Equip yourself. Learn about an angioedema.

Angioedema triggers

Angioedema can be triggered by a selection of things and circumstances. The exact items and situations that are triggers can change from one person to another, and specific allergies may come into play. We've compiled different categories of issues that may lead to angioedema episodes in those who are susceptible. You can find this information below:

Particular foods

Several food categories, as well as specific food items, are potential allergic angioedema triggers. Some of the possibilities include shellfish and other fish, peanuts and tree nuts, legumes, citrus fruits, cow's milk, eggs, wheat, soybeans, chocolate, cinnamon, berries, tartrazine (yellow dye no. 5), and assorted foods that contain sulfites.

Allergy shots

In this method of allergy treatment which attempts to build a tolerance to the allergen, small amounts of that allergen are injected into the patient, over a duration of time. Doing so can at times lead to an angioedema episode in a susceptible individual.

Environmental factors

Certain aspects of the environment can also trigger angioedema. For temperatures, certain levels of heat and cold can lead to this. Water and sunlight are also two other potential causes.

Physical factors

Women who are pregnant or menstruating may have an episode triggered. Physical strain, pressure on the skin, and scratches can also potentially lead to angioedema.

Infections, illness, and medication

Infections of hepatitis B and hepatitis C, as well as illnesses like thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism is a possibility), the common cold, leukemia, and autoimmune disorders (such as systemic lupus erythematosus) are also possible triggers. Nutritional issues such as vitamin B12 deficiency and iron deficiency are other items that may trigger episodes. Antiobiotics, such as penicillin and others, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), painkillers, and other medicines can also be underlying issues.


Those with allergies to pollen and latex can also find that these items may lead to episodes. The bites and stings from insects (bees and similar insects, fire ants, etc.) can also be triggers in allergic people.

These potential factors will not all have equal effects in all individuals. For instance, if one is allergic to latex, but not pollen, then avoiding the pollen but still being exposed to latex may mean that the angioedema would continue. Tests may be possible in some circumstances to find what is triggering the issue.