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Symptoms of Still's Disease

What are some symptoms of Still's disease?

For most people with the disease, the characteristic fever and rash symptoms usually go away after several months. The swelling of joints, however, can continue as a long-term condition. Some symptoms of Stillís disease include:

A common symptom of still's diseases is fever.
  • Extreme fatigue.As the body fights the inflammatory process and the individual battles the pain and fevers, fatigue is common. Exercise will help combat feelings of fatigue.
  • Recurring fevers. Spiking fevers which rapidly return to normal temperature, then go up into a fever state again later, then return to normal, etc. over the normal course of a day.
  • Rashes. A faint salmon-colored rash, which comes and goes randomly and does not itch.
  • Joint pain. Arthritis may initially be overlooked because of the nature of the systemic symptoms. However, everyone with Still's disease eventually develops joint pain and swelling. This usually involves many joints (polyarticular arthritis). Any joint can be affected, although there are preferential patterns of joint involvement in Still's disease. The arthritis usually appears within the first six months after the start of the fever and persists even when the fever settles.
  • Muscle pain. Muscular pain associated with adult Still's disease usually ebbs and flows with the fever. It may be severe enough to disrupt your daily activities.
  • Enlarged liver, spleen. This type of arthritis can affect the internal organs causing an enlarged liver or spleen.
  • Swollen lymph nodes. Due to the systemic nature of the disease, lymph nodes can also be affected. They are often tender to the touch.
  • Sore throat. Most adult Stillís disease sufferers develop a sore throat that is usually described as a severe, constant burning pain in the back of the throat.
  • Inflammation of the heart and lungs. Inflammation of internal organs may cause stomach pain or affect the heart or lungs, but will not cause permanent damage.
  • Small appetite. The pain, discomfort, and feelings of nausea can affect the appetite. Eating might be the last thing someone fighting a Stillís flare-up would want to do; however, it is important to keep strong and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Weight loss. The loss of appetite and fatigue may in turn cause weight loss. Maintaining a healthy body weight is important. When fever in systemic juvenile arthritis persists for several weeks, the child will be weak and may lose weight. The same holds true for adults with the onset disease.
  • Anemia. When a fever persists for several weeks the sufferer may become pale from anemia (a fall in the level of hemoglobin in the blood).

Please see our Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis pages for detailed information.

Important Notes:

  • Having these symptoms might not necessarily mean that you have Stillís disease. Some of these symptoms are similar to symptoms found in other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, infectious mononucleosis (more commonly known as mono), and lymphoma (Hodgkinís disease).
  • If you already have Adult Still's disease and develop a cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain or any other unusual symptoms, call your doctor.

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