Home Health Topics What Is Happening During a Hereditary Angioedema Attack?

What Is Happening During a Hereditary Angioedema Attack?

by Gauri Kolhe

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) occurs when soft tissue swells up in human beings. Hands, feet, gastrointestinal tract, genitals, face, and neck are all places where this HAE can be seen occurring.

What is Hereditary Angioedema Attack (HAE)?

HAE attacks can be excruciatingly painful, with various body parts swollen. Under HAE, there are three sorts of attacks:

  • Subcutaneous Attacks –This attack is most commonly observed on the upper skin area, such as the face, feet, and hands.
  • Abdominal Attacks – This attack causes problems with the intestinal wall; the swelling causes nausea, vomiting, pain, and other symptoms.
  • Laryngeal Attacks – This attack is far more deadly since it affects the throat. The throat swells up, and if not treated properly, it can cause death by blocking the airway.

The attacks listed above are possible, but it doesn’t imply the HAE can only affect one bodily portion at a time; it may attack many parts at once.

Some of the primary causes for the attack’s inceptions can be

First and foremost, there are two types of Angioedema Attack: type 1 and type 2. Both types are caused by a loss of the SERPING1 gene, which instructs the body to reduce swelling via a protein called the C1 inhibitor produced by the gene itself.

Another type can be taken into consideration, type 3 but it is very unlikely to occur. Changes in the F12 gene, which produces a protein that regulates inflammation, are thought to be the cause of certain instances, according to researchers. They don’t know what causes other types 3 cases. HAE attacks are primarily triggered by a loss of protein function and a lack of C1 inhibitors.

Body’s need for a C1 inhibitor might be influenced by certain factors. These may include the following:

  • Physical exercises
  • Diseases or illnesses
  • Stress
  • Fast Food
  • Surgical treatments and other diagnostic interventions
  • Changes in hormones

The most common indications of HAE attacks are

During an HAE attack, the signs people feel will vary depending on the sort of occurrence they are having.

  1. Swelling
  2. A rash that isn’t bothersome.
  3. In the throat, there is stiffness.
  4. Speaking, inhaling, or swallowing disorders
  5. Hoarseness

What happens to the body during the attack?

When there isn’t enough or a well-functioning C1 inhibitor, a chain of events develops, culminating in an attack. First, a blood enzyme called kallikrein becomes uncontrollable. Kallikrein divides a chemical called kininogen when this occurs.

A peptide known as bradykinin is produced in excess throughout the process. Blood artery walls leak fluid into bodily tissues when bradykinin levels are too high. This causes fluid accumulation and the characteristic swelling seen in persons with HAE.

What actions should be taken if the attack occurs?

An attack of HAE that affects the throat is a medical emergency. According to studies, the chance of mortality from a laryngeal attack is as high as 30% without therapy. If anybody is experiencing this sort of attack, that person should seek medical care immediately.

There are effective treatments to assist with the symptoms of HAE attacks.

When a person with HAE has an attack, they should have recourse to on-demand treatment. In addition, some physicians advocate using precautionary medicines to limit the incidence of episodes. Antihistamines and steroids, which are used to treat inflammatory reactions, will not assist with the indicators of an HAE episode. 


Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a persistent swelling illness that runs in families. Most persons with HAE experience flare-ups, in which their problems intensify, and remissions, in which no swelling occurs. HAE outbursts usually happen once every one to two weeks and last three to four days.

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