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Ticks Cause Alpha-Gal Allergy

A tick bite can carry harmful bacteria, making you vulnerable to some pretty horrible diseases and the risk of potential allergies. Our Q&A looks at how being bitten by a tick could result in you being put off of your food!


Can a tick bite cause allergies?

Alpha-gal syndrome has been identified as a type of food allergy to red meat. Scientists have discovered that the bite from certain ticks may instigate hypersensitivity to things that contain alpha-gal, such as red meat.

Is there a tick that makes you allergic to meat?

The Lone Star tick has been identified as the main culprit of causing the allergic reaction. Here’s an article that provides further information about how this type of problem is becoming more common and easier to develop.

Weird Meat Allergy Caused by Ticks May Be Easier to Catch Than We Thought

One of the strangest side-effects of a tick bite—a new allergy to red meat—could be even easier to get than previously thought. New research out this weekend suggests that bites from certain ticks can cause the allergy no matter what they’ve recently bitten. The finding could overturn a commonly held theory that ticks need to have recently gorged on the blood of other mammals before they can spread a meat allergy to humans.

How long after tick bite does alpha-gal develop?

It’s difficult to tell. It depends on how often and when you eat red meat. You may have been bitten by a tick some time ago, but not be aware of the allergy until you are about to dive into a nice juicy steak. However, reported cases have indicated that signs and symptoms typically don’t appear for three to six hours after eating red meat.

Does alpha-gal allergy go away?

It’s believed that alpha-gal is not permanent and the severity of the allergy varies from person to person. You can find out more about the signs, symptoms and treatment for it in the following article.

Alpha-Gal Allergy Overview

Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal) is a carbohydrate found in the cells of many mammals that humans eat, such as cows, sheep, and pigs. Poultry that has been injected with natural flavoring containing beef or other mammal cells may also have alpha-gal. As a result of autoimmune responses, some people become allergic to alpha-gal. People with this allergy may experience mild discomfort after eating meat, or they may have a dangerous reaction that leaves them unable to breathe. The spectrum of reactions to alpha-gal varies. Most instances of this allergy are triggered by tick bites.

Protecting yourself from ticks is the best way to ensure that you don’t develop the allergy and can continue to enjoy red meat without reaction. Of course, it’s also important to keep yourself protected from the diseases they spread, so make sure you are using adequate tick control around your home, and wearing the right clothing should you venture into an area that is likely to have ticks.

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