What You Should Know About Adult-Onset Still’s Disease

When many people think of arthritis, they think only about an achy joint or two, specifically in the hands and wrists. However, there are numerous different types of arthritis that a person can suffer from. Some of these forms of arthritis are common and well-known while others are rare and can often be confused with other conditions. One such form of arthritis that is both rare and easily confused with other health conditions is known as adult-onset Still's disease. Get to know more about this rare form of arthritis so that if you are showing signs, you can get to an arthritis specialist as soon as possible for treatment. 

What Is Adult Still's Disease?

Adult Still's disease is a rare form of arthritis that causes inflammation in the joints. Many people find that it starts out affecting only one joint or a few joints but then it spreads to the other joints in the body. The symptoms of adult Still's disease can make it confusing because some of them may be confused with dermatological conditions or even bowel and digestive disorders.

What Are The Symptoms Of Adult Still's Disease?

When a person begins suffering from adult Still's disease, they often develop a bright pink rash on their abdomen (as well as on their chest or back) and arms and legs. This rash may be paired with intermittent periods of high fever throughout the day. These symptoms in and of themselves do not often make people think they are suffering from a form of arthritis.

The achy joints often come after the rashes and fevers begin. Abdominal pain and muscle aches are also common for people with adult Still's disease. Sometimes, the inflammation can become so extensive that the tissues around the major organs like the lungs and heart can be affected as well causing other health issues as well as spleen and liver damage.

What Are The Treatment Options For Adult Still's Disease?

Treatment of adult Still's disease often revolves around pain management and minimizing a person's inflammation to protect organs and give them a more active and fulfilling life. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are often the first line of treatment for adult Still's disease. This can be in the form of over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or in prescription form.

Corticosteroids are also a treatment option for adult Still's disease. These medications are powerful anti-inflammatory agents that can be injected directly into joints that are most affected. These treatments are used to treat flare-ups of the disorder. However, if the disease continues to recur and/or is chronic in nature, you may need maintenance medications that control and alter the way the immune system works to reduce flare-ups and their intensity.

Now that you know more about adult-onset Still's disease, you can better handle the situation if you receive a diagnosis.