The majority of patients with angioedema describe a tingling, slightly numb or even burning sensation of the affected site, while itching is not a typical symptom - MF Andersen


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How the Internet Helped Me Cope With My Rare Disease

I’ve never been one to crave optimism. I didn’t immerse myself in the triumph-over-adversity messaging of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series as an adolescent, nor do I typically share affirmations or cat video pick-me-ups on social media. I’m more inclined to the analytic wisdom of bell hooks, George Orwell, or James Baldwin than to the spiritual aphorisms of the Dalai Lama or Deepak Chopra. Whether I saw the glass as half empty or half full never much mattered to me: the glass has what it has.

So when I was diagnosed with a fairly difficult-to-treat disease called idiopathic angioedema and chronic urticaria (a fancy way of saying we don’t know why you swell and hey,…

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 How the Internet Helped Me Cope With My Rare Disease

Angioedema quickly dominated every aspect of my life, until I couldn’t talk or think about much else. I needed help. Positive thinking was a great start, but alone, it was no match for the symptoms of this somewhat rare disease. As it turned out, optimism for me came entirely in the form of something doctors would prefer you avoid when it comes to disease: the internet.

Angioedema News

Angioedema News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

DermNet NZ

Angioedema and urticaria are very similar in many ways and can co-exist and overlap. Urticaria occurs more commonly and is less severe than angioedema as it only affects the skin layers whereas angioedema affects the tissues beneath the skin (subcutaneous tissue).


Angioedema is a related type of swelling that affects deeper layers in your skin, often around your eyes and lips. In most cases, hives and angioedema are harmless and don't leave any lasting marks, even without treatment. The most common treatment for hives and angioedema is antihistamine medication. Serious angioedema can be life-threatening if swelling causes your throat or tongue to block your airway.


Swelling deeper in the skin that may accompany hives is called angioedema. This swelling of the hands and feet, as well as the lips or eyelids, can be as dramatic as it is brief.


Angioedema is swelling that is similar to hives, but the swelling is under the skin instead of on the surface. Hives are often called welts. They are a surface swelling. It is possible to have angioedema without hives.


The cause of angioedema depends on the type you have. There are four main types of angioedema: •allergic angioedema – the swelling is caused by an allergic reaction, such as a reaction to peanuts, and sometimes occurs in combination with anaphylaxis •idiopathic angioedema – there is no known cause for the swelling (although certain factors, such as stress or infection, may trigger the symptoms) •drug-induced angioedema – the swelling is a side effect of certain medications, most often angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors •hereditary angioedema – the swelling is caused by "faulty" genes that are inherited from a person’s parents.


The number of people affected by angio-oedema is not known, but it is thought that fewer than 1 in 10 people have some episode in their lifetime. Women are affected more often than men. It can occur at any age.

Life in the Fastlane

ACE Inhibitors (ACEI) •up to 1% incidence •angioedema is a class effect and is not dose dependent – symptoms can occur any time from a few hours up to 10 years after the initial dose (Winters et al, 2013) •more common in African Americans and patients on immunosuppressants •note that angioedema can occur in patients switched to an angiotensin receptor blocker

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