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Hereditary Disorders

A hereditary disorder is caused by a change in a specific gene or chromosome that is passed down from a parent to their child. You can inherit a hereditary disorder from your mother, father, or both of your parents. With hereditary disorders, there is a good chance that another close family member has the same disorder. 

At West Hills Allergy & Asthma Associates, we provide care for hereditary disorders that impact your lungs and airways.

Hereditary Angioedema (HAE)

Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic condition that a person is born with. It impacts different parts of your body. It causes swelling in the lining of the gut and lungs and can also cause swelling under the skin. The swelling attacks can affect other parts of your body and vary in severity and length. 

It is a condition that you will always have if you are born with it. HAE can be managed and treated but not cured. 

If you have HEA, you have a problem with a gene that makes the C1 inhibitor, which is a blood protein. Due to the issue with the gene that creates the C1 inhibitor, you lack the proper amount of this protein in your body. Or you may have normal levels of the C1 inhibitor, but it doesn’t work as it should in your body. 

The result of the C1 inhibitor protein being at low levels or not working correctly in your body is that tiny blood vessels push fluids to nearby parts of your body, resulting in random and sudden swelling. 

Learn More About Hereditary Angioedema

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AAT Deficiency)

Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency occurs when you have a low level of AAT in your blood. AAT is a protein primarily produced by your liver and circulates in your bloodstream. This small protein is essential in protecting your lungs and other organs from being damaged by irritants and infections. 

This is a rare genetic disorder that increases your risk of suffering from emphysema and cirrhosis, i.e., your lungs and liver are both at risk of disease. Some consequences are life-threatening. 

This rare genetic disorder is not very common and is often underdiagnosed. It occurs at the same rates in males and females. It is mainly seen in people with Central and Northern European heritage. 

Learn More About Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disease that causes thick and sticky mucus to build up in your organs, particularly your pancreas and lungs. It takes the regular mucus that lines your lungs and nose and makes it thick instead of slippery and watery as it should be. This results in the mucus blocking ducts inside your pancreas and causing digestive problems. 

CF is a chronic condition that gets worse over time. It can also impact your sinus, intestines, liver, and sex organs. 

Another form of the disease, called atypical cystic fibrosis, is milder than CF and generally only impacts one organ. Atypical CF usually starts later in life, whereas typical CF is usually detected within the first few years of a child’s life. 

Learn More About Cystic Fibrosis

Treatment for Hereditary Disorders in Portland, Oregon

Do you have a hereditary disorder or suspect that you have a hereditary disorder? Our West Hills Allergy & Asthma Associates team can help diagnose your condition and develop a treatment plan that allows you to live a full life. 

For a consultation with Dr. Rene Anderson-Cowell, you can call us at (503) 297-4779 or request an appointment online.

9701 SW Barnes Road
Suite 130
Portland, Oregon 97225


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