What is it?

Alpha-gal Syndrome is a recently acknowledged condition which is characterized by allergy to red meat and other products made from mammals. It is typically caused due to the Lone Star tick bite which transmits an alpha-gal molecule to the person bitten by it. This molecule may trigger an immune reaction resulting in an allergic reaction to red meat and other mammals products. It is seen in eastern and south central United States, due to the presence of the tick there.Alpha-gal syndrome also has been diagnosed in Europe, Australia and Asia, where other types of ticks carry alpha-gal molecules.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include itchy skin, hives, swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, wheezing, shortness of breath, a runny nose, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, sneezing, headaches and anaphylaxis.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history and physical examination. Further evaluation may include blood tests for alpha-gal antibodies and an allergy skin test.

Treatment

Treatment is mainly by avoiding the tick bite. After the bite, treatment includes avoiding foods which cause the allergic reaction. Some people with severe reactions will have to carry an Epipen.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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