Still’s disease is an inflammatory disease affecting the joints and many internal organs. It causes symptoms of fever, joint pain, stiffness of joints and skin rashes. For some people still’s disease is acute and short-lived and for others it becomes a chronic problem. Wrist joint gets badly affected due to this disease. Treatment includes medications for controlling inflammation. Adult still’s occurs in people below 45 years but sometimes it can develop in any age. Exact cause of this disease is not clear. The symptoms of child’s still’s disease is somewhat milder than adults. It is called as juvenile arthritis in children. One person out of one million people develops this disease and women are at increased risk when compared with men.
Stills Disease Symptoms :
Symptoms of still’s disease are not the same for all people. Common symptoms include fever, inflammation of joints, skin rashes and sore throat. Symptoms can be only for short term for some and for extended period for others. Fever higher than 102 F develops once during a day and mostly it sets in the late afternoon or evening.
Swelling of joints starts mildly and proceeds to occur in many joints including knees and wrist. Stiffness of joints would be there for many people in the mornings. Skin rashes would develop suddenly but without itching. Small round shaped lesions are seen on the upper arms and legs and sometimes on the face also. And finally the sore throat can cause problems in eating during still’s disease. In rare cases, additional symptoms like abdominal cramps, swollen lymph nodes and loss of weight (without trying) can occur.
Stills Disease Causes :
What exactly triggers Still’s disease is not known. It is believed to get triggered after an infection.
Who Are At Risk ?
People above 35 years are at risk of Still’s disease. A person who had this disease earlier has high chance for developing symptoms later in his life.
- Still’s disease can cause chronic inflammation of the joints making movement difficult. Joints of fingers, knees are worst affected.
- In rare cases still’s disease can cause infection on the muscle covering the heart leading to myocarditis.
- Fluid may get accumulated in the lungs causing difficulty in breathing.
Stills Disease Tests :
Symptoms of Still’s disease resemble that of Crohn’s disease and arthritis and hence it is difficult to diagnose it. Based on the symptoms and age, your doctor may request for blood test to check the level of RBC, high erythrocyte sedimentation rate and presence of antinuclear antibodies. High liver enzymes and negative rheumatoid factor helps in ruling out other diseases. Imaging tests like X-ray, CT scan of affected joints and abdomen scan is done to know the intensity of joint inflammation.
Stills Disease Treatment :
There is no cure for Still’s disease but medications are given to reduce the intensity of symptoms. Adult Still’s disease treatment focus in managing the symptoms of joint pain by non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like Advil, Naprosyn or Aleve etc. Painkillers of suitable strength are also prescribed for controlling pain. Steroids like prednisone is given for reducing inflammation but gradually the person may develop osteoporosis. Methotrexate is given along with prednisone to manage the symptoms. Patients with Still’s disease should monitor the levels of liver enzyme by an expert doctor regularly to prevent any complication.