What Is Angioedema?
Anyone who has experienced a swollen ankle or even a bee sting has some idea of the discomfort associated with inflammation and swelling in the body. However, small episodic inflammation such as these is nothing in comparison to the discomfort of the ongoing condition angioedema. Similar to having hives below the skin’s surface, this condition exhibits a number of painful symptoms.
By definition angioedema is an allergic reaction manifested in the lower layers of the skin. Common symptoms of the disorder include red welts or hives; burning, swollen, sore areas; discoloration on the hands, feet, face, or genitals; and unusual rashes on different parts of the body. In some cases, hoarseness, trouble breathing, and tightness or swelling in the throat are also experienced. It is even possible for an individual to develop a form of the disorder called angioedema-eosinophilia syndrome that also causes fever, muscle pain, weight gain, decreased urine, and high white blood cell count in addition to the hives and swelling. While the cause of this disorder is often unknown common causes include allergies to food, certain dyes in food, pollen, or medication. Concomitant disorders such as leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and disorders of the connective tissue may also trigger the onset of angioedema.
Whatever the cause, seeking out effective treatment is paramount. The treatments for this disorder vary from drug therapy to over-the-counter antihistamines; however, some of the most effective methods include more natural options. One of the oldest forms of treatment is Ayurveda, which is an ancient system of natural healing with origins in the Vedic culture. This method involves assessing the different areas of life and determining an effective plan that combines changes in diet and the use of herbs, aromatherapy, massage, music, and meditation. Nutrition itself is often an effective plan for treating the disorder. Avoiding common triggers like seafood and nuts and supplementing the diet with nutritional aids such as vitamin C, vitamin B12, quercetin, or bromelain helps reduce inflammation. Additional supplements that may be taken are common herbs such as goldenseal, licorice root, and chamomile. One system of treatment may not be enough to reverse the development of this disorder, but combining natural supplements with a calming, relaxing lifestyle is often a good start.