What Causes Familial Mediterranean Fever
Mediterranean familial fever syndrome, or Familial Mediterranean fever is caused by a gene mutation that is passed from parents to children. Gene mutations cause disturbances in regulating inflammation in the body.
In people with familial Mediterranean fever, a gene mutation occurs in a gene called MEFV. There are a variety of mutations that occur within MEFV that are linked to family-related Mediterranean fever. Some mutations can cause very severe cases, while others are still mild.
Familial Mediterranean fever is inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that a new child is at increased risk of developing familial Mediterranean fever, or fever disease condition if he inherits the gene mutation from his parents.
Risk Factors of Familial Mediterranean Fever
Factors that may increase your risk of familial Mediterranean fever include:
Have a family history of familial Mediterranean fever
If you have a history of familial Mediterranean fever, then your risk of developing this disease is greater.
Has Mediterranean ancestry
If you have a Mediterranean lineage, the risk of contracting this disease is greater. Familial Mediterranean fever can affect any ethnic group, but Sephardic Jews, Arabs, Italians, Armenians, and Turks are more susceptible to the disease.
Complications of Familial Mediterranean Fever
The possibility of complications is heightened in the event that family-related Mediterranean fever is not properly treated. These complications could include:
There is a presence of unnatural proteins in blood
During familial Mediterranean fever, your body may produce an abnormal protein (amyloid A). The protein can build up inside our bodies and lead to damage to organs (amyloidosis).
Amyloidosis can cause damage to the kidneys, which can cause nephrotic syndrome. Nephrotic syndrome is a condition that occurs due to the fact that the filtering mechanism of kidneys (glomeruli) is damaged. Patients suffering from this condition could suffer from a loss of large amounts of protein from their urine. Nephrotic syndrome can result in blood clots to the kidneys (renal vein thrombosis) or kidney failure.
Infertility among women
The inflammation that is caused by the familial Mediterranean fever can affect female reproductive organs which can cause infertility.
Arthritis is extremely common among those who have the family Mediterranean fever. The joints that are most frequently affected are the hips, ankles, and knees.
Do you have a test to determine Familial Mediterranean Fever
Since the mutations in the genes responsible for this disorder have been identified, there are few labs within the United States and Canada and several more across Europe as well as in the Middle East that are offering molecular or DNA tests for Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF). However, most centers do not test only for a small portion of mutations that can cause FMF and are particularly prevalent found in FMF patients.