Southeast Gardening forum: Alpha Gal - Rare Food Allergy in the Southeast Caused by Lone Star Tick

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Name: Amanda
Piedmont, NC (Zone 7b)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover Butterflies Critters Allowed
Mar 16, 2017 8:48 PM CST
I was recently diagnosed with this "new" rare food allergy which manifests as an "itchy panic attack." Discovered in 2007, it only occurs in the Southeast US aligned with the distribution of the lone star tick. This allergy manifests with hives, and my prescribed medication for the allergic response is an epi-pen! Sighing!

Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or Alpha-Gal for short, is a delayed allergy to mammal meat affecting a growing number of the population. This allergy is initially caused by the Lone Star tick bite. Since the reaction to eating mammal meat is delayed by several hours, the proper diagnosis is often missed or misdiagnosed. People who are afflicted with the Alpha-Gal allergy have to be constantly vigilant about the ingredients they consume, because an allergic reaction can be severe and life-threatening.
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
Charter ATP Member Amaryllis Region: United States of America Tropicals Seed Starter Plumerias
Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Echinacea
Mar 17, 2017 9:14 AM CST
Group hug Group hug Amanda. I'm glad that you were able to receive a proper diagnosis to this potentially life threatening disease. And Thank You! for giving us the heads up on this otherwise mostly unknown/rare malady and alerting up to its seriousness. I'll have to be especially careful, as I'm already allergic to so many things and have to take an antihistamine daily year round. I will definitely read the info in the link provided. I'm sure it will be useful, if not for myself, then for someone I love. Another good reason to keep deer out of my yard.

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