Alpha-gal syndrome is a recently identified type of food allergy to red meat and other products made from mammals. In the United States, the condition most often begins when a Lone Star tick bites someone. The bite transmits a sugar molecule called alpha-gal into the person’s body.
Can a tick make you allergic to meat?
Researchers have identified cases of rare red meat allergy linked to tick bites. Lone Star ticks range from the Southeast through the Eastern United States and bites from the arachnids are known to cause a rare allergy to galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-gal), a type of sugar found in beef, pork, lamb, and other red meats.
Is the lone star tick meat allergy permanent?
“In some cases it could be [permanent],” Dr. Narula said, “But in most cases we think it will dissipate over time, usually within a couple years. But if you get tick bites again, it’s going to make the condition take longer to go away.”
How common is meat allergy from Lone Star tick?
Given the delayed presentation, this allergy is often missed. Adults are most often affected and this can occur suddenly in people who have eaten red meat their entire lives. It remains unknown how many people have alpha-gal allergy or are at risk for red meat allergy, but most estimates are low, around 1-2% of adults.
Where are the ticks that make you allergic to meat?
The Lone Star tick has been implicated in initiating the red meat allergy in the US, and this tick is found predominantly in the Southeast, from Texas to Iowa and into New England. A meat allergy can develop any time in life.
What is alpha-gal syndrome?
Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) (also called alpha-gal allergy, red meat allergy, or tick bite meat allergy) is a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. AGS may occur after people eat red meat or are exposed to other products containing alpha-gal.
Does alpha-gal allergy go away?
Prognosis. Unlike most food allergies, in some people, the alpha-gal allergy may recede over time, as long as the person is not bitten by another tick. The recovery period can take 8 months to 5 years.
Is there a cure for alpha-gal syndrome?
Currently, there is no cure or treatment for alpha-gal syndrome. People with AGS need to avoid foods and other products that contain alpha-gal in order to prevent allergic reactions.
How long after a tick bite are you allergic to meat?
In alpha-gal syndrome, reactions usually appear about three to six hours after exposure. Red meat, such as beef, pork or lamb; organ meats; and products made from mammals, such as gelatins or dairy products, can cause a reaction.
How do you get rid of alpha-gal allergy?
Medications. Allergic reactions to alpha-gal can be treated with an over-the-counter antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Stronger reactions provoked by alpha-gal might need to be addressed with epinephrine. Researchers don’t know yet how long after the tick bite the allergy can last.
What foods to avoid if you are allergic to alpha-gal?
Once alpha-gal allergy is diagnosed, all mammalian meats and by-products should be avoided. This includes, beef, pork, lamb, venison, mutton, goat, and bison, plus any food that contains red meat extracts. Some individuals with alpha-gal allergy must also avoid dairy products made from cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk.
How long after a lone star tick bite will symptoms appear?
The time from getting a bite to showing signs and symptoms is usually five to 14 days. If you develop any of the signs or symptoms after a tick bite or after a possible exposure to ticks, see your doctor.
How long does a lone star tick need to be attached to transmit disease?
Even if a tick is attached, it must have taken a blood meal to transmit Lyme disease. At least 36 to 48 hours of feeding is typically required for a tick to have fed and then transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. After this amount of time, the tick will be engorged (full of blood).
Why is meat suddenly making me sick?
Nausea. Nausea is a common symptom of not digesting meat well as it can be a reaction to certain bacteria in meat. Some pregnant women find that eating meat causes them to feel extremely nauseous. It could also simply be that something (perhaps an overworked organ) in your body is rejecting meat.
Can you eat chicken with alpha-gal allergy?
Commins: Initially, we ask people to strictly avoid red meat—beef, pork, lamb, this would include venison, bison, buffalo—anything essentially that has hooves and walks on four legs, we ask them to avoid. They can certainly eat chicken, turkey and fish, but we often leave dairy in their diet if they can tolerate it.
Does Alpha-Gal cause joint pain?
Jennifer Burton said, “I was diagnosed with alpha-gal syndrome after months of battling the common escalating symptoms of AGS—extreme fatigue, joint pain, rashes, vomiting, diarrhea, GI distress and bloating, angioedema, urticaria, and four anaphylactic episodes (two nearly fatal).”……