Childhood Arthritis (JIA) Awareness Month

March is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Month

This month is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Awareness month. We will be bringing posts that help bring light to this condition.

Often when people think of Arthritis they think it is a condition that affects an older population. However, statistics are currently showing 3 in 1000 Canadian children have Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (J.I.A.). There is no known cause of J.I.A., but researchers believe it could begin after the immune system kicks into high gear to fight an ordinary infection or injury which causes inflammation. For children with J.I.A. the immune system becomes overactive and causes continuous inflammation. The inflammation affects the joints, and sometimes skin and organs.

Treatment for childhood arthritis is multi-faceted and varies for each individual. Medication has been proven to remove swelling, stiffness and joint pain. Some of the medications are heavy, requiring added folic acid to the diet through supplements. Folic acid helps reduce the side effects from heavy medications. Not all supplements are created equal.

Additionally, adding essential fatty acids and vitamin D may help regulate this auto-immune condition. Metagenics children’s line of supplements are specially made with kids in mind. MetaKids D3 liquid has a mild mint flavour and is easy to take, making it a great way to get the required vitamin D. Also, MetaKids Multi Soft Chews is a great multivitamin. Metagenics does not use stevia as a sweetener, which makes it more palatable for kids (and many adults). It is one of the few supplement companies that doesn’t use stevia.

There are a few essential oils that can be helpful with reducing inflammation. Tumeric contains curcumin, a anti-inflammatory compound. Tumeric oil can be taken to help with inflammation from arthritis. Another essential oil that can help with the pain from childhood arthritis is Copaiba. Additionally, Dr. Stacey has added Copaiba oil to creams and lotions to help calm and soothe painful and inflamed joints. Copaiba is natural pain modifier, as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever has been shown to help increase joint mobility and reduce pain for individuals with arthritis.

For additional resources about J.I.A. visit Arthritis Society’s website here.

 

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