There are different types of hereditary angioedema (HAE) and each type is treated differently. The most common type of HAE is type I, which is caused by a deficiency in the C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH) protein. There is no cure for HAE, but there are treatments available to help manage the symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about how HAE is treated.
How is hereditary angioedema treated?
HAE is a rare, inherited disorder that causes episodes of swelling, called attacks. The swelling can affect the skin, mucous membranes, and organs such as the stomach and intestines. Treatment for attacks of HAE usually begins with taking antihistamines and corticosteroids by mouth. If these medicines are not effective or if you are having a lot of attacks, you may need to receive treatment with an intravenous (IV) medicine called C1 inhibitor concentrate. A doctor can help determine the best treatment for someone with this condition. Keep in mind that the best HAE doctors for each individual will vary depending on the person’s specific symptoms and needs. However, some things to consider when looking for an HAE doctor include whether the doctor has experience treating HAE patients, is knowledgeable about the latest treatments and therapies, and if they’re available for regular checkups. It can also be helpful to find a doctor who is affiliated with a major medical center or hospital that has a dedicated HAE clinic.
What are some self-care tips for living with hereditary angioedema?
Hereditary angioedema is a rare condition that occurs when the body produces too much of a certain protein, which causes fluid to leak from blood vessels. This can lead to episodes of swelling in various parts of the body, including the face, hands, feet, abdomen, and airway. While there is no cure for hereditary angioedema, there are some tips you can incorporate into your lifestyle to manage symptoms. For example, stress can trigger or worsen episodes of swelling, so it’s important to find ways to manage stress effectively. Techniques such as yoga or meditation may be helpful in reducing stress levels. Eating a balanced diet can also help keep the body functioning optimally and may help reduce episodes of swelling. It’s important to avoid eating foods that are high in salt or sugar as they can worsen symptoms. Exercise helps keep the body healthy and strong, which may help reduce episodes of swelling. However, it’s important to consult with a doctor before starting an exercise program if you have hereditary angioedema. Staying hydrated is important for overall health and may also help reduce episodes of swelling. And in case of an emergency episode of swelling, it’s helpful to have supplies on hand such as antihistamines and ice packs.
What can you do if medications are not effective?
There are a few potential treatments for hereditary angioedema if the medications prescribed by your doctor do not work. In some cases, injections of epinephrine or bradykinin inhibitors may be necessary. These injections can help to improve symptoms and reduce the risk of an attack. Other treatments that may be recommended include avoiding triggers, taking medication to prevent attacks, and having regular blood tests to monitor the condition. Consult a health care provider to see which works best for you and your needs.
Are there any tips that can help you prevent attacks?
Some lifestyle changes that may be recommended include avoiding triggers and carrying an emergency injection of epinephrine. Triggers can vary from person to person and may include stress, alcohol, exercise, or certain foods. Epinephrine can help reverse the symptoms of an attack if it is administered right away. Other treatments that may be recommended include taking medications to reduce inflammation and swelling, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids.
Overall, hereditary angioedema is a serious condition that needs to be treated promptly and effectively to avoid serious health complications. Treatment options are available, but it is important to work with a healthcare professional to find the best option for each individual.