Angio oedema

Angioedema, sometimes misspelled as angio oedema, is a skin problem described in this article. Just like any other skin problem, it can severely damage one's physical appearance. Though it is not itchy, it can be painful in some cases. However, you must be extra careful when dealing with angio oedema, as it can be deadly.

Angio oedema, also called quincke edema, is a skin disorder characterized by the rapid swelling of dermis, subcutaneous tissues, and the skin. The swelling may appear on any part of the body, including hands, feet, arms, etc, but it usually erupts on the eyes and lips. The internal organs, such as the liver and intestines may also swell, causing abdominal pain and cramping.

In some cases, the tongue and throat may also swell, which not only prevents the person from speaking but also poses a serious threat by creating difficulty in breathing and must be treated as a medical emergency.

Certain drugs and therapies have been useful in treating angio oedema; however, consulting a doctor is the best advice for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Hereditary Angio oedema

Hereditary angio oedema can be very distressing, as it is passed down through families and can be life threatening. It is caused by the deficiency of C1 inhibitors (C1-IN). The function of the C1 inhibitor is to control the coagulation cascade in blood clotting, and it is active in the immune (defense) system against  diseases.

The most common symptoms of hereditary angio oedema other than swelling are abdominal pain without any obvious reason, vomiting, and cramping in the abdomen, which is usually due to swelling in the intestines.

If you have a family history of angio oedema, do not wait for the symptoms to appear. Be proactive and get  blood and urine tests. If you have a deficiency of C1 inhibitors, avoid all the triggers, including certain allergens, offending objects, and other items identified by the doctor.


P.S. (from Dr. Gary M. Levin, M.D. & Surgeon)
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