Welcome to HAE UK
​Online support for all Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) patients and their family members living in the UK
About HAE
​HAE is an inherited condition, characterised by swellings on any part of the body including hands, feet, arms, legs, intestines, face, tongue and airway, which can be life threatening
​HAE UK can provide one-to-one patient support when needed. We also hold events to give you the opportunity to meet others with the same condition

What is Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)?

About HAE UK

Patient Events


Welcome to HAE UK on line support for all UK patients with Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)

Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) is a rare but potentially life-threatening inherited condition. HAE symptoms include episodes of oedema (swelling) in various body parts including the hands, feet, face and airway.

In addition, patients often have bouts of excruciating abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting that is caused by swelling in the intestinal wall. Airway swelling is particularly dangerous and can lead to death by asphyxiation.

HAE patients frequently spend a long time before they are correctly diagnosed. They are often referred to allergy, yet their swellings will not respond to antihistamine or steroids. Some of them with abdominal swelling are subjected to unnecessary exploratory procedures even going so far as to have appendectomies or bowel surgery; some are even considered to have psychiatric problems (it is no coincidence that Hereditary Angioedema used to be called ‘Angio-Neurotic Oedema’). One of the diagnostic features is family history; prior to the condition being identified, about 30% of patients died from lack of treatment.

And yet treatment is now available, is easily administered and is relatively inexpensive. Patients with Hereditary Angioedema either lack a regulatory protein called ‘C1-Inhibitor’ or their C1-Inhibitor has very low activity. Most patients have a family history, but some are spontaneous mutations. The problem is, these mutations can be passed on to offspring.

C1-inhibitor can either be replaced directly, by using a C1-Inhibitor concentrate; or the process that it controls can be interrupted by use of a bradykinin antagonist.

There are some more complicated conditions that are very similar to typical HAE, but are classed as ‘HAE Type III’; identification of this subtype is increasing exponentially. There is also Acquired Angioedema – AAE – who are people who have angioedema as a side effect from treatment for other illnesses.

Contact us

Contact us

Unfortunately we are unable to give you emergency medical advice. You should seek help from A&E if you are experiencing severe symptoms or a medical emergency.

If you are having ongoing medical care issues, or if you need advice, support or help with anything else related to HAE, then please do contact us in confidence:

E-mail: support@haeuk.org

Telephone Angela Metcalfe: 07975 611787

Write to us: HAE UK, PO Box 448, Bridgwater TA6 9GB

Fundraising for HAE UK

Fundraising for HAE UK

With your support HAE UK aims to raise awareness of this very rare condition and to work together to ensure better treatment and support for HAE patients and their families.

  • Campaigning for better diagnosis and treatment
  • Holding patient days where we can hear presentations from HAE Specialists and we can meet other HAE patients
  • Maintaining a website to offer practical information and advice
  • Providing a closed Facebook group where we can support each other
  • Providing confidential one to one support

You can support HAE UK by providing a one off or regular donation, organising a fundraising activity, shopping online or leaving a legacy gift.



You can make a simple one off donation or a regular monthly donation to HAE UK via JustGiving.

If you want to organise a sponsored event to raise money for HAE UK, you can also set up your own JustGiving fundraising page so your sponsors can donate online.

To find out more visit the Justgiving website


Payroll Giving

Payroll Giving is a flexible scheme which allows anyone who pays UK income tax to give regularly and on a tax free basis straight from your wages or pension. This happens before tax is deducted from your income.

To set up a regular donation to HAE UK please download and complete the Payroll Giving form



Do you shop online? easyfundraising is a way to raise money for HAE UK simply by shopping online in your normal way. Every time you make a purchase online with one of the 2,700+ participating retailers, the retailer will make a donation via easyfundraising. Retailers include Amazon, John Lewis, eBay and many more.

To start raising money by online shopping, with no additional cost to yourself, please see the easyfundraising website.


Leave a gift in your will

Leaving a legacy gift is not complicated. All you need to do is state in your will that you would like to leave a gift to HAE UK. We would recommend using a solicitor to make sure your will is legal and valid.

To leave a gift to HAE UK you will need to include our charity name: HAE UK, and registered charity number: 1152591. Any size gift that you are able to leave HAE UK will be used to help support the lives of all HAE patients in the UK.


Thank you so much for your support for HAE UK.

Patient stories

Patient Stories

Because HAE is such a rare condition many patients have never met another person with HAE. We all have our own individual journey as we seek to access the correct diagnosis and then to achieve good management of our condition.

Many patients feel that they have a good management programme that gives them good control over their symptoms. Sadly, there are still patients who struggle to access the type of treatment recommended in the 2013 NHS England Policy for the Management of Acute Attacks of Hereditary Angioedema and the 2014 UK Consensus Recommendation for the Management of Hereditary Angioedema.

Some of our HAE UK members have told their HAE story to share their own experiences in order to help and encourage others.

If you are experiencing difficulties in accessing treatment please do contact our HAE Patient Contact to talk about your situation.


Living with HAE

Read Ann’s story

Read Rachel’s story

Read Andy’s story

Read Rose’s story

Read Paul’s story

Read Chip’s story


Children living with HAE

Read Ruby’s story

Read Flo’s story

Read Luke’s story


Travelling with HAE

Read Rachel’s travel story


Types of HAE

Types of HAE

HAE affects between 1/10,000 to 1/50,000 of the population. Because it is so rare most doctors would not see a case in their entire career, and misdiagnosis is common. Patients can suffer for many years before they receive the correct diagnosis.

HAE patients have a defect in the gene that controls a blood protein called C1 Inhibitor (C1INH). C1INH is part of a complex cascade of reactions that control the release of fluids from capillaries into the surrounding tissues, thereby causing oedema (swelling).


Types of HAE

Type I and Type II HAE are due to a known genetic mutation.


Type I

There are low levels of C1INH (in most cases).


Type II

The blood levels are normal but the C1INH has impaired function.


Type III (HAE with normal C1)

This is a very recently documented form: It mainly affects females and is exacerbated by high oestrogen levels e.g. oral contraceptives and pregnancy.

HAE Type III is not due to C1 INH deficiency; it is linked to elevated levels of bradykinin. The exact reasons it occurs are still being studied.


Acquired C1 Inhibitor deficiency

Acquired C1 Inhibitor deficiency is not inherited but is caused when the body produces an antibody to its own C1 inhibitor or uses too much C1 inhibitor.

AAE is often associated with an underlying condition of white blood cells, which is usually mild, but tests should be done to exclude more serious conditions such as lymphoma.

Proud to work with