric onset is common (involving joints predominantly on one side).
Diagnosis is made by a physician after detailed history, clinical examination and supportive lab tests. Rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibody are positive in 75-80% patients with RA. They have raised inflammatory markers (ESR, CRP) during active inflammation.
RA treatment options are wide and quite effective. It starts with patient education regarding nature of the disease and the risk of complications. The need of early aggressive therapy should be emphasized. The patient should put in efforts for physiotherapy which play a very important role in muscle strength and joint mobility. Pharmacotherapy options are wide and include disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs ( DMARDS). These can be conventional DMARDS like methotrexate ( usually the first line drug), sulfasalazine, hydroxychloroquine, leflunomide. Failure to adequately respond to these drugs should lead your Rheumatologist to consider Biologic DMARDS ( TNF antagonists, Rituximab, Abatacept, Tocilizumab). Your Rheumatologist is the best person to guide you about dose, indications, monitoring and side effects of the drugs used in RA. Treatment duration depends on patient's response but is generally long ( 5-10 years or lifelong).
COMPLICATIONS BEYOND JOINTS:
RA patients can have rheumatoid nodules in skin, lungs, heart and other sites. These patients are at risk of accelerated bone loss, so calcium and vitamin D intake should be optimized. Eye complications include dryness, redness ( scleritis and episcleritis) and certain eye threatening complications. Lung involvement can be seen in various forms ( fluid in lungs, nodules, interstitial lung disease).
These patients are at high risk of atherosclerosis ( heart and blood vessel disease). They also have a tendency to have frequent infections.
NEED OF THE HOUR:
All patients with joint pains should be seen early by Rheumatologist for diagnosis and treatment. With so many treatment options, no patient should suffer from joint deformities and other complications associated with long standing, untreated.