You Think It’s Food Poisoning Until It’s Not

Remember that questionable-looking salad you ate in a not-exactly-pristine restaurant? You’ve been trying to forget the server’s blackened fingernails and sweaty brow, and as you double over from abdominal pain, you can’t help but wonder if what you are experiencing is directly related to all of the above.

Food poisoning has to be the answer.

You’re gonna blow!!! Source:

Soon enough, it will pass. You’d eaten plenty of expired foods back in college, only to wake up one morning after a week on your death-bed feeling fine.

The week goes on, and you are now running a low grade fever. Eventually, you find yourself sitting in the urgent care clinic filling out a questionnaire that pretty much has nothing to do with the pain in your gut.

Da hell? Sourec:
Da hell? Source:

On your way home with some over-the-counter antacids, you realize you still have no real idea what is causing your discomfort.

Luckily, a few days later, you are back to your usual self and you vow to make better restaurant choices.

That’s great, until it happens again.


You wake up with the same symptoms, when you suddenly remember that your mother used to have frequent episodes of abdominal pain. Making that connection may have just shaved years off the time it takes to get a diagnosis for Familial Mediterranean Fever, or FMF.

FMF is passed from generation to generation through a faulty gene. The main symptoms are inflammation of the abdomen, joints, or chest, with a fever or rash. The inflammation can affect other organs in the body causing pain or feelings of general discomfort.

The onset of FMF usually presents itself during childhood, but many people report experiencing their first symptoms later on in adulthood.

If left untreated, protein deposits can build up in the kidneys, which can ultimately lead to life-ending kidney failure.

So, choosing the wrong restaurant is clearly not to blame; although it does pay to be careful.

Take it from this kid. Source:
Take it from this kid. Source:

But if you have the symptoms of FMF, talk to your doctor about genetic testing, and discuss the treatment options available to you. If you would like to find support, contact RareConnect online.

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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