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Hereditary Angioedema

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD

Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Specialists located in Scottsdale, AZ & Gilbert, AZ

Doctors can easily overlook hereditary angioedema because it’s a rare condition with symptoms that mimic other health problems and allergic reactions. That’s why you need to consult the exceptional team at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD, if you need answers for ongoing swelling. With two locations in Scottsdale and another in Gilbert, Arizona, they specialize in diagnosing hereditary angioedema and are active in researching new treatments that prevent recurring attacks. If you have questions about swelling that could be angioedema, call one of the offices or schedule an appointment online today.

Hereditary Angioedema Q & A

What is hereditary angioedema?

Angioedema generally refers to swelling that occurs when fluids build up in the deep layers of your skin. Many people develop angioedema during an allergic reaction but don’t have hereditary angioedema.

Hereditary angioedema develops due to a genetic mutation. About 80% of people inherit the gene from their family. The other 20% develop the issue when the gene mutates during conception.

The genetic change leads to a deficiency or dysfunction in proteins that prevent fluids from leaking out of blood vessels. As a result, you have recurrent episodes of severe swelling, often in your hands, feet, face, or genitals. 

You may also develop swelling in your intestines or the membranes lining your mouth, tongue, throat, and airways.

What symptoms develop if I have hereditary angioedema?

The symptoms caused by hereditary angioedema start in childhood and typically get worse during puberty. Without treatment, you may have an attack every week or two, with each episode lasting several days.

The swelling caused by hereditary angioedema often appears for no apparent reason. At other times, something triggers the swelling, such as minor trauma or stress.

The swollen areas are painful and usually red. You may also have tingling, or your skin could feel tight. Some people develop a non-itchy skin rash during flare-ups.

If the swelling affects your gastrointestinal tract, you will have nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain.

Swelling in your mouth, tongue, throat, or airways makes it hard to breathe. This type of swelling can be life-threatening.

How do specialists diagnose and treat hereditary angioedema?

The team at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates, LTD, specializes in hereditary angioedema. They stay up-to-date with the current research and continuously look for new or upcoming treatment options. They also give you the ability to participate in research studies, if desired.

They diagnose hereditary angioedema by evaluating your symptoms and running blood tests. The lab work finds biomarkers for hereditary angioedema and helps rule out other possible causes for your symptoms.  

Your provider prescribes medications that treat the swelling and prevent future attacks. They help you identify triggers and teach you how to self-treat at home when you have an attack.

If you experience any type of angioedema, call the office or schedule an appointment online today for a thorough examination and treatment to prevent future problems.