Our own board-certified allergist, Dr. Wesley Sublett, spoke with Darla Carter of Insider Louisville on the alpha-gal allergy. Alpha-gal is a the tick-related red meat allergy.
10 years ago most people did not know the connection between the alpha-gal and red meat allergies. However, over the last decade through media attention, the public has learned more about this tick-related allergy. After a bite from a tick, some develop an allergy to alpha-gal. This is an allergy to all red meat including beef, lamb, pork and venison. Similar to other food allergies, there is no cure. For those diagnosed, avoidance is key, because eating these meats can cause anaphylaxis.
A recent study in Texas looked at causes of anaphylaxis. In the study, of the cases of anaphylaxis 33% of them were caused due to the alpha-gal allergy. The second leading cause was food allergies at 24%. For more information about the study, visit the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Physicians use a blood test and medical history to diagnose an alpha-gal allergy.
To avoid tick bites, Dr. Sublett recommends, “If you’re going to be either hunting or hiking or doing prolonged outdoor activity, … wear chemical protection, wear long sleeves, long pants, long shirts and then, obviously, check yourself well (for attached ticks).”
Read the full question and answer interview at the link below: