"Juvenile" refers to young people, usually those under the age of 16.
"Idiopathic" means that the cause of a disease or condition is not known.
"Arthritis" is when one or more of your joints are inflamed—they hurt, swell up, and turn red. There are many different types of arthritis.
There are 6 forms of JIA, which vary by which joints are involved, how many joints are involved, and whether your child has other symptoms.
JIA is an autoimmune disease. The immune system is part of your body's defense system, which helps protect you from illness and infection. In an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks parts of your own body by mistake—in JIA, a child's immune system attacks joints and sometimes other parts of the child's body. Doctors don't know exactly what causes your child's immune system to attack the joints.
Symptoms may come and go. Some symptoms involve the joints. Other symptoms involve the rest of the body. Children with JIA do not all have the same symptoms. Some have a few mild symptoms, others have many severe symptoms.
Joint symptoms may involve a few or many joints, and include:
Symptoms that affect the rest of the body can include:
There is no specific test for JIA. The doctor will likely look at:
Even if your child has no eye symptoms, an eye doctor should examine your child’s eyes to look for inflammation in parts of the eye.
There is no cure for JIA, but treatment can make children feel better and help them function normally. Some newer arthritis medicines may also help prevent complications, such as joint deformity and poor growth.
Doctors treat JIA with:
Doctors may also suggest: