The body has a defense system called the immune or immune system that acts as a protective shield against everything that can attack it and keeps it healthy, but sometimes that system that defends us becomes aggressive against the cells, organs or healthy tissues of any part of the body and produces diseases called autoimmune. What are the main immune diseases that can attack children?
In children autoimmune diseases They are generally of hereditary origin and often difficult to diagnose, since they can manifest with symptoms similar to any other pathology, such as fatigue, muscle pain, fever or inflammatory processes, which are the most predominant symptom and merit countless diagnostic tests to determine what disease it is.
In some cases they can be prevented or treated in a simple way, in others they can take years to manifest themselves and cause serious damage, often difficult to treat and irreversible. In other cases, the disease can become more acute, that is, get worse and then have remission, which is when the symptoms improve and may even disappear.
Regarding the treatment of autoimmune diseases it will depend on each type, but the most important thing is to reduce or disappear the inflammatory process that causes a lot of discomfort and pain. Corticosteroids, which have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, and medications that reduce the response of your immune system are almost always used for this.
Allergies is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in children. This type of pathology appears when the immune system reacts in the wrong way to some agent with which we are frequently in contact (pollen, mites, humidity, animal hair, food, etc.) and causes inflammatory reactions that produce symptoms of each type. allergy.
For example, in rhinitis, the nasal mucosa becomes inflamed; in asthma the bronchial tubes become inflamed producing bronchospasm, in urticaria there is inflammation of the skin ... Many times the cause that initiates these reactions is unknown and it is assumed that there is most likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
In most cases, specific immunological tests must be carried out to arrive at the causative agent and treatment is based on oral allergies, in acute cases, or parenteral drugs and corticosteroids, in severe cases. Allergy attacks to a certain allergen will last for life, but they can be controlled with prevention, therapy and immunotherapy and become less intense with growth.
What can we do to cope with these diseases? Here are some recommendations!
- The first thing to do is to recognize the allergens that trigger allergy symptoms: pollen, dust, animal hair, food, humidity ... In this way they will be avoided and crises can be prevented or the appropriate therapy administered.
- Use of immunotherapy or allergy shots, which are recommended only in patients with a confirmed allergy.
The arthritis it is the second most common autoimmune disease in children. It is a pathology that affects the joints in general, causing pain and inflammation of the same, many times without known cause. It can affect a single joint (oligoarticular) or several (polyarticular).
Can be developed different types of autoimmune arthritis in children, but the most common is juvenile idiopathic arthritis, with those under 16 being the most affected. In this case, arthritis occurs because the immune system not only attacks invading cells, but also healthy cells in the body and releases chemicals that cause pain and inflammation at the joint level.
Of course, not all joint pain or inflammation is a juvenile idiopathic arthritis, so the pediatrician must take a good anamnesis and necessary diagnostic tests to reach a probable diagnosis and refer to the rheumatologist. This specialist will be in charge of making an accurate diagnosis and establishing an appropriate treatment, which is generally based on anti-inflammatories and analgesics that will relieve pain and inflammation of the joints.
Likewise, the patient must keep their joints moving, so they must be evaluated by a physiotherapist., who will indicate an exercise program to move the joints and strengthen their muscles. These activities will be carried out both at home and at school, since they usually wake up with their joint or joints very stiff, stiff and sore and as they move and practice their exercises, their mobility improves and the discomfort disappears.
AND every patient with juvenile idiopathic arthritis should be evaluated, in turn, by an ophthalmologist, since this disease is associated in a high percentage to a pathology called uveitis, which is an eye inflammation, which can also cause vision problems.
Uveitis, as explained in the Clinical Guide to Symptoms and Signs in Primary Care, prepared by the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI) and by the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC), manifests itself by presenting a red eye with ciliary involvement , moderate pain, loss of visual acuity, photophobia, miosis and sometimes associated scleritis. Posterior uveitis has less redness, predominantly ciliary, with blurred vision, and floating bodies.
Sometimes children can go months or years without symptoms, but out of nowhere an outbreak, an attack or a crisis begins without it being preventable, but the good news is that this pathology can be overcome in adulthood (7 out of 10 ) and not have relapses. What are the recommendations for relieving joint pain and inflammation?
- Carry out hot baths.
- Practice swimming.
- Maintain a constant practice of exercises indicated by the physiotherapist.
- Place warm blankets on the joints.
Other autoimmune diseases in children they are lupus, scleroderma, dermatomyosis, hypermobility, granulomatosis, Sjorgen's disease, Scholein-Henoch purpura, and nocturnal musculoskeletal pain.
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