How will juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) affect you?

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This page describes the common symptoms of arthritis in young people and how they can affect regular activities. Symptoms can vary from person to person and from day to day.

Key points

  • Common symptoms of JIA include joint swelling and pain, stiffness, fatigue and sleep difficulties.
  • JIA symptoms can impact your daily life and activities.
  • About 70% of young people with JIA will still have active arthritis as adults.

Common symptoms of JIA

Young people with JIA have many common symptoms, including:

  • joint swelling
  • joint pain
  • stiffness (difficulty moving joints)
  • fatigue (feeling more tired than normal)
  • sleep difficulties.

Your symptoms can affect your daily activities. You may find it hard to get dressed, or go to school or work. It might be difficult to play sports and do other fun activities. Like many other young people with JIA, you might also feel isolated, helpless, or depressed.

JIA affects each person differently. You might not have all of these symptoms. Your symptoms may also vary in how much they affect you.

There are things you can do to reduce or limit how much these symptoms interfere with your everyday activities. In the Taking Charge: Managing JIA Online Program, you will learn more about your symptoms and how to manage them. Learning strategies to manage your JIA will help you be more active and make you feel more positive.

How will JIA affect your future?

It is impossible for your doctor to really predict whether JIA will eventually go away, or whether you will have it as an adult. In general though, about 70% of young people with JIA will still have active arthritis as adults. Also, the longer your disease remains active, the greater the risk that you will have joint damage.

The good news is that almost all young people with JIA can control their arthritis with medicines and other treatments. This means that you should be able to do all of the things you want to do. Your health-care team will monitor your JIA symptoms and work with you to keep your joints as healthy as possible.

Last updated: January 31st 2017