What is Mediterranean Fever (FMF Disease)? What are the symptoms of FMF?
Familial Mediterranean Fever, also known as FMF, is a genetic disease seen especially in Mediterranean countries. It is common in Jews of Eastern European descent, Sephardic Jews, Spaniards, Greeks, Armenians, Arabs and Turks. Although there is an ethnic predisposition, this disease can also be seen in other people. The severity of lifelong FMF disease may vary from patient to patient. Although it is known as Mediterranean Fever, it is more common in the Central Anatolia Region of our country.
What is Mediterranean fever (FMF) disease?
FMF disease occurs due to a gene disorder called MEFV; It is a type of inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent fevers, pain and inflammation in the lungs, joints and abdomen. The disease, diagnosed in childhood, is diagnosed by a doctor who specializes in Rheumatology. The specialist doctor listens to the patient’s symptoms and performs a physical examination. Blood tests performed during an attack are used to definitively diagnose FMF disease. These tests reveal the extent of inflammation in the body. The most definitive diagnostic method is FMF genetic tests. These tests examine the presence of mutation in the MEFV gene that causes the disease.
Mediterranean fever symptoms
There is no definitive treatment method for FMF Disease. The aim of the treatment is to stabilize the general condition of the patient and prevent symptoms and attacks with the medications given. A drug called colchicine is commonly used to treat FMF attacks. A decrease in FMF symptoms is observed when colchicine, which is a very effective drug in the treatment of the disease, is used regularly in sufficient doses. At the same time, the severity and frequency of attacks decrease with drug treatment. In FMF patients who do not comply with medication treatment regularly, deterioration in the functions of the kidneys and other organs is observed in the future.
Recommendations about FMF
- Regular sleep: regular sleep and rest help reduce the severity of FMF attacks.
- Regular exercise: Regular exercise is very important to minimize the complications of the disease. 45-minute moderate-paced walks are recommended at least 3 days a week.
- Healthy nutrition: An adequate and balanced nutrition program prepared by the dietitian according to the patient’s lifestyle, height, weight and gender can reduce the severity and number of attacks.
- Exposure to too cold or too hot triggers inflammation in the joints.
- Sufficient water should be consumed.
- Vitamin D deficiency may increase attacks in FMF patients. If there is vitamin D deficiency under the supervision of a doctor, a supplement can be taken.
- Harmful habits such as smoking, which negatively affect the circulatory system, and beverages containing toxic substances such as alcohol and carbonated drinks should be avoided.