Image by Daniele Levis Pelusi

What is a Pediatric Rheumatologist?

 

A Rheumatologist is an internist or pediatrician who is specially trained to diagnose and treat arthritis and other diseases of the joints, muscles and bones. Many rheumatologists conduct research to determine the cause and better treatments for these disabling and sometimes fatal diseases.

What do Pediatric Rheumatologists treat?

Rheumatologists treat arthritis, certain autoimmune diseases, musculoskeletal pain disorders and osteoporosis. There are more than 100 types of these diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, lupus, back pain, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and tendonitis. Some of these are very serious diseases that can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

 

When should I see a Pediatric Rheumatologist?

If musculoskeletal pains are not severe or disabling and last just a few days, it makes sense to give the problem a reasonable chance to be resolved. But sometimes, pain in the joints, muscles or bones is severe or persists for more than a few days. At that point, you should see your physician. Many types of rheumatic diseases are not easily identified in the early stages. Rheumatologists are specially trained to do the detective work necessary to discover the cause of swelling and pain. It’s important to determine a correct diagnosis early so that appropriate treatment can begin early. Some musculoskeletal disorders respond best to treatment in the early stages of the disease.Because some rheumatic diseases are complex, one visit to a rheumatologist may not be enough to determine a diagnosis and course of treatment. These diseases often change or evolve over time. Rheumatologists work closely with patients to identify the problem and design an individualized treatment program.

 common conditions faq

Child on Wheelchair
 

What is juvenile arthritis?

Juvenile Arthritis is a disease that causes inflammation of the joints, as well as pain, loss of motion, and stiffness, among other symptoms. Genetic and environmental factors are thought to be involved in the causes of this illness that currently affects thousands of kids. Some problems with the cartilage can reduce the capacity of movement of the joints, producing pain in ligaments, tendons, or even bones. 

What causes juvenile arthritis?

Diagnosing Juvenile Arthritis may be difficult since it begins with small symptoms. It is necessary to perform a physical exam, some blood tests, and even x-rays.

Nevertheless, once the rheumatologist confirms the diagnosis, it will be possible to develop the appropriate treatment for the patient. 

 

There is no cure for Juvenile Arthritis, but thanks to medical therapy, it is possible to help kids to reduce pain and any other sign caused by this ailment, so they can improve their life quality.

Smiling Baby
 

What is Pediatric Lupus?

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects different areas of the body (skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, nervous system, or other organs).

Among the causes of this illness, it is possible to find environmental factors, such as viruses, sun, or allergic reactions. Hereditary factors may also be involved. 

In order to diagnose this ailment is essential to pay attention to the following symptoms:

  • Fever

  • Fatigue

  • Weight loss

  • Skin rash

  • Sores in the mouth or nose

  • Blood problems

Remember that it is always essential to ask a specialist about the best option to help your child. Knowing that you or your loved one suffer from this illness is not easy, and even though there is no cure for Lupus, following the proper treatment can make a difference.

The key to deal with an ailment like this is to work with your rheumatologist and follow all the indications given, as well as continue attending to the medical appointments and always pay attention in case there is any important change in your kid's health.

Little Boy Playing Doctor
 

What is pediatric scleroderma?

Pediatric Scleroderma is a disease that causes inflammation in the skin, turning it thick and hard. This can generate an overproduction of collagen cells.

The main cause of this illness is still unknown, however, it may

be generated by problems with the immune system.

One of the main symptoms that characterize this condition is the loss of skin's capacity to stretch. 

Even though there are diverse medical treatments that help patients with scleroderma, it is still not curable.

Child by the Window
 

To get a diagnosis, it is necessary to make some blood tests and biopsies of salival glands. Once the diagnosis is made, a specialist will be able to prescribe some medications that help the patient to handle this condition.

What is Rheumatic Fever?

It is an inflammatory disease caused by viruses as scarlet fever. Although it is not very common, and it affects the population of all ages, children are more prone to suffer from it. 

An infectious bacteria called group A streptococcus can generate strep throat or scarlet fever, which may predispose people to develop this condition. 

Among the symptoms, it is feasible to find:

  • Painful burning in the eyes

  • Dry mouth or difficulty eating dry foods

  • Chest pain

  • Fatigue

 Kids with  Masks
 

What is periodic fever?

This is a hereditary condition that causes periodic episodes of fever that lasts the same length of time and are accompanied by some other symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Joint pain

  • Fever

Even though some kids may feel well among crisis, this condition can bring some other health problems that affect their lives. 

The following tests are necessary to confirm your kid suffer from periodic fever:

  • A family medical history

  • Blood tests

  • Physical examination

There is no cure for this ailment, but once the rheumatologist has confirmed the diagnosis it will be possible to prescribe anti-inflammatory medication that helps to reduce the symptoms.


Hand Reaching Out
 

What is Multiple Connective Tissue Disease?

It is a combination of disorders (primarily lupus, scleroderma, and polymyositis). As this is an autoimmune disorder, the immune system mistakenly attacks the fibers that support the body. 

Multiple Connective Tissue Disease may be a hereditary condition, but this prevails unclear until nowadays. 

The symptoms of this illness are:

  • Fatigue 

  • Fever

  • Cold fingers and/or toes

  • Fingers and/or toes turn white and then purple

  • Pain joints and muscles

The diagnosis may be difficult since the symptoms do not appear all at the same time. However, in order to confirm that the patient suffer from this illness, blood tests are necessary.

Once the rheumatologist has confirmed the diagnosis, the patient will start a treatment that helps to improve the symptoms, since there is no cure for this ailment.

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