World AUTOimmune & AUTOinflammatory Arthritis Day
May 20th, 2018
Patients who are suspected of having early disease, but the specific type is not yet apparent, are often initially diagnosed with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD), Undifferentiated Spondylitis (USpA), inflammatory polyarthritis, or simply "inflammatory arthritis - nonspecific".
Juvenile Arthritis versions of the diseases listed above are also included in this group. Formerly called Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, this is now commonly referred to as either Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (autoimmune) or systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis/Still's (autoinflammatory).
Overlapping symptoms, regardless of diagnosis, ofteninclude: debilitating fatigue, fevers (various levels), severe and prolonged stiffness after rest, brain fog ("mental cloudiness"), and joint pain.
Autoinflammatory diseases usually also present with a rash (type varies).
Furthermore, even a smaller subset of those diseases are so alike in symptoms, presentation, and treatment that they are sometimes difficult to differentiate early in disease onset, resulting in a delay in diagnosis and, sometimes, misdiagnosis. These diseases include:
The immune system is comprised of two parts - the innate and the acquired immune system. The innate means essentially inborn, while the acquired reacts to learned responses. Autoimmune diseases stem from the acquired immune system; onset occurs due to a genetic predisposition in addition to an environmental trigger (something acquired). Autoinflammatory diseases also have a genetic predisposition, but they trigger for no known reason.
"Autoimmune Arthritis" and "Autoinflammatory Arthritis" refers to type of arthritis caused by inflammation in association with autoimmune or autoinflammatory diseases. It is not the same type of arthritis associated with aging, wear and tear, injury, or extreme pressure/weight on the joints; this common form is called Osteoarthriits (OA). While common, however, it can be quite severe, causing complete destruction of the cartilage and resulting in bone on bone pain. The arthritis associated with autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases is very different.
The following diseases may or may not present with joint pain as a major component. These also have other specific clinical features that may differentiate them from the diseases listed above. They include:
Mixed Connective Tissue Disease ("overlap" of three connective tissue diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, and polymyositis).
TRAPS (Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Periodic Syndrome)
Diseases or conditions that often occur as a comorbidity with Autoimmune-Autoinflammatory Arthritis diseases:
Fibromyalgia (nerve condition)