Juvenile Arthritis is a terrible illness, Arthritis is grim the constant pain of my Arthritis was difficult to cope with let alone a child having to deal with it.
'The cause of JRA is not known. It is thought to be an autoimmune illness. In this type of condition, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.' extract from Medline but much the same wherever you look.
My arthritis has been cured with long term antibiotics because it was found to be Lyme Disease. It concerns me how easily doctors reach for medicines such as steroids to suppress the immune system and assume that they are dealing with an auto immune illness when in reality it could be just the opposite and therefore different treatment that is needed.
The symptom list below reads like that of someone with Lyme disease and yet as I say in my earlier post about Arthritis and Juvenile Arthritis how many patients are tested for Lyme Disease and how many doctors even realise that the tests can miss up to 50% of cases.
Joint stiffness when you wake up in the morning
Limited range of motion
Joints may be warm or swollen and sometimes red
A child may stop using an affected limb or may limp
Body-wide JRA symptoms:
Fever, usually high fevers every day
Rash (trunk and extremities) that comes and goes with the fever
Swollen lymph nodes (glands)
JRA can also cause eye inflammation called uveitis. This problem can occur without any eye symptoms, or someone may have:
Increased pain when looking at light (photophobia)
Another post I wrote on Taking Control is worth reading. Ruth was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at aged about 16 now 20 years later she has discovered it is actually Lyme disease and receiving treatment through a private clinic she is on oral antibiotics and getting her health back. Ruth regularly posts videos about her health and I saw a more recent video where she is still making good progress. How exciting is that for her to get her health back after suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis for 20 years but how sad it is to realise that she will not be the only child here in the UK who was never properly assessed to see if her Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis was actually Lyme Disease.