The following allergens can trigger angioedema:
Additionally, certain medications can cause non-allergic angioedema.
Angioedema may also develop as a result of an infection or illness, such as lupus (SLE) or leukemia. These would be examples of acquired angioedema.
Hereditary angioedema occurs in people with a family history of the condition, due to an inherited genetic mutation.
Certain factors can increase your risk of developing angioedema. These include:
In more severe cases, the swelling can spread to other parts of the body. Angioedema may or may not be accompanied by swelling and welts on the surface of the skin.
Additional symptoms of angioedema may include abdominal cramping. In rare cases, people with angioedema may experience a swollen throat, hoarseness, and difficulty breathing. Angioedema may or may not itch. This may be a sign of a serious medical condition that requires prompt treatment.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask you about your symptoms and past medical history. During the exam, your doctor will examine your areas of swelling and your welts, if any are present. They may also listen to your breathing to see if your throat has been affected.
It’s important to tell your doctor if you’ve recently been exposed to certain substances that have previously triggered an allergic reaction in you. This may help your doctor determine the specific cause of your reaction.
Your doctor will perform a series of blood tests if hereditary or acquired angioedema is suspected. These may include:
These tests measure the levels or function of certain proteins in the blood. Abnormal results can also be associated with a health problem related to underlying autoimmune disease.
People with mild symptoms of angioedema may not need treatment. However, those with moderate or severe symptoms may require certain medications to help relieve intense swelling. These medicines can include:
Treatment options available specifically for hereditary or acquired angioedema include the following:
Certain home remedies may also help relieve symptoms. These include:
Shop for antihistamines.
If a medication is causing you to have angioedema, your doctor may have you refrain from taking the suspected medication and instead switch you to something else
The best way to prevent allergic angioedema is to avoid known and suspected allergens. You should also try to avoid any known triggers that have caused angioedema for you in the past.
Taking these preventive measures can help lower your risk of having another episode in the future.