Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) is a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic disease that occurs in about 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 50,000 people. HAE symptoms include edema (swelling) in various body parts, including the hands, feet, face, and airway. Given the rareness of this condition, it can often go undiagnosed. Patients may also receive a misdiagnosis of a related condition.Make An Appointment
Symptoms of Hereditary Angioedema
Patients often have bouts of excruciating abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting caused by swelling in the intestinal wall. Airway swelling is particularly dangerous and can lead to death by asphyxiation.
Patients can also present with early warning signs that indicate an HAE attack is pending. These early warning signs can include:
- Breaking out into a painless, non-itchy rash
- Experiencing a tingling sensation in the skin
- Developing a feeling of tightness in the skin
- Experiencing an onset of fatigue and/or irritability
- Going through sudden mood changes
- Feeling anxiety
HAE is rare and difficult to diagnose
Because the disease is very rare, it is not uncommon for patients to remain undiagnosed for many years. Many patients report that their frequent and severe abdominal pain was inappropriately diagnosed as psychosomatic, resulting in a referral for psychiatric evaluation.
Similarly, patients experiencing gastrointestinal edema have received unnecessary exploratory surgery because abdominal HAE attacks mimic a surgical abdomen. Before therapy became available, the mortality rate for airway obstruction was reportedly as high as 30 percent.
Any patient who has experienced consistent symptoms related to HAE or any of the early warning signs of HAE should contact a medical professional at AllerVie Health to schedule a consultation.