Online since 2002 |   866-316-0162

Articles and News

Adult-Onset Still’s Disease: Everything Important

Adult-Onset Still’s Disease: Everything Important
Kevin Cleary

Arthritis has many forms, and Still’s disease is a rare type of inflammatory arthritis that is also known as Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis or Adult-Onset Stills Disease (AOSD). As you might have guessed by the name, AOSD is diagnosed only in adults. What makes Still’s Disease different than other types of arthritis? It does have symptoms similar to other forms of arthritis, but there are subtle differences, and hopefully, I can shine a light on some of these and give you a better idea of what Adult-onset Still’s Disease (AOSD) is.

Still’s Disease…What?

I’m sure you’re familiar with arthritis and the aches and pains associated with it. What makes Still’s Disease different from your typical run-of-the-mill arthritis? Still’s Disease can be classified into two distinct types depending on when it was diagnosed. They are:

  1. Systemic-onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA): This form of Still’s Disease was first diagnosed in children and is a type of juvenile idiopathic arthritis affecting children.
  2. Adult-onset Still’s Disease: This form of Still’s Disease is thought to be the same condition as JIA but is only diagnosed in adults.

Adult-onset Still’s Disease is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system, which normally protects us from infection, attacks our bodies by mistake. This condition can occur as a single episode and go away, be persistent, or even go away and return. This condition can damage joints, particularly the wrists, and without a cure, medicines are needed to reduce pain and control this disease.

Symptoms of Adult-Onset Still’s Disease

The one basic thing all types of arthritis have is joint inflammation and pain. So, what makes Adult-Onset Still’s disease different? Some of the signs & symptoms of AOSD include:

  • Sore throat
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Muscle pain
  • Swollen joints

What makes this disease difficult to diagnose is that someone living with Still’s Disease may not experience these symptoms all at once but maybe one at a time. For instance, a fever associated with Still’s may go up and down a few times during the day, but some may experience a fever continuously or just spikes in the morning. These symptoms can appear suddenly (known as a flare) or over time, and the flares can be frequent or years apart. Talk about complicated!!


Besides joint pain and swelling, complications of AOSD can be:

  • Enlargement of spleen/liver
  • Interstitial lung disease (scarring of the lung)
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pericarditis (inflammation of tissue around the heart)

Cause and Diagnosis

Adult-Onset Still’s Disease can be debilitating, so what causes it, and how do we get it diagnosed? Unfortunately, the cause of this disease is still unknown (no pun intended). Generally, it affects those between the ages of 16-35, but adults of any age can develop this disease, and it seems to affect more women than men. While it may be genetic, there appears to be a need for an environmental trigger. To add another layer of difficulty to this disease, there’s no single test for AOSD. Your physician (who may not encounter anyone else with AOSD) may base a diagnosis on the following:

  • Symptom history
  • Blood test
  • Physical exam
  • Process of illumination of other diseases

Blood tests typically show a high level of inflammation in those with AOSD. This inflammation can manifest itself during two blood tests known as Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and C-Reactive Protein (CRP).

Treatments for Adult-Onset Still’s Disease

With no cure for this disease, how do we treat Still’s disease? Once you’re diagnosed with Still’s Disease, you should see a specialist like a rheumatologist. Treatment to manage symptoms of Still’s Disease are:

  • NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen etc.)
  • Steroids
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
  • Exercise

When to See Your Doctor

Since Still’s Disease can be difficult to diagnose, how do you know when to see your doctor? Often, these symptoms can be confused with other common problems. You should contact your doctor if you experience a cough, breathing issues, or chest pain along with joint pain or stiffness.

Adult-onset Still’s Disease not only can be rare but also difficult to diagnose. It is important for you to be your own best advocate if you think you are being affected by AOSD. At HPFY, find all that you need to manage symptoms of Still's Disease and maintain your quality of life and lifestyle.

Related Articles



Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary

Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.

In 2006, ...

Continue reading

Trending Articles

Enteral Feeding: The What, When, and How

Shweta Chaubey

When traditional oral intake is not feasible, enteral feeding comes into play. It supports nutritional needs of individuals recovering from an injury or surgery. Dive into this informative article and learn what, when, why, and how of enteral feeding and ensure optimal patient care.

Using the Carpal Solution Carpal Tunnel Wrist Support

Kevin Cleary

Looking for a non-invasive option to manage carpal tunnel symptoms? Experience relief from constant tingling and pain with this Carpal Solution Wrist Support. Read this article to know about the unique features and benefits of this wrist support brace designed to deal with CTS and find why it is one of the most reliable wrist braces available on the market.

Top 5 Best Reviewed Nebulizers of 2023

Kevin Cleary

Need an effective and affordable nebulizer? Look no further, in this article we offer 5 of our best reviewed nebulizers that are loved by our customers. Click to read more and find the perfect nebulizer for all your respiratory needs.

10 Best Overnight Adult Diapers

Shweta Chaubey

Worried about nighttime leaks? Say goodbye to leakage with our ten best overnight adult diapers and wake up refreshed and dry.

Five Best Cervical Traction Devices of 2023

Taikhum Sadiq

Neck pain can wreak havoc on your otherwise healthy life. Traction device improves your cervical health and overall well-being. Read more to find our best cervical traction devices designed to curb the stiffness and discomfort of cervical muscles.