Many people with hereditary angioedema (HAE) will tell you that really aren’t sure what causes their attacks, but they can identify some common triggers such as stress, anxiety, minor trauma (like hitting your thumb with a hammer, or twisting an ankle), and illnesses such as the common cold or flu.
Airway, or laryngeal, attacks can be triggered by dental procedures that cause trauma to the inside of the mouth. It makes the HAE patient particularly vulnerable, so if you have HAE, it’s important to let your dentist or oral hygienist know what signs and symptoms to be aware of while they are working on your teeth.
Some patients have noticed that physical activity like pushing a lawn mower (a great reason to find someone else to cut your grass), hammering, and even typing can be triggers. Patients have also reported swelling in extremities following typing, prolonged writing, pushing a lawn mower, hammering, shoveling, and other physical activities.
While some women experience an increase in HAE attacks during menstruation or pregnancy, others report a decrease. Women taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement drugs, however, report a definite increase in the number and severity of attacks.
ACE Inhibitors, which are often prescribed to treat high blood pressure, have been known to increase the frequency and intensity of HAE attacks, so again, it’s important for your doctor to be aware of your HAE and to treat you accordingly. The following is a list of ACE Inhibitors that are licensed in the US:
- captopril (Capoten)
- benazepril (Lotensin)
- enalapril (Vasotec)
- lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril)
- fosinopril (Monopril)
- ramipril (Altace)
- perindopril (Aceon)
- quinapril (Accupril)
- moexipril (Univasc)
- trandolapril (Mavik)
What are common triggers for you? Share your thoughts with the PatientWorthy community!