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Angioedema

Related Terms

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Background

  • Angioedema refers to the swelling that occurs in the tissue just below the skin. Angioedema is similar to urticaria (hives), except it occurs deeper in the skin. The swellings, known as welts, usually appear around the eyes and mouth. They may also be present on the hands, feet and throat. Angioedema can develop in anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
  • Angioedema is generally caused by an allergic reaction to either a food or medication. When an allergic reaction occurs, the immune system releases histamine and other chemicals into the bloodstream, causing allergic symptoms such as angioedema to occur. Angioedema could also be a sign of an underlying immune disorder like leukemia or Hodgkin's disease.
  • Angioedema that does not affect breathing is usually harmless and goes away in a few days. In most cases, angioedema does not leave any lasting marks, even without treatment. However, complications can range from dysphonia (difficulty speaking) or dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) to respiratory distress, complete airway obstruction and death.

Types of Angioedema

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Angioedema and Urticaria

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Symptoms

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Causes

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.