Did Pregnancy Trigger This Woman’s HAE Symptoms?

Lynn Holman believes that her pregnancy may be the reason she got diagnosed with hereditary angioedema (HAE).

At first, Lynn thought she had a bad allergic reaction one morning because her hands were suddenly pink and swollen. Her doctor suggested she take some Benadryl, which she did, but that did not help. She was at a loss. What was happening?!

Then her doctor gave her shot of an antihistamine, but that also did not clear it. Five days later the swelling went down.

By chance, her sister stated that she went through the same thing when she was pregnant. After further investigation of her family history, she learned that her grandmother had it too, but was never diagnosed with anything. Her grandmother had swollen areas in the soft tissues of her thighs, arms, and breast.

Six weeks after Lynn’s initial symptoms, she had the same symptoms in her hands, but this time it was also in her upper arms.

This kept happening over and over again in four to six week increments. Then she felt an internal flare up that caused her bowels to swell. It was so bad that it was painful for her to eat.

At this point, her sister started reading about HAE and suggest that her sister see a specialist. Lynn made an appointment and the specialist indeed confirmed that she had HAE. The specialist agreed that many odd things can occur during pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a time when the body is under incredible stress, and for many people with a chronic, rare disease, it’s often a time when that condition gets worse. And if you haven’t been diagnosed yet, sometimes pregnancy makes it obvious enough that you get a diagnosis. At least that’s what happened to Lynn.

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