Are You Developing Allergy After Eating Meat?
Despite the growing popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets, meat is still consumed by most Americans. In reality, per an Ipsos report from 2021, 9 out of 10 Americans eat meat. With it in mind, most individuals will be able to identify the signs of a worrying medical condition which is becoming more and more of a concern as a consequence of another emerging popularity. Researchers are stressing that the spreading of one pest across the nation could have substantial repercussions on people’s eating patterns.
As per The New York Times on May 13, researchers have found that the prevalence of one harmful tick is spreading across the United States. According to the newspaper, the lone star tick—named for the white splotch on females’ backs—is typically found in the country’s southern half, but specialists have begun to see this pest in more significant numbers in the Midwest and Northwest. Ticks have more time to feed on hosts and breed when there are many more hot days each year, as per scientists, so this increase is mostly owing to global warming.
“What we’re seeing now is a wide-open doorway for ticks to keep growing their area farther northward,” Michael Raupp, Ph.D., a senior lecturer of entomology at the University of Maryland, told The New York Times. “With climate change, we’re entering into uncharted waters in so many respects.”
Some people are allergic to meat because of this tick. The lone star tick can transmit a range of illnesses and health risks, but the alpha-gal syndrome is one of the most severe (AGS). This illness is “a recently identified sort of food allergy to red meat and other items derived from mammals,” according to the Mayo Clinic, and is most typically generated by a lone star tick bite. As per The New York Times, researchers first discovered an allergic reaction to alpha-gal in 2006, but it wasn’t until many years later that they linked it to tick bites.
“A sugar molecule called alpha-gal is transferred into the person’s bloodstream by the bite,” the Mayo Clinic adds. “This creates an immune system response in some people, leading to mild to severe allergic reactions to red meat, such as beef, pork, or lamb, or other mammalian products.”
Deborah Fleshman, a former nurse who has been identified with alpha-gal disorder, told The New York Times that her symptoms began in 2008 when she rose with beet-red legs and welts covering her torso, some of which were a foot wide. She described herself as “dying” at the time.
“You feel like you’re on fire, and then you wake up feeling like you slept with a cactus,” she explained. “The stinging is excruciating.”
As per the CDC, an AGS response can differ greatly among individuals, and those that have the disorder may not suffer an allergic reaction every time they are exposed to meat. “It’s impossible to predict. I know folks who spend the night waiting for a response in the emergency room parking lot “The New York Times spoke with Jennifer Platt, an associate professor of public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-founder of the nonprofit Tick-Borne Conditions United.
If you have any symptoms of AGS, you immediately consult your doctor, especially considering you’ve been bit by a tick. AGS should be identified and cured by doctors, as per the CDC, since people may have to control particular foods, goods, immunizations, and medicines.
“Talk to your medicinal physician if you think you might have AGS,” the organization says. “AGS is a medical disease that can possibly be devastating. If you are having a severe allergic reaction, seek emergency medical attention right once.”
If you have any symptoms of AGS, you should visit your physician, especially knowing you’ve been bit by a tick. AGS should be identified and cured by healthcare professionals, as per the CDC, since individuals may need to avoid certain foods, items, vaccinations, and medications.
“Talk to your health professional if you fear you might have AGS,” the CDC recommends. “AGS is a serious illness that can be deadly. If you’re having a terrible allergy, seek medical help immediately once.”
As the number of lone star ticks grows, so does the majority of instances of the alpha-gal syndrome. As per research introduced in April 2021, more than 34,000 persons in the United States had come back positive for the disease as of 2018. As per the New York Times, AGS has impacted people as far away as Washington and Hawaii, as per a publicly published map.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Alpha-Gal Syndrome
A combination of your personal background and specific medical tests can help doctors diagnose the alpha-gal syndrome. Your doctor will probably start by inquiring about your tick exposure, symptoms and signs, and how long it has taken for symptoms to appear after eating red meat or other mammal products. He or she may also do a physical examination.
Additional testing for alpha-gal syndrome examination may include:
- Test of blood. The level of alpha-gal antibodies in your blood can be verified and quantified using a blood test. This is the most important test for alpha-gal syndrome diagnosis.
- Test your skin. Doctors pierce your skin and provide little doses of chemicals obtained from commercial or fresh red meat. If you’re allergic, a raised lump (hive) develops on your skin at the test spot. Because there are various forms of meat allergy, your doctor or allergist may test your skin for an allergic reaction to certain types of red meat.
- Alpha-gal syndrome is treated by avoiding the foods that cause your reaction, just like any other food allergy. Always check the food lists on store-bought foods for red meat or animal-based components such as beef, hog, lamb, organ meats, or gelatins. In prepackaged items, look for soup stock cubes, gravy packages, and flavoring additives. A list of foods to avoid, including meat extracts used in flavoring, can be obtained from your doctor or allergist. Some components are hard to identify as meat-based due to their names.When dining out or during social occasions, be particularly cautious. Many individuals are unaware of the significance of a food allergy, and even fewer are aware that meat allergies exist. Even a small amount of red meat might lead to complications.