Alpha-gal Syndrome, Otherwise Known as Tick Bite Meat Allergy, an Emerging Epidemic in the Unites States

Equip-4-Ticks Resource Center

Equip-4-Ticks Resource Center and AGI Alpha-Gal Information offer expert tips and educational content to help the public stay protected from ticks.

SEATTLE, WA, UNITED STATES , June 21, 2022 / — Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS), also commonly referred to as alpha-gal allergy, red meat allergy, or tick bite meat allergy, is a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It is an increasing epidemic, and the lack of widespread public awareness is causing delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), growing evidence suggests that alpha-gal syndrome in the United States may be triggered by the bite of a lone star tick. The lone star tick, found mainly in dense woodlands with thick undergrowth on the eastern side of the United States, is one of the more aggressive ticks, and is thought to transmit alpha-gal as well as the bacterial infection known as Ehrlichiosis. As tick populations swell and their ranges expand, the number of people diagnosed with alpha-gal syndrome is rising.

Alpha-gal, AGS Explained
Alpha-gal syndrome is a food allergy to red meat and other products made from mammals. Scientists believe the syndrome is caused by a tick bite, which then transmits a sugar molecule called alpha-gal into the body. For some people, this triggers a reaction from the immune system which produces an allergic reaction to red meat, such as beef, pork, lamb, or other mammal products. While the most common food triggers are red meats, dairy, gelatin, and other mammalian byproducts can also cause reactions when ingested. Medical products that can trigger reactions include medications, plasma volume expanders, vaccines, and many others. Personal care and household products can also trigger reactions.

Alpha-gal Signs and Symptoms
Unlike other food allergies such as peanut or shellfish where reactions are quick, symptoms of alpha-gal can be delayed. Reactions, which can be life-threatening, may be immediate, as in the case of injected drugs, or delayed from 2 to 10 hours, typical after the consumption of meat.

Signs and symptoms of alpha-gal syndrome may include:
• Anaphylaxis
• Itchy skin or hives
• A runny nose or sneezing
• Stomach distress, nausea, or diarrhea
• Swollen lips or other body parts
• Shortness of breath
• A runny nose
• Drop in blood pressure
• Dizziness or fainting
• Headaches

Managing Alpha-gal
Currently, there is no cure or treatment for alpha-gal syndrome. People with AGS need to avoid foods and other products containing alpha-gal such as red meats, dairy and more, in order to prevent allergic reactions. Additional tick bites can make AGS allergic reactions worse, therefore avoiding the ticks that can trigger AGS, like the lone star tick, may help keep reactions from getting worse.

Permethrin: Recommended Protection Against Ticks
To minimize the risk of alpha-gal and other dangerous tick-borne diseases, using effective repellents is crucial. Thanks to its long-lasting nature, permethrin-treated clothing is highly recommended to help repel tick bites. Learn more about the various methods of using permethrin to stay protected such as clothing with built-in protection and permethrin spray. For comprehensive information about how stay protected from ticks and the dangerous diseases they may carry, visit Equip-4-Ticks Resource Center and Alpha-gal Information.


About AGI Alpha-gal Information
After being diagnosed with alpha-gal syndrome in 2019, Sharon Forsyth searched for information that would help her navigate this complex condition, but found little. Local allergists knew less than she did and weren’t able to help. Not wanting others in the alpha-gal community to experience the same frustration, she organized the Alpha-gal Syndrome Awareness Campaign and, with the campaign team, created the Alpha-gal Information website. The AGI website was created by people with alpha-gal syndrome in order to raise awareness about alpha-gal syndrome and provide information about AGS for the community, friends, families, media, and healthcare providers.

About Equip-4-Ticks Resource Center
Equip-4-Ticks Resource Center, a collaboration between tick expert, Dr. Thomas Mather, PhD and Insect Shield Repellent Technology, was launched to offer tips, informational content, and a comprehensive video library to help the public stay protected from ticks and the dangerous diseases they may cause such as Lyme disease and Alpha-gal syndrome.

Janine Worthington
Insect Shield Repellent Technology
+1 206-354-9093
email us here

Expert Recommended Tick Repellent: Permethrin Helps Prevent Ticks


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