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A friend of mine was diagnosed angioedema and that suppose to be something like allergic reaction, but with more severe symptoms. I would like to get better explanation about this disease. How does it affect people and how is it treated? He had swollen face when I saw him, and that seemed to me like he needed emergent help. Is angioedema life threatened and how dangerous can it be? Thanks in advance.

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It is very often life threatened disease. I saw my cousin that had lips like sausages and breathed difficulty when had some kind of attack caused by angioedema. It was horrible.
But angioedema also may be acute, that happens once and does not keep reappearing.
Chronic angioedema is an idiopathic disease, which means that causal agent is not known. Some medications and food may cause increased swelling too; even aspirin may cause that reaction. Tranexamic acid and epsilon aminocaproic acid are used in treatment of some symptoms of angioedema. Treatment is in fact similar in many ways to treatment of urticaria.
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I have had angiodema for about 10 yrs now, when i first got it it was real bad everything on me swelled up at once, now it does it whenever on any part of me, jus not all over at once... should knock on wood, now that i said that i'll swell everywhere at once tomorrow. anyway, back when i first got it and after a month and many doctors when they finally figured out what it was they put me on a steroid (stanizol) or something. and allegra, they helped a little. now i'm 24 have no health insurance and can't afford a doctor or medicine. but i have found if i feel that tingle or itch we get warning us we're bout to swell I start takeing shots of liquor. I don't have to get wasted just enouph to thin out my blood real good :-S and it actually has seemed to be working. just can't do it all the time, like if i swell while i'm sleeping... which seems to be what the sneeky b*stard has started doing a lot now that i found this liquor trick. well i would love to actually chat wi any of you so if there is a site we can chat on let me know
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To guest who posted 04/09/07

I woke up this morning with swollen lips... been the third time this past month, yet it never happened prior to that.

I've been reading some articles about this disease before I came to your post, and from what I've read, alcohol consumption is one of the causes of this disease. When you drink alcohol, it takes several hours for the effects of this disease to kick in (probably because, as you said, it thins out the blood). Once the alcohol wears off, your more susceptible to having an attack.

One study I read stated that a patient was prescribed a certain medicine because of "presumed alcohol liver damage." I'm 31 years old and I drink pretty heavily, so I am assuming this has something to do with my attacks. Plus, I've only gotten attacks after waking up in the morning when I've been drinking alcohol the night before.

Maybe you should look into the connection between alcohol and this disease. When I first got it, I thought I developed an allergic reaction to TIDE (the detergent). I've since changed detergents so apparently that's not the case.
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I have had sporadic, swelling of my lips, eyes and behind my ears, sometimes my fingertips since January 2001. Typically this swelling seems to happen at night. I have been to MANY allergists, liver doctors, endocrinologists, oncologists, etc. I have been told it is caused by anything from a food allergy to stress to my adrenal glands. The liver specialist told me NO, that angioedema has nothing to do with liver disease or alcohol consumption. Every test I have had has come back negative for any disease. So through a process of elimination I take a low dose of Atarax and Singular every night before I go to bed. IF I do not miss a night I can control the swelling. I also carry (and use) an epipen which will immediately stop the swelling. I am still hoping for the angio to "burn itself out" and just stop as mysteriously as it came, which I have been told can happen. Good Luck!
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I am hoping that someone can help me - I have been suffering for over a year now with SEVERE allergic responses that last almost a week and sudden extreme sensitivities to ANY chemical, even products that I've used all of my life, and I'm 32 years old. I noticed, just like one of the "guest" posters above, that laundry detergent suddenly became a HUGE problem and after wearing clothing for a few hours my face and neck would blow up red and swollen and all of the skin would peel off TWICE in the following 6 or 7 days. This is all dead skin, but the tissue underneath is weeping plasma fluid and would bleed and is unbelievably raw, like a skinned knee. It is getting worse and worse and I am now missing work. This started on my neck and jaw line (thought it was only a reaction to shaving cream) and now is over my torso and groin, only these places only have a constant rash, no peeling skin. After being healthy and without problems for all of my life, this is the biggest nightmare that God could have handed me, and I cannot get away from it. Antihistamines do nothing and all of my allergy tests and blood tests show nothing, other than the fact that my fatty acid counts are very low (even though I've taken supplements every day for 6 years prior to now) and my Vitamin A and Vitamin D levels are very low. I eat normally and have always been a strong, healthy athlete. Also, drinking alcohol makes me blow up the next day for almost a week. Does anyone have any insight to this? I am at the end of my rope and my face is burned and scarred. Can anyone help with any suggestions, treatments, etc? Thanks.
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I've had it for about 2 years now. It stinks!!!

My aunt used peroxide on hers and says it works and Zyrtec works for her.

Not for me. I haven't tried the alcohol one yet.

I got the idea to try Midol. It has a diuretic in it which I thought might help the cells release the fluid and it seems to have been working. The hives have been going away in an hour or two.

It doesn't keep them away at all, but at least there's something for relief for the bad ones.

My friend has the little hives. She went on an all natural kick and although they aren't gone gone, they have been quite a bit better. I'm thinking of trying that next.

Anyone try that cure book that's on the internet? Looks like the usual scam, but I'm desparate enough. Something about alkalizing your body or something.
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I am diagnosed with angioedema recently. All of my blood test came out to be negative, and i don't drink. I have been to different doctors but they were not able to provide any solid answer to my condition. My condition seem to be ideopathic. NOne of the medication works on me or will give me severe reaction (so no steroids shots or epi). what i have noticed that it mostly happen when i exert on my body, either i work so hard or don't take enough sleep. I have also notice by wearing red color it goes away. chemotherapy may be helpful. Try eating pumpkin and stay in red color . It works for me so it may work for you too. won't hurt trying :-)
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update, i am the person who posted that drinkin alcohol helped my angioedema, i still do it, well did, got my prescription today to start taking the steroid danazol, to update what i posted previously the drug i used to take was winstrol (stanizol) and as they have stopped making it in most places they now prescribe danazol. aslo, what i had said about drinking thinning my blood wasn't why it was helping, it is becuase it makes my liver work harder which is the same reason people wi angioedema take steroids, they make the liver work overtime, wich is also why you can't drink while you are on the steroids. i would NOT suggest drinkin as a way to help if you are able to get medication, i did becuase i didn't have health insurance and can't afford $280 pills every month. of course my crappy insurance has a prescription cap of $500, so it's only gunna provide me with 2 months worth of pills. anyone know of some good insurance?
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Hi. I am a 24 year old female. I have yet to go to a doctor, but I have been doing serious amounts of research, and have come to the conclusion that I have angioedema. I have no clue what triggered it, but the one thing I can think of that was happening when I started getting hives and the swelling was stress. I am a college student working on getting into our Nursing program. I have been taking a really challenging Anatomy and Physiology class. I would be cramming for and exam, and out of no where my head started itching. The next day, my lip swelled up, and a few days after that my eye swelled while I was in class, and stayed swollen for three days. I have also been getting welts. They usually appear where my clothes rub my body, but not all the time. Sometimes it is a small batch, but I have had a case where my whole thigh was covered. I finish my class and am on spring break, so the stress is over, but I woke up this morning itching once again. I have tried otc antihistamines, and they seem to help a little, but they dont get rid of it. As far as I know, there is noone in my family that has this, so Im sure it isnt genetic. I dont have medical insurance, so it is hard to see a doctor. There is a program through one of our local hospitals that can eliminate my bill by using it as a tax write off, however I dont think it cover the cost of tests and mri's, etc. And from what I have read, it is often unnecessary testing becuase the cause is rarely determined (idiopathic). I have tried paying attention to other things that may cause it, but I havent noticed any changes. I use the same laundry detergent, shampoo's, etc. I havent really changed anything so I dont think I have introduced an allergen, however I am wondering if my body might have randomly developed an allergy to something I am normaly exposed to. I am at a loss about what to do. And yesterday, I actually dealt with trouble breathing (although I think it was when I was having luch, and I thought I might have got something "down the wrong tube") and I was very dizzy when I woke up. I felt light headed like I was on the verge of passing out. I didnt, and there were no hives or welts at that time, but it seems like I deal with this on a daily basis, if I am lucky every other day. I am really starting to get tired of it. It has been going on for a few months now, and I am at my wits end. I thought stress was the trigger, but with the stress factor being gone, why is is still happening? could it take a while to go away? maybe it is something else, and I havent figured it out. I sure hope stress isnt the culprit either, cause I still have 2+ years of school left, and I really dont feel like going through 2 years of college covered in welts and rashes. I have however noticed, that when I go out to the bar with my friends, it seems to egg it on. Last week, after a couple of beers, my lip swelled up in the bar. I also went out last night. I was fine when I got home, and just did my normal thing and went to bed, but woke up really itchy and rashy this morning. UGH! Starting to get REALLY annoyed with my body. Any advise would be much appreciated, and thanks for a bit of venting my frustrations with this as well!
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I am a 21 year old female and i have had angioedema for eight years. I was wondering if anyone has heard of new treatments or pending research regarding this disorder. As you all know it is incredibly painful to be so helpless. I often find myself resenting doctors who tell me nothing can be done. There are days when My eyes swell shut and i am blind and having a close relationship with someone when your lips are like two balloons is very difficult. I want to find a way to call attention to angioedema and see if it isn't possible to find a treatment that will be successful. All I know is that i'm tired of worrying after every meal and every time i go to bed praying i don't wake up like this. At the very least it would be nice to connect with others who live with this.
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Hi everyone,
I'm 26 and mine started out of the blue about 1 yr ago. Apparently there's no effective diagnosis for this ailment, not to talk of a cure. But in my case H2 antihistamines like zyxal and fexofenadine calm the swellings. I also use zantac. But when i get really stressed up, which happens often (I take an average of 6 classes per semester and work full time too), these medicines usually don't do much. So maybe stress has a great role to play in it. I hope someone comes up with something because this disease is taking the best of me, slowly but surely.
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back again, i am the one who still uses alcohol to control my edima, and like most of you i've read mine is acquired not hereditary, which means i just got it for no reason. it's not in my family at all. today i am swollen on the inside and on my feet, really sux. i have ran outta my pills cuz i have crappy insurance. so i'm back to drinking. didn't have anything last night so i'm swollen today, there was a post about a girl who was swelling from stress... yes that is exactly why i swell. i'm not allergic to anything it's stress and you were sayin that since the stress is gone you don't understand why you swell. this is what i assume, you know you swell when you know your stressed but even when you don't think you are there are still things waying in your mind that you may not be thinkin of at the time. so i think it's like subconsious stress you don't realize you have. anyway, she also said she went out drinkin and swelled or was itchy, again my amature advice is BEER doesn't help, dunno why. i drink liquor and it helps. again might not work for everyone but i know if my lip starts to swell and i drink a bunch of liquor it stops and starts going back down. so i would love to talk to any of you about this, lil worried to leave my number so lemme know what you think about that.
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I've had chronic angioedena for over 20 years. Huge hives under the skin on nearly every part of my body. Not my scalp, kneecaps, elbows, or back of neck. Everywhere else though. For many years I took 10 mg doxipin, claritin zyrtec, ranatidine (600 mg) and hydroxizine (up to 300 mg a day). Prednisone a few times a year. Eventually, this stopped working. I am now on 200 mg cyclosporine and have had no hives for four weeks! I feel like it's a wonder drug! I still take 10 mg claritin, 600mg rantidine, 10mg zyrtec and 50-100mg hydroxizine, but am continuing to wean off those. I feel so much better not being on so many antihistamines

There are many potential side effects, and I've had several, but not for long periods. I'll gladly tolerate them not to have hives

And cyclodporine is only $10!!
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