- Angioedema - rapid allergic reaction
Angioedema - a swelling, which develops directly beneath the skin surface frequently - around the lips and eyes. Typically, it is the result of an allergic reaction, when the body produces histamine, which causes inflammation of blood vessels. Angioedema is similar to hives, but it develops much deeper. Triggers an allergic reaction, which occurs as a result of angioedema can be pollens, detergents, food products, perfumes, cosmetics, medicines, salt water, sunlight, insect bites. In very rare cases angioedema is a sign of serious underlying diseases, such as leukemia and Hodgkin's disease.
There are two basic types of angioedema:
- Hereditary angioedema (HAE) - a rare genetic disorder
- Acquired angioedema (PAO)
Angioedema develops within a relatively short period of time - from several minutes to several hours.
In most cases, it occurs in a mild form, but sometimes affects the throat and tongue, blocking the airways - in this case the condition can be life-threatening.
Signs and symptoms
The most common symptoms of angioedema include:
- The sudden appearance of a reddish swelling on the skin, most often around the eyes and lips, but sometimes - on the hands, feet and throat.
- Burning, pain, and inflammation in the affected areas; sometimes itch.
- Diskoloratsiya or a rash on the hands, feet, face and genitals.
- In rare cases - a hoarse voice, a feeling of pressure in the throat, shortness of breath.
In some cases, the cause of angioedema is unclear, but most often it causes an allergic reaction. From food triggers most often shellfish, nuts and dairy products. Medicinal preparations - steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen), drugs for treatment of high blood pressure, aspirin and antibiotics
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The following factors may increase the risk of angioedema:
- Hives or angioedema in history
- Allergic reactions, strikes the vast areas of the skin, a history
- Injuries, sudden changes in temperature, stress
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- Recent dental surgery
- Ovarian cyst
In most cases, the doctor makes a diagnosis based on external characteristics and history. Additional investigations may be needed only if the suspicion of a serious underlying condition. Blood and urine tests can help determine the cause of angioedema.
For the treatment of mild forms of angioedema usually use non-prescription antihistamines or alternative therapies. Without treatment, such attacks are an average of 4 days. In severe cases, the first breath of the patient is reduced, then the other symptoms facilitate and establish allergen.
To facilitate the attacks are well suited Benadryl, Zyrtec and Claritin. Please note that Benadryl refers to an old generation antihistamines cause drowsiness. To remove the more severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids; sometimes require an injection of epinephrine.
In severe angioedema should immediately call a doctor; Do not take herbs or any drugs on their own.
After elimination of the symptoms you will receive instructions on how to prevent further attacks. This typically requires the exclusion from the diet of certain foods and supplementation
Food additives - basic classification
Containing vitamin C, vitamin B12, quercetin and bromelain.
Vitamin C (2-4 g per day) helps reduce histamine levels. Vitamin B12 (1000 mg per week by injection) reduces the frequency of attacks. It is unknown whether the oral administration of vitamin same effect.
Quercetin may reduce the chance of developing an allergic reaction. It is recommended to take 200-400 mg of quercetin three times daily before meals. If you are allergic to citrus or hypersensitivity to calcium channel blockers should avoid taking flavonoid derived from citrus.
Bromelain is sometimes used to reduce inflammation. It should not be for those who are allergic to citrus. In addition, it may increase the risk of bleeding, so if you are taking any blood thinning medication, before using consult your doctor bromelain.