Tips for Preventing Alpha-gal Syndrome
I once read a social media post from someone in the outdoors industry that referenced an allergy to red meat called alpha-gal syndrome. I immediately thought to myself “How horrible”! I pride myself on being a meat-eater, especially red meat. I have been eating beef my whole life, was born and raised in Wisconsin, and now a hunter myself and enjoying meals of venison and elk regularly.
There is a plethora of information on the internet regarding prevention but there is no cure. The Mayo Clinic defines alpha-gal as a syndrome stating it “is a recently identified type of food allergy to red meat and other products made from mammals”. The article lists beef, pork, and lamb as red meats-think mammals. The article goes on to say that if someone is suffering from undiagnosed allergies, by skin testing they may discover they have alpha-gal.
Who can get it? Anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Currently, the primary suspect for passing alpha-gal in the United States is the Lone Star Tick with the runner up being chiggers. The tick/chigger bites you, transfers a sugar molecule, and your body, if functioning normally, triggers an immune reaction. An allergic response is not immediate, but the allergic reaction can increase in severity. As with more common allergies such as peanut or bee stings, someone with alpha-gal may require the use of an Epi-pen at some point.
Want to avoid getting Alpha-gal syndrome? Continue reading Victoria Tavares's article here.
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