JDM tend to exhibit many other symptoms as well. However, this depends on the affected area of your kid’s body. These symptoms may include;

  • Weak voice.
  • Calcinosis, which is characterized by hard lumps of calcium right under the skin.
  • Contractures or body joints that are extremely or strangely bent.
  • Frequent stomach aches.
  • Difficulty in swallowing food.
  • Breathing issues that can be life-threatening at times.
  • Sudden weight loss.
  • Fatigue and fever.

If your kid shows any of these symptoms, it is recommended to consult a pediatric doctor right away since early diagnosis of JDM can save your kid from permanent muscle damages. Plus, the same symptoms may indicate many other underlying health issues and consulting a physician is important to rule out such diseases.

The Cause

As mentioned earlier, the exact cause of JDM is not yet discovered and it is assumed to be an autoimmune disorder. Note that the immune system of one’s body is designed to attack the foreign particles entering the body for protection. Nevertheless, sometimes the immune system may accidentally attack the useful cells and muscles in the body of a person leading to a series of health issues. Juvenile Dermatomyositis is assumed to be one of those disorders.

Diagnosis and Treatment

First, your doctor might look for the symptoms and inquire about the medical history of your kid. Then, he may recommend a number of tests in order to rule out other health issues as well as to confirm JDM. Some of those tests include;

  • Blood test for checking proteins and antibodies in the blood of a person.
  • Electromyography test for determining the exact location of the disease as well as the electric activity exhibited by the muscles of your child.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging or MRI to spot early symptoms or signs of weakness and muscle inflammation or swelling.
  • Muscle biopsy for checking the signs of infection or inflammation in your child’s muscles.

Unfortunately, there is no complete cure when it comes to the treatment of JDM. Still, early diagnosis can prevent permanent muscle damages or other health issues. The treatment methods employed by the doctors may depend on the location as well as the intensity of the disease. Obviously, this may vary with kids and some of the available treatment options include medications, speech therapy, dietary help, and physical therapy.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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