We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Angioneurotic Edema?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Angioneurotic edema is more commonly named angioedema, and to confuse matters, this refers to two different illnesses that have similar symptoms. Standard angioneurotic edema is often related to urticaria/hives, and is often associated with an allergic reaction, though cause isn’t always known. Hereditary angioedema is most frequently inherited, though it can also result from spontaneous defects (during fetal development) of certain genes, and has to do with dysfunction of a protein present in the body called C1 inhibitor. Both types of this condition may result in swelling of the face, lips, throat, and genitals, and the hereditary form can further cause extreme swelling in the abdomen, hands and feet; it should also be stated that either form can be a medically serious condition that might require emergency medical attention.

With the exception of hereditary, common types of triggers that might cause angioneurotic edema include exposure to allergens, chemicals, medications, insect bites, or blood transfusions. Sometimes stress is identified as a causal factor, hence the term “neurotic.” The swelling that occurs can easily become very dangerous when it impacts the throat since this my inhibit breathing. In fact angioedema can be a symptom associated with development of severe allergy or anaphylactic shock, and swelling of throat, lips and tongue must be taken very seriously.

Typical treatments given for this condition could include antihistamines, but those who have frequent swelling may also need to carry injectable epinephrine. These treatments only work for the non-hereditary form of angioneurotic edema. Moreover, anytime swelling is severe, people are advised to get medical help immediately, and not try to treat the condition on their own.

Hereditary angioneurotic edema has some different symptoms. Before swelling in the face, mucus membranes and in other areas occurs, a person might have a flat rash for several days. The areas of the body that are swollen might differ with each person. Great discomfort can occur when the abdomen swells, as this may result in pain, diarrhea, and vomiting or nausea. Swelling of the throat and larynx is very serious too, since it can impede breathing.

There aren't always triggers for the hereditary form of this disease. Sometimes people note it occurs in association with certain times in the menstrual cycle, or right after dental work. Each individual may note different triggers but the condition can emerge without any warning, and may do so up to once in a month or more in some people. Treatment can’t cure the disease or prevent attacks and mostly consists of relieving symptoms during attacks. Several medications may help, including those that might address pain or nausea. Before dental procedures, people may take Danazol®, which is a steroid that may prevent body reaction. A few people require constant treatment due to attack frequency, and medications recommended for this are variable.

These two conditions can sometimes create life-threatening situations. Should symptoms like these be present for the first time, they need immediate care. It’s impossible to tell, especially if angioneurotic edema has never occurred before whether a case will be mild or very severe. After working with a doctor and getting correct diagnosis, patients may be better able to tell with future attacks the degree of treatment they need. It should be noted that the non-hereditary form might never recur, though some people do have recurrence of it, especially if they’re prone to severe allergies. Hereditary forms are likely to occur again, but frequency of disease expression is highly individualized.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon136879 — On Dec 24, 2010

I have suffered also with angioedema, but it has drastically decreased after reaching menopause at 50. Now my daughter has the same thing, huge swelling in lips for no known reason. Could this be hereditary then, I wonder? I would seem to get these swellings in my throat when I was otherwise ill and had to go to the hospital once.

By anon115960 — On Oct 05, 2010

I suffered from angioedema from early childhood until mid 50's and since then it has not re-occurred. Diagnosis was always varied, allergic reactions to tomatoes, house dust, common cold were some that were diagnosed. Carrying anti-histamine usually solved problem (swellings did occur in throat, tongue, lips and genitals (once only).

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.