• Swollen joints
• Morning stiffness
• Pain in the joints
• Rash and fever
• Tenderness in the joints
• Weight loss
• Loss of energy and feeling weak
• Blurred vision
If your child’s pediatrician suspects that your child has juvenile idiopathic arthritis, he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in arthritis (rheumatologist) to confirm the diagnosis and explore treatment.
It may help to prepare for the appointment by writing down a list of the important information you want to go over during the appointment. This information can better help doctors determine exactly what is going on with your child.
The Mayo Clinic suggests including the following in the list:
- Detailed descriptions of your child’s symptoms
- Information about medical problems your child has had in the past
- Information about the medical problems that tend to run in your family
- All the medications and dietary supplements your child takes
- Your child’s immunization status
- Questions you want to ask the doctor
It may also help to prepare for the following questions, which doctors commonly ask:
- Which joints appear to be affected?
- When did the symptoms begin? Do they seem to come and go?
- Does anything make the symptoms better or worse?
- Is the joint stiffness worse after a period of rest?
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Although there is no cure for juvenile idiopathic arthritis, the treatment strategies that have been developed in recent years can greatly reduce disease severity and improve the quality of life for your child.