Here's a selection of information from patients & professionals to better understand Familial Mediterranean Fever.
What are the symptoms of FMF?
FMF most often occurs before 10 years old and usually at about 2, 3 years old. It can sometimes be during the first year of life and, in exceptional cases, in the first weeks of life. FMF can also occur after 40 years old. The statistics give the following figures: onset before age 5 in 75% of cases and before 20 years in 90% of cases.
Attacks begin suddenly and last from 1 to 3 days. Manifestations differ from one patient to another. Attacks are often preceded by warning signs such as extreme fatigue and poor appetite.
Patients recognize the state that precedes the attacks, and may in some cases become irritable, have dizziness, and a lack of appetite. The severity of the fever depending on the severity of the attack. It is usually between 38.5 ° and 39 ° C but can exceed 40 ° C.
The fever is accompanied by intermittent sharp pain affecting the abdomen, joints, chest or skin. The onset of attacks can be influenced by factors such as stress, emotion, lack of sleep, food.
Between attacks the patient is well and clinical examination of the patient is normal apart from the presence of splenomegaly (enlarged spleen) in some cases.
The repeated crises and intense pain resulting from attacks result in a negative psychological impact on the patient including depression. FMF can sometimes mistakenly be labeled psychosomatic illness.
We distinguish severe forms (1 attack per week or more), medium forms (1-3 attacks per month) and mild (1 to 11 attacks per year).