The connection between tick bites and red meat allergy
Do you know what alpha-gal allergy is?
Some species of ticks can cause anaphylactic reactions during the bite. An alpha-gal allergy is an allergic reaction after people eat meat from mammals that have alpha-gal or are exposed to products made from mammals.
Symptoms of an alpha-gal allergy commonly appear 3-6 hours after eating meat or exposure to products containing alpha-gal. Symptoms may not occur after every exposure and can vary from person to person.
Rashes, HivesSymptoms can include:
- Swollen eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Drop-in blood pressure
- Dizziness or fainting
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe stomach pain
How can I know I have an alpha-gal allergy?
Alpha-gal allergy is diagnosed by an allergist through a detailed physical examination and a blood test that looks for specific antibodies to alpha-gal. Early recognition and changes in diet may prevent serious and life-threatening health problems!
There is significant evidence that the bite of a lone star tick can inject the alpha-gal molecule into the human. Because red meat also carries the alpha-gal molecule, there is a risk of an allergic response when that individual is once again exposed to alpha-gal when he/she eats meat. Can tick bite cause alpha-gal allergy?
If you know you’ve had a tick bite, should you be tested for alpha-gal allergy?
Not without symptoms, says Dr. Scott Commins, who is an allergist and an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina. “There are plenty of people who get tick bites and do not end up with this allergy! But I ask patients to be aware of the site of the tick bite.”
How can I prevent it?
We consider it our task to provide a wide range of information for those who want to be aware of the diseases caused by ticks and their dangers, and to draw their attention to the importance of prevention, as with proper care and precautions these diseases can be prevented!
The prevention begins with you!
Take steps to reduce your chances of being bitten by any tick. Ticks can be found in brushy, wooded, or grassy habitats in woods, in fields, urban parks also. Always use preventive repellents and dress up properly when you are going to a highly infected area. Make Tickless a permanent companion on all your excursions!
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/ticks/alpha-gal/index.html
- NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4235259/
- Columbia University: https://www.columbia-lyme.org/alpha-gal-meat-allergy
 NCBI: An anaphylactic reaction is a strong allergic reaction that can normally be kept under control if treated immediately. It's important to know what to do in an emergency. For some people or in certain situations, it's also a good idea to have an emergency kit at hand.