J: Juvenile Dermatomyositis
What is worse than an adult having Dermatomyositis? A child! As adults we can do our best to describe our symptoms, our pains, and our fears but as a children we are more limited and even more scared.
Some facts about JDM:
- Juvenile dermatomyositis affects more children than adults.
- The exact cause of JDM isn’t known, but problems with a child’s immune system are believed to be a factor.
- JDM is rare, affecting only 3,000 to 5,000 kids under age 18 in the United States.
- There’s no typical age when a child first gets the condition, but the average age is 7 years old.
- The disease often begins with nonspecific, general symptoms (such as fever, fatigue and muscle weakness).
- A rash may develop around the eyelids (known as a heliotrope rash), elbows, knees and/or knuckles and finger joints or involve the toes (called Gottrons papules).
- In mild cases, a child may recover without any apparent long-term effects.
- Without treatment, a child may have residual muscle weakness, atrophy (wasting of the muscles) or contractures, a condition where children lose normal mobility of their joints.
- While there’s currently no known cure for, we’ve found that using a combination of immunosuppressive therapies can put the disease into remission over time.
Although JDM does not particularly pertain to me, it is close to my heart. Knowing what these children go through is heart breaking and this is my way of helping spread awareness. Please visit www.curejm.org to learn more.
Sending virtual hugs and love to those with JDM.