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Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)

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What is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)?

JIA can be described like this:

  • Juvenile means that the arthritis began before you were 16 years old.
  • Idiopathic means that the cause is unknown.
  • Arthritis means that one or more of your joints are inflamed.
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What causes JIA?

We think that JIA is caused by a combination of:

  • genetic factors
  • triggers, for example an infection that hasn’t yet been identified.
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How is JIA diagnosed?

To diagnosis JIA your doctor will ask questions and examine you to rule out other illnesses that can cause joint pain. You may also need some tests.

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What are the different types of JIA?

There are several different types of JIA, some of which are milder than others. The most common form of JIA is oligoarthritis.

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What effects can JIA have on my body?

JIA can affect different people in different ways. You might experience varying symptoms, eye inflammation and growth problems, and sometimes it can affect puberty.

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What treatments are there for JIA?

Treatments for JIA can include drugs, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

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How can I help myself when I have JIA?

Try the following self-help tips to ease the symptoms of JIA:

  • Exercise – weight-bearing activities like walking are particularly good.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Get a good night's sleep
  • Learn about ways to manage pain and fatigue.
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What is the outlook for JIA?

Although some people will find that their condition stays active into adulthood, most cases of JIA have a good outcome.

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