Angioedema is the medical term for abnormal swelling of a specific part of the body due to fluid leaking from blood vessels just under the skin. Allergic angioedema may happen after bee stings, foods, medications, and “regular” causes of allergies such as pollens or animal dander. Angioedema can also occur repeatedly over a long period of time as part of a condition called “chronic urticaria and angioedema”.
There is a rare disorder caused by a deficiency in C-1 esterase inhibitor which causes recurring swelling of both internal and external body parts. Most cases of C-1 esterase inhibitor deficiency are inherited and termed Hereditary Angioedema (HAE).
Simple or mild cases can be treated with rest, ice, and antihistamines. More severe or persistent cases can be treated with high doses of antihistamines, ranitidine (or similar drugs), and corticosteroids. Patients with C-1 esterase inhibitor deficiency can be treated with several new medications that either replace the missing enzyme or block the reaction leading to episodes of angioedema.
(Image adapted from JAMA)
If you feel you are suffering from angioedema, call 313-871-7572 to schedule an appointment today.