What is it?

Familial Mediterranean fever is a genetic autoinflammatory disorder that causes recurrent fevers and painful inflammation of your abdomen, chest and joints.
FMF is an inherited disorder that usually occurs in people of Mediterranean origin- including those of Jewish, Arab, Armenian, Turkish, North African, Greek or Italian ancestry. But it can affect people in any ethnic group.
FMF is typically diagnosed during childhood. While there's no cure for this disorder, you may be able to relieve or even prevent signs and symptoms of FMF by following your treatment plan.

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Signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms of familial Mediterranean fever usually begin during childhood. They occur in bouts called attacks that last 1-3 days. Arthritic attacks may last for weeks or months.
Signs and symptoms of FMF attacks vary, but can include:
* Fever
* Abdominal pain
* Chest pain, which can make it hard to breathe deeply
* Painful, swollen joints, usually in the knees, ankles and hips
* A red rash on your legs, especially below your knees
* Muscle aches
* A swollen, tender scrotum

The attacks generally resolve spontaneously after a few days. Between attacks, you'll likely feel back to your typical health. Symptom-free periods may be as short as a few days or as long as several years.

In some people, the first sign of FMF is amyloidosis. With amyloidosis, the protein amyloid A, which is not typically found in the body, builds up in organs, especially the kidneys, causing inflammation and interfering with their function.


Tests and procedures used to diagnose familial Mediterranean fever include:
* Physical exam- the doctor may ask about your signs and symptoms and do a physical exam to gather more information.
* Review of your family medical history- A family history of FMF increases your likelihood of developing the condition because this genetic change is passed from parents to their children.
* Lab tests- During an attack, blood and urine tests may show elevated levels of certain markers that indicate an inflammatory condition in your body. An elevated level of white blood cells, which fight infections, is one such marker. Protein in the urine that may indicate amyloidosis is another.
* Genetic testing


There's no cure for familial Mediterranean fever. However, treatment can help relieve symptoms, prevent attacks and prevent complications caused by inflammation.
Medications used to relieve symptoms and prevent attacks of FMF include:
* Colchicine.
* Other drugs to prevent inflammation- For people whose signs and symptoms aren't controlled with colchicine, medications that block a protein called interleukin-1, which is involved in inflammation, may be prescribed. Canakinumab is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for FMF. Although not FDA-approved specifically for FMF, other options include rilonacept and anakinra.

Colchicine is effective in preventing attacks for most people. To lessen the severity of symptoms during an attack, your health care provider may recommend intravenous fluids and medications to reduce fever and inflammation and control pain.
Regular appointments with your health care provider are important to monitor your medications and your health.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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