About Alpha-Gal

Alpha-gal is an allergy to ALL mammal meat: beef, pork, lamb, venison, goat, and bison. It occurs when certain people are bitten by a tick. The saliva of the tick causes the body to generate an antibody against a SUGAR molecule in all red meat. This is significant because it is different from people who are allergic to peanuts or shellfish, etc. They are allergic to a PROTEIN in a particular food. When you are allergic to a protein in a food, your reaction is immediate. When you are allergic to a SUGAR, your body has to digest the food and break it down to a SUGAR before you begin to react. This is a big reason why it takes people so long to figure out what is wrong. Since it takes anywhere between 3-6 hours to digest your food, you don’t think your allergic reaction could be from food because your symptoms are so distant from the last time you had something to eat. The most common symptoms are hives, itching, and in severe cases anaphylaxis. The only treatment at this time is to completely avoid red meat. It is believed that over time and being free from any further tick bites, your alpha-gal levels may decrease. It is recommended that you be retested to see if the alpha-gal antibody level has decreased.

Here is an informative and up to date (09/12/2017) podcast from Dr. Scott Commins:

https://www.med.unc.edu/medicine/news/chairs-corner/podcasts/alpha-gal

The University of Virginia is researching the alpha-gal meat allergy. See the blog below for more information:

http://allergytomeat.wordpress.com/frequently-asked-questions/

If you live in the Lynchburg, Virginia area and believe you may have the alpha-gal allergy, I would recommend Dr. Charles Lane at Allergy Partners of Lynchburg:

http://www.allergypartners.com/lynchburg/default.aspx

One thought on “About Alpha-Gal

  1. I am so happy to have come across your blog! My husband was diagnosed with Alpha-Gal as well about 6 months ago. Thank you for sharing your story, your research, and your recipies. When we recieved our diagnosis, our allergist made us aware of how little he know about this allergy and we would be on our own when it came to the research. I have created a Facebook community geared towards spreading knowledge and experiences in hopes of educating people about this terrible allergy. I hope you will join this community and allow me to reference you and your blog. I think your knowledge will prove very helpful.

    Laura McMorran

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