When Red Meat In Your Diet Suddenly Causes Food Allergy Symptoms, It's Time For Tests & Treatments

Health & Medical Blog

If you seem to have suddenly become very allergic to red meat, you'll need to undergo some testing and treatments, especially since food allergies can be life-threatening. When it comes to allergies to red meat, there is one key difference to other types of food allergies: more and more, researchers are finding that allergies to red meat can be caused by the bite of a tick.

The most important part of treatment is having a good understanding of your condition. The best way to do that is through medical testing. Here's what you need to know and what tests and treatments to have.

What is anaphylaxis and how can it be treated? 

Anaphylaxis is a sudden onset, life-threatening allergic reaction, usually to a food allergy. In anaphylaxis, a person's airway can close completely and cut off their airway. Their pulse can be very weak yet rapid and their blood pressure very low. Anaphylaxis is life-threatening and a risk for everyone with a food allergy.

Have an allergist test you to determine if you have a food allergy. If you test positive for a food allergy, your treatment plan will include complete avoidance of red meat or whatever food you are allergic to. Treatment also includes a prescription for epinephrine, which is a life-saving auto-injection medication should you ever go into anaphylaxis. If the allergist's tests are negative or inconclusive, have your primary care physician run tests for food intolerance.

What is the possible connection to a tick-borne disease? 

Allergies to any foods can develop at any point in your life. However, a particular allergy to red meat has been shown to be caused by the bite of a Lone Star tick. This type of tick bite releases high levels of alpha-gal, a complex sugar carb, in the blood which causes the production of alpha-gal antibodies. What does this have to do with treatment for a red meat allergy? Because red meat also has alpha-gal. So those antibodies in your blood will lead to an enormous amount of histamine being released in your body when you eat red meat, which is what causes allergy symptoms.

Your allergist can test you for alpha-gal syndrome, as it is a medical condition that falls under allergies. If this test is positive, you'll definitely want to get tested for tick-borne diseases. If positive, aside from avoidance of red meat and epinephrine prescription, treatment would involve antibiotics for the tick-borne disease.

For more information, contact a food allergy treatment service.


11 December 2019

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.