An expert panel with physicians, psychiatrist, and a parent of a child with an autoinflammatory disease respond to audience questions during the “Managing your Autoinflammatory Disease: Lifestyle and Wellness Workshop,” which took place on April 28, 2018, at Boston Children’s Hospital in Waltham, MA.
Watch the video or read the transcript below. Take a look at other videos from this workshop.
She had headaches for many years. She visited multiple doctors, including her primary care physician, a neurologist, a pain clinic, and even a headache specialist, but she was unable to find an effective treatment. Over time she developed additional symptoms, including unexplained rashes and abdominal pain. When a close family member was diagnosed with an autoinflammatory disease, she was referred to my clinic to see if she, too, had one of these rare illnesses. Continue reading Your headaches…are they autoinflammatory?→
Autoinflammatory diseases are diverse: they are caused by different genes, present at various stages in life, and cause a variety of symptoms. Even in patients with the same disease, such as familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), attacks may differ widely; some can have severe abdominal pain while others develop headaches. As a result, measuring disease activity–how active the disease is and how severely the patient is affected–has been quite difficult.
Autoinflammatory diseases are a relatively new category of illnesses caused by disorders of one arm of the immune system. Many of these diseases are characterized by recurrent fevers, rash, chest and abdominal pain, and evidence of systemic inflammation on blood tests; these manifestations often mimic infectious or other illnesses, and it may take several years for the diagnosis to be made.
Most autoinflammatory diseases are genetic (inherited), start in childhood, and persist throughout adult life. These diseases are often present in several members of a family. Other autoinflammatory diseases appear to be acquired, perhaps due to the interplay of genetic and environmental factors, and can present at any time during childhood or adulthood.
The list of autoinflammatory diseases continues to grow every month. Here is a list of the autoinflammatory diseases as they stand so far: