Reviewed by Flavia Cecilia Lega Hoyte, MD

The swelling of angioedema can be visible, especially when it affects parts of the face such as the lips and eyelids, or when it involves the hands or feet. If the swelling affects internal organs, such as the intestine or the throat, it can cause internal symptoms.

Throat swelling can result in difficulty breathing, speaking or swallowing. Angioedema of the throat can be life-threatening and requires emergency care to ensure that the swelling does not close off the person's airway. 

Intestinal swelling can cause severe abdominal pain and cramping. Angioedema can occur as an isolated symptom, in conjunction with skin changes such as hives, flushing, or a blotchy redness, or as part of an allergic reaction.

Angioedema usually lasts a matter of hours to days, but the length of time can vary from one person to the next and also from one episode to the next for a given person. Medications are sometimes necessary to stop the swelling.

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