Angioedema – stress related

Angioedema –  stress related varieties

Angioedema is a serious condition where swelling occurs under the skin. Usually it is related to allergic reactions and is thus treated with allergy medications by your medical doctor.

Often however, in cases of Hereditary or Genetic Angioedema and cases of so called “unknown” cause, Stress is a known and medically recognised factor (See NHS UK Website)

Managing Stress in psychosomatic conditions

In psychosomatic conditions where the “psycho” or mind creates “soma” or real symptoms or conditions, the mental health of the patient needs to be addressed to assist with the underlying cause.

In conditions, such as as Angioedema the patient must still remain under the primary care of their medical doctor, since there are multiple strands of the condition, and the psychotherapist can only address their area of competence, in this case stress.

Stress can be a trigger for a range of psychosomatic conditions, from Irritable Bowel Syndrome to skin conditions and pain conditions. These are completely real, but originate from psychological cause.

Several issues need to be addressed:

  • managing stress better with relaxation therapies such as MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress reduction), mindfulness meditation, hypnosis based mindfulness or other appropriate methods.
  • managing cognitive processes through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) or MBH (Cognitive Based Hypnotherapy).
  • modifying any cognitive and behavioural mal-adaptive coping methods that have become normal, but actually worsen the condition
  • looking at deeper issues such as anxiety, OCD and other development based mental health issues that may be contributing to poor stress management


Care must be taken to gradually progress –  too fast causes more stress, so patience need to take their time and commit to a prolonged and gentle process of therapy. Rushing could make things worse. In practice this means regular weekly or fortnightly attendance over several months or longer in severe cases.

The patient MUST remain on their medication and under close medical supervision, especially where there may be other factors at play such as allergies.

Key Words
Angioedema, stress, anxiety, psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy, mindfulness, holistic treatment, psychosomatic, counselling, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Falkirik, Scotland