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If you have experienced angioedema for the first time, your doctor will try to work out what may have caused it.

There are several different causes of angioedema. It's important to know what's causing your symptoms, as this affects the treatment you'll need.

There's no single test to determine the cause of angioedema. Some of the checks and tests you may have are outlined in this section.

Symptoms and medical history

Your doctor may be able to get a good idea of the cause of your angioedema by asking about your symptoms and medical history.

For example:

Sometimes the tests below may be needed to confirm the cause.

Allergy tests

If your doctor thinks your symptoms may have been caused by an allergy, they may refer you to a specialist allergy or immunology clinic for further testing.

Tests you may have include:

These tests can help determine what you're allergic to. Read more about allergy testing.

Blood test

If your doctor thinks your symptoms may be caused by a genetic fault you've inherited from your parents, they may refer you for a blood test.

The test checks the level of a substance called C1 esterase inhibitor in your blood. This substance is important in regulating the immune system.

A very low level of C1 esterase inhibitor would suggest you have an inherited problem affecting how much of this substance your body is able to produce.