HAE triggers

Alex
Diagnosed with
HAE in 2014

What triggers hereditary
angioedema (HAE) attacks?

HAE attacks are sometimes set off by a trigger. HAE can vary a lot from person to person, so your triggers might be very different from those of someone else who has HAE. For example, some people might only experience an HAE attack because they've gone through a physical trauma, like falling off a bicycle or having a dental procedure. For others, making a repetitive motion, like using scissors for an extended period of time, could cause an HAE attack.

Here are some triggers that some people with HAE have recognized:

  • Emotional stress
  • Minor trauma, surgery or dental procedure
  • Infection
  • Hormonal influences, like menstruation or using a contraceptive containing estrogen
  • Mechanical pressure from physical activities, like mowing the lawn or using scissors

Keeping track of your life with HAE can help you identify your own triggers. Certain life events are also associated with increased disease activity, so it’s important to stay in communication with your doctor. If you're considering making a major change, like having a child or starting a new job that could be potentially stressful, talk to your doctor about how it might impact your HAE. He or she may recommend making an adjustment to your current management plan.

Keep in mind that HAE attacks can also happen without warning or an obvious trigger. This can make it difficult to predict when an attack is coming, so it’s always important to have a plan in place in case of an unexpected emergency.

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