Hereditary angioedema (HAE), a rare inherited disorder, manifests through recurring episodes of severe facial, extremity, gastrointestinal, and airway swelling, causing breathing difficulties. While these episodes are uncomfortable and distressing, they can be managed with medications such as Haegarda. Various factors, such as mental stress, infections, major and minor trauma, fatigue, physical exertion, weather, and food, can trigger these episodes. In this listicle, we will focus on common food triggers for breathing issues with hereditary angioedema:
1. Beware of spicy foods
Spices like chili peppers, hot sauces, jalapeños, and cayenne pepper flakes, which many use to enhance their meals, can pose a risk to those with hereditary angioedema. Spiciness is a common trigger, so consider reducing spice levels in your diet or eliminating spicy foods entirely.
2. Watch out for food additives
Surprisingly, certain food additives like preservatives and artificial sweeteners can serve as triggers for some individuals with hereditary angioedema. Always read labels before consuming anything and steer clear of products containing such additives.
3. Avoid tree nuts
Individuals with hereditary angioedema are often cautioned against consuming tree nuts, including walnuts, cashews, almonds, and others, as they frequently trigger swelling episodes and respiratory problems.
4. Monitor alcohol consumption
Some hereditary angioedema patients experience episodes following alcohol consumption. Keep a close eye on how your body reacts to alcoholic beverages, and if they trigger an episode, it’s advisable to abstain from alcohol in the future.
5. Be cautious with green salads
Certain green salads, like those containing spinach and arugula, can provoke swelling and breathing difficulties in those with hereditary angioedema. When purchasing pre-packaged salad mixes, carefully check the ingredients and observe your body’s response to the food.
It’s crucial to remain vigilant and monitor your body’s reactions to the foods you consume. If any food triggers an episode, make a note of it and avoid it in the future. Always consult your doctor regarding your dietary choices, as individual responses may vary, and work together to create a tailored diet plan.