Juvenile arthritis: causes, symptoms, treatment and everything you need to know | Health

Everyone knows that arthritis is a joint condition that occurs in old age, but we would never consider knee, hip or wrist pain in children as arthritis. Agreed that arthritis is not common in children, however, lack of awareness leads to delayed diagnosis and subsequent delay in treatment. Hence, the condition is called juvenile arthritis which occurs in children under the age of 16, but the exact cause is unknown.

In many cases, juvenile arthritis is overlooked as ‘growing pains’ or injuries during play and although we don’t have exact estimates of the number of cases in our country, it is believed that the incidence is 0.07 to 10/1000 individuals. One would assume that about 1.3 million Indian children suffer from this disease.

Talking about the symptoms in an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher at StemRx Bioscience Solutions Pvt Ltd in Navi Mumbai, revealed, “Sometimes juvenile arthritis is accompanied by fever spikes for more than 2 weeks, accompanied by at least one of the following: rash, arthritis, lymphadenopathy or hepatosplenomegaly. This condition is called systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis. However, most of these symptoms could signify several illnesses including flu, bacterial infections, typhoid, chikungunya, etc., all of which are more prevalent in our country, delaying the diagnosis of JA. »

Of testing and treatment for juvenile arthritis, he said: ‘There are no standard tests to diagnose the disease. Diagnosis is based on history of pain (pain that has persisted for at least 6 weeks) and blood and x-ray tests. Typically, painkillers, steroids, disease-modifying agents, vitamin supplements, etc. are given to control symptoms, inflammation and slow the progression of the disease. This is combined with physiotherapy and even surgery in extreme cases. However, these treatments do not cure the patient, so the drugs must be continued for life, which may be associated with side effects and other complications. In addition, the quality of life of young people is significantly affected and this could also be considered as a social stigma.

Advising everyone, including children, to undergo annual health checkups so that any disease can be identified early on, Dr Pradeep Mahajan said: “Patients with JA can be treated through a unique in regenerative medicine. The belief is that the root cause of a problem must be identified and corrected using natural molecules. Keeping this in mind, treatments involve cells, growth factors, exosomes, and peptides, all of which are part of our own body and several allied approaches that work holistically to manage a condition.

He revealed: “Therapies based on cells, growth factors and exosomes have enormous potential. These biological molecules have several functions, such as reducing inflammation, regulating the immune system, maintaining the internal balance (homeostasis) of the body, improving the function of other cells, repairing tissues damaged and provide a constant pool of healthy cells, etc. All this can be extremely beneficial and safe in JA, since all pathologies of the disease are treated. Thanks to these molecular therapies, we can guarantee long-term results. and enabling children to live pain-free lives without the need for lifelong medications or surgery.

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