Idiopathic is a word that describes a condition that arises spontaneously without any known cause. Idiopathic angioedema is angioedema that arises without being triggered by any known or obvious allergic reaction or allergen.
Allergy specialist who may be dealing with a case of idiopathic angioedema will usually not make a diagnosis until they have ruled out all external causes. In the following article, we will review more information on idiopathic angioedema and what a person can do to figure out what caused the angioedema.
There have been several explanations for idiopathic angioedema that have been put on the table. If the taking of an anti-histamine on a regular basis is unhelpful to a person, some of these explanations are worth consideration.
Food intolerance is usually the first thing that is looked at when trying to determine that cause of idiopathic angioedema. Someone who has persistent idiopathic angioedema may have to participate in a test elimination diet.
This happens when no other cause for the angioedema can be found. Skin testing is also commonplace when no other cause for the angioedema can be found, however results are very often inconclusive.
Through the elimination diet, a specialist should be able to pinpoint any foods that are causing a person to have allergic reactions. Foods and food additives can both be a leading cause of idiopathic angioedema.
More people than one would think have a food intolerance to certain foods and many food additives. When someone has an intolerance to a certain food or food additives, it may not show up on an allergy test and that is why an elimination diet can sometimes prove helpful.
Idiopathic Angioedema-Airborne allergies
Airborne allergies can also sometimes go some way to explain idiopathic angioedema. If a food elimination diet does not help answer any questions, airborne allergies may be the cause. In this case, it may be allergen particles in the home, place of work or other area that is causing the idiopathic angioedema, which as you can probably guess is almost impossible to diagnose.
Skin tests and allergy tests are also used to try and discover if airborne allergies are the problem. Skin tests should show what allergen particles you have been exposed to recently. There are some patients who will show negative to all of these tests.
Some of these patients have reported that their angioedema symptoms disappear or improve when they go to a drier climate. This means that there is the possibility that some people have idiopathic angioedema that is caused by certain weather or climates or that they are deficient in natural vitamin C obtained mostly from the sun.