Natural Remedies for Juvenile Arthritis to Help Ease Discomfort
If your child has been diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis, you’re not alone. Nearly 300,000 kids in America have been diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis. To put it into perspective, that’s 1 in 250 kids who are diagnosed with arthritis. While medications help manage symptoms, some children may also benefit from natural remedies for Juvenile Arthritis to ease discomfort.
In this post, we’ll look at:
- types of Juvenile Arthritis,
- symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis, and
- natural remedies for Juvenile Arthritis to ease discomfort.
TYPES OF JUVENILE ARTHRITIS
*Source: Arthritis Foundation
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA): Considered the most common form of arthritis, JIA includes six subtypes: oligoarthritis, polyarthritis, systemic, enthesitis-related, juvenile psoriatic arthritis or undifferentiated.
- Juvenile dermatomyositis: An inflammatory disease, juvenile dermatomyositis causes muscle weakness and a skin rash on the eyelids and knuckles.
- Juvenile lupus: Lupus is an autoimmune disease. The most common form is systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE. Lupus can affect the joints, skin, kidneys, blood and other areas of the body.
- Juvenile scleroderma: Scleroderma, which literally means “hard skin,” describes a group of conditions that causes the skin to tighten and harden.
- Kawasaki disease: This disease causes blood-vessel inflammation that can lead to heart complications.
- Mixed connective tissue disease: This disease may include features of arthritis, lupus dermatomyositis and scleroderma, and is associated with very high levels of a particular antinuclear antibody called anti-RNP.
- Fibromyalgia: This chronic pain syndrome is an arthritis-related condition, which can cause stiffness and aching, along with fatigue, disrupted sleep and other symptoms. More common in girls, fibromyalgia is seldom diagnosed before puberty.
SYMPTOMS OF JUVENILE ARTHRITIS
*Source: Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network
There are many early signs that your child’s doctor may look for when diagnosing Juvenile Arthritis. Early signs and symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis may include:
- Persistent joint swelling
- Consistent complaints of joint pain
- Joint pain primarily in hands, wrists and knees
- Appearance of skin rashes
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Development of a limp
- Loss of motor skill function
- Eye dryness
- Eye inflammation
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR JUVENILE ARTHRITIS TO HELP EASE DISCOMFORT
While many children can experience an ease in their discomfort with natural remedies for Juvenile Arthritis, it is important to speak with your child’s doctor before using any new remedies, including exercises and supplements, and if necessary, obtain written consent.
JUVENILE ARTHRITIS AND DIET
*Source: Juvenile Arthritis News
A balanced diet it is essential for kids diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis, which may include an anti-inflammatory diet rich in:
- Vitamin D (to control inflammation and aid absorption of Calcium)
- Healthy oils
- Limited sugars
Foods to Avoid (Foods that Aggravate Inflammation):
- Fried foods
- Processed foods
- Foods that are high in sugars
Foods to Include (Anti-Inflammatory Foods):
- Olive and fish oils
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fruits (especially strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges)
Herbs, Spices and Supplements as Natural Remedies for Juvenile Arthritis Discomfort:
Turmeric: Turmeric is a yellow powder made from the related flowering plant known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is rich in a variety of nutrients, including Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, and fiber. A significant bioactive component of turmeric is curcumin. Turmeric and curcumin supplements may be helpful as natural remedies for Juvenile Arthritis in easing a child’s discomfort.
Green Tea: Green tea has been used to reduce inflammation in the body, and used medicinally for centuries. Made from unfermented tea leaves, it’s a rich source of polyphenols, and antioxidants which help fight free radicals. According to the Arthritis Foundation, green tea is generally viewed as the most beneficial of all since it’s active ingredient is a polyphenol known as epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG).
Ginger: Used in Asian medicine for centuries, ginger has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen and COX-2 inhibitors such as celecoxib (Celebrex). Ginger also suppresses leukotrienes (inflammatory molecules) and switch off certain inflammatory genes, potentially making it more effective than conventional pain relievers.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid, both of which have antioxidant properties that help inhibit cell damage caused by free radicals. Cinnamon is delicious and can be added to a variety of foods, like oatmeal, smoothies, and teas. It may not be strong enough on its own, but when used in combination with other anti-inflammatory foods and spices, it may help offer a cumulative anti-inflammatory effect as an overall part of natural remedies for Juvenile Arthritis to ease a child’s discomfort.
Probiotics: Probiotics may help ease inflammation that can cause discomfort. A 2014 study found that administering the Lactobacillus casei 01 probiotic to people with RA for 8 weeks resulted in improved disease activity and inflammation.
Fish Oil: Fish oil from cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, cod, and herring, contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help combat inflammation.
Juvenile Arthritis and Exercise as a Natural Remedy for Juvenile Arthritis:
Kids with Juvenile Arthritis can and should exercise. A 2007 Canadian study published in Arthritis Care & Research found aerobic exercise helped children with arthritis.
Children with Juvenile Arthritis may have less muscle strength and muscle endurance. They may also experience decreased aerobic capacity and anaerobic capacity. A child with Juvenile Arthritis may tire faster during physical activity than their peers who don’t have arthritis. Studies have shown that these conditions can be improved with exercise training and that aerobic and anaerobic capacity can be boosted, and resistance training can increase muscle strength and endurance. Participating in regular exercise and activity helps strengthen muscles and improves joint range. During exercise, the body also produces endorphins, which can help to reduce pain, and joint stiffness.
Types of Exercise:
- Range of motion
Looking for a fun outdoor activity to keep a child active? See our post 10 Fun Outdoor Activities for Children Who Need Different Accommodations.
Resources for Parents: Support Articles and Natural Remedies for Juvenile Arthritis:
- Arthritis Foundation (Kids Get Arthritis, Too)
- Arthritis Foundation
- Medical News Today
- About Kids Health
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Network
Children experiencing discomfort may benefit from a variety of natural remedies for Juvenile Arthritis, from diet and exercise to herbs, spices, and supplements. When looking for remedies for your child to ease pain and discomfort, always be sure to speak to your child’s doctor or health care team to find the right remedy for your child’s specific needs, and if necessary, obtain written consent.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR FAMILIES IMPACTED BY CHILDHOOD CHRONIC ILLNESS
What are some natural remedies for juvenile arthritis discomfort that you have tried? We’d love to hear from you. Please share your experience with us in the comments.
CoachArt offers free art and athletic lessons to chronically ill children and their siblings between the ages of 5-18 in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego. If your child has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, we invite you to fill out a student eligibility form or get in touch to learn if CoachArt is right for your child.
Ways to Help
Do you have an artistic or athletic skill you would like to share with a child impacted by chronic illness? Become a CoachArt Volunteer.