Mammalian meat allergy in the news!

We hope everyone out there is enjoying their (hopefully tick-free) summers! Dr. Platts-Mills and Dr. Commins recently did interviews with ABC News and CNN about the connection between the lone star tick and allergy to mammalian meat. Check them out!

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43 responses to “Mammalian meat allergy in the news!”

  1. LeAnne Barber says :

    I’ve been allergic to red meats for about ten years and have avoided them (I’ve had many tick and chigger bites and have lived in North Carolina for 20 years). Two days ago I had a severe reaction after drinking a whey protein drink. I ended up in the ER with the usual severe symptoms but with the addition of vision problems: darkening vision with kaleidoscope-like spots. I noted on the FAQ:
    We have heard from at least one person who had a reaction after eating a protein powder made from whey protein isolate. Whey is a substance found in milk. The person who reacted to it has not experienced reactions with any other dairy products.
    Like the one person, I have had not reactions to any other dairy products but now I’m worried about what’s to come. Anyone else?
    Like many others, I’ve never known why I was allergic to red meats until the recent information from allergists at UVA. I appreciate this blog.

    • Terry says :

      LeAnne we need to talk. I have it too. I’ve been to the ER at UNC 5 times in the last year. One visit put me under the care of Dr. Platts-Mills’ son. What a relief to finally have someone who knew what it was! There have been too many times that they’ve tried to treat me for panic attacks. We might be able to help each other. I can tell you some good restaurants in town and Whole Foods and Weaver Street are now my favorite places to shop.

      • LeAnne Barber says :

        Terry – what dept is Dr. Platts-Mills’s son in? I’m glad you’ve found some answers. Panic attacks??? Really?
        Do you mean restaurants who would be careful about cross contamination (which I’ve never worried about until I read some of the posts below!)? I do shop only at WF and WSM.
        I learned recently from another round of testing that I AM allergic now to whey protein powder which is of course a mammalian product in concentrated form. Still able to eat other dairy products. So far.

      • Lucy Gorham says :

        I’m from Carrboro and also ended up in the UNC ER the first time this happened to me this spring. Fortunately, a friend of mine knew of this allergy and I got tested by Maya Jerath in the UNC Allergy clinic. She is a leading practitioner on this and just great. Unfortunately, the UNC ER was clueless, even though I showed them a journal article by Dr. Platts-Mills on my smart phone. Just confirmed my diagnosis a couple of weeks ago and am still figuring out what sets it off in addition to meat. I’m pretty sure I’m having problems with goat cheese but am hoping I can continue to eat other dairy. I still have lots of questions about how this how thing is developing. Maybe we could organize an informal get-together at WSM and trade notes.

    • Jill Minor says :

      I am right now having my first reaction to whey protein, hives and all. I’ve been allergic to red meat for eight years. Maybe once before I had a reaction to cheese, I blamed it on the rennet but it was difficult to know. I do know that I have had this protein drink before, but this is the first reaction. Its been a year and half since my last reaction.

      • Debora Trent says :

        Dear Jill, I have had this condition for all most three years now. First reaction was in October 2010. For the first couple of years I could have protein shakes with whey in them, but became very sensitive to them about a year ago. You can find protein shakes in health food stores that do not have whey products that are vegetarian based. I can have some cheese products, but have to limit my daily intake to small portions. I have found that everyone reacts different to this allergy. Just experiment and find out what works for you, and remember that over time that the allergy will change in your system, so you have to keep adapting to it! Hang in there and take care!

      • Ted Harvey says :

        My reactions seem to be different. I cannot have any red meat, yet I can eat all the ham I want. Worst is bacon and ribs. You have to experiment with everything to see what effects you. When I tell people about this allergy, they look at me like I am crazy. I am located in Ocean City, NJ. It seems to be quite common in North carolina. I can eat all the cheese, dairy products and drink whey protein shakes with no reaction. The hard part is finding out what you can have and not have. The problem is, after having one of the attacks, you don’t want to take a chance on anything, for fear of an allergic reaction. In the long run, me not eating red meat is probably a good thing. I stick to mostly chicken and seafood.

        Good Luck!

        Ted Harvey

      • mexsteve says :

        I thought pork was no problem with me until I ate some really fatty ribs one night. Had a reaction. I think there is more concentration of the allergic stuff in the fats of meats. I had a reaction at taco stand that had chicken warming in the same pot as Beef. It also had sauteed onions that were delicious but were probably cooked in beef fat too. Watch out for that! Never had a problem with ham.

  2. Dawn says :

    I have been reacting to red meat for about 30 years, many times going to the hospital in full anaphyactic shock (vomiting, diarhea, drop in blood pressure, severe hives. I have also had reaction from hot chocolate made with whole milk, venison and eating a crab cake that was cooked on a griddle with hamburgers. (I have never reacted to other crab). Glad to know there’s research being done on this.

  3. Debora M Trent says :

    I have had this allergy for only about 1and 1/2 years now. It has not gotten any better. I get cross contaminated very easily at restaraunts. It is not full blown, but my tongue and lips begin to tingle and feel numb and my throat starts to tighten up a bit. My symtoms occur any where from 6 to 10 hours after I have been cross contaminated. I wonder if it takes longer because it is only a trace amount? I will take 2 to 3 antihystamines and it will correct itself. I am very fearful of what would happen now if I actually ate red meat, since a trace does this to me! I would love to hear from someone who also has this problem. I recently had a jello salad at my mom’s home and had a reaction. I was very puzzled until someone told me that some jellytons have a beef by-product in them. Has anyone else heard of this or had this happen to them? I guess this will be one more thing to take off my list to eat!

    • Katie Herlocker Eastman says :

      I was tested for food allergies 9 months ago and red meat came up. I was shocked, live on a farm in southern Kansas and eat red meat almost everyday of my life! ( I of course have had ticks all my life, in fact had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever as a child) I was thrilled when I found out why and/or what might have caused my allergy. I too, 6 – 10 hrs. later can’t breath, my heart beats oddly, then have no energy/blah for couple days afterward. A few times my face felt tingly and then I have a horrible sugar crash. In response to Debora, I ate a jello casserole and also had a reaction. Thought it was a fluke because I react to strawberrys sometimes, so tried it again, worse the 2nd day. I then started researching hidden red meat in products. I also react just as bad to pork, do you? This surprised my allergist.

      • Dawn says :

        I react to pork and have even had a reaction to venison.

      • Debora M Trent says :

        I was told by my allergist here in Va., who is in contact with UVA about this allergy that any four legged mammel could give an allergic reaction for people with this type of allergy. I.E. lamb, rabbit, squirl, deer, beef, pork, in other words only poultry and fish and seafood for me!!!!

      • Debora M Trent says :

        I can’t eat pork products either. Cross contamination from pork fat is just as bad as beef products for me. I love sharing with people who uderstand this allergy. Thanks for sharing!

    • Dawn says :

      When I first started reacting to red meats, my reactions were generally about 4-6 hours after I had eaten, especially the severe ones. I didn’t react every time I ingested red meat, which really made it hard to tell what was going on at first, but it also seemed to be connected to my menstrual cycle. I’m post menopausal now, so that’s not a factor, but if I have a trace of red meat (like something cooked on the same griddle) usually a few antihystamins will take care of it. I carry them always and an epipen when I travel. I’ve never had a reaction from gelatin.

  4. Larry says :

    After having hives for 12 years with this affliction I am finally cured!! I have only known about the cause for about 3 years and after 2 years of spraying deet on me every time I step outside I have not had a tick for two years. I tested the waters gradually and have finally been enjoying juicy med rare steak and greasy hamburgers. Finally I have a life!

  5. Mary says :

    Well, it seems I have joined the ranks of “I can’t eat mammal meat” anymore. Woohoo! Scoot over folks I think I’ll sit at your table, if you don’t mind! I even remember the day it started. I was at the Garden Symposium at Christopher Newport in Newport News, VA and had just done an interview with Andre’ Viette. Earlier I had eaten a deli sandwich with roast beef, ham, and turkey. I began to have stomach pains 5 – 6 hours later. I had to leave the event and go home. I thought perhaps the deli meats had been out too long. I swigged pepto several times over the next two hours (God, I HATE that taste!) and finally went to bed. The next day I fixed a bacon double cheeseburger for James and I for lunch. Well, 6 hours later I was in the same boat as the night before, but much worse. I was doubled over in pain and bleaching continually. I repeated the pepto routine from the night before and after several hours was able to sleep. I learned quick there was a problem and since that weekend in April I have tried sausage and ham (sandwich meat) and have had the same reaction. Chicken, fish and other seafood is fine. So, today I went for my yearly visit to my doc. I explained what was going on and she told me I was allergic to mammal meat (the protein) and I was her 3rd patient in 3 months with the problem. She began telling me about the problem and mentioned ticks. Y’all will know how old I am now, but I asked her to look back in her “paper” files and look for the photo that was taken when I had been bitten by a tick (which left a “bullseye” on the back of my leg at the knee) some 10 years ago. I was tested for lime disease several times over the years, but the results were always negative (I developed other problems after the bite and have been seeing a Neurologist for neuralgia in my face and arm for 10 years). Well, I love a steak now and again, but I guess that is out of the question. I can eat the beef and barley soup I make; just not the beef. The broth doesn’t affect me. So, my doc told me to keep zantac 150 with me and if I was stuck in a position where I felt I had to eat mammal meat to take 2 zantac 150’s. I have only had but one rash during my reactions and it didn’t itch . It was as big as a roll of adding machine tape (if you don’t remember adding machine tape it’s about 3 inches in diameter). I haven’t been tested and won’t be unless food problems get out of hand….like I can’t eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Anyway, it’s nice to know there is a “support” network out there. Although, I don’t know what I’m complaining about, most of you are worse off than I am. Here’s to hoping everyone has a good day, Keep your spirits up and your antihistamines close at hand. Thanks for lending me your ears and shoulder.

  6. Min Min says :

    I got anaphylaxis from ant bite last year. About a month after that I started to have hives every evening. Then I discovered that I’m allergic to chicken and beef. But organic beef didn’t give me any problem. But it’s hard to tell whether a meat is organic or not so I’m totally avoiding meat nowadays.
    Just wondering, are my hives related to the ant bite I got last year?

    • Debora M Trent says :

      Dear Min Min, You are the first person that has said anything about ant bites. You need to go to an allergist and ask to be blood tested for alpa-gal. My undersanding is that UVA in Charlottesville, Va. has the only machine in the USA that can test for this. You may not have alpha-gal in your system, but may have a severe reaction to the formic acid from the ant bite itself. Good Luck!

  7. Paul says :

    I live in Raleigh, NC and I just tested the hypothesis that I could be allergic to beef. I went three weeks without eating any mammals and then went for a hamburger. That was for lunch at approximately 12:30pm. The hives started around 5pm followed by INTENSE itching. The fainting begain at 6pm. Paramedics came shortly after using the EpiPen and took me to the hospital… I left the Emergency Room at 3:30 AM the next day. I’ve had at least ten tick bites in the last year.

    • Dustin says :

      Paul, I live in Raleigh, NC too. I’ve had Hives & Swelling all over my body for over a year and a half. I take prednisone & benedryl to stop the swelling. As of this summer I cut red meat out of my diet and that has decreased the number of my reactions. I still randomly swell though, I have been swelling all weekend, I am cutting milk out of my date to see if that stops it. Been to the emergency room in Cary several times… feel your pain.

      • Bob Phelps says :

        Raleigh here too and had the problem initially 2 years ago and after 6 months eased back in to red meat…but was bitten again this summer and bad reactions again. I started trying to work up to a burger again but worse this time. Had the test and was 20.2 for beef (my personal favorite) I live in Brier Creek but woods behind my house are frequented by deer. I can tolerate milk and bacon seems ok although I itch a little. If you learn any hints email me at bobcls@gmail.com and good luck with this. Stay clear of Angus Barn.

  8. Laura says :

    Allergy friends — If you haven’t seen an allergist, please do so. This is a serious, life-threatening allergy and trying to diagnose your level of sensitivity by trial and error is a dangerous thing.

    I live about 100 miles from Nashville and after two serious attacks after eating beef (full body hives, 5 hours exactly after eating), I went to Vanderbilt’s Allergy Clinic and had a professional look at the various symptoms and causes. Scratch tests, blood work and a controlled challenge told me a couple of key things: Eating mammals again is never possible, not even if I “pre-load” on Benydryl. My blood levels of the alpha-gal trigger are 35 times normal. I have had some cross contamination incidents but I rarely eat out anymore. I take a Claritin every day to keep things in check in case I do get a bit of pork in something (in a serving at green beans recently, but I didn’t go into reaction).

    The doctor told me I should quit drinking milk (and using whey protein powders), substituting soy instead. By doing so, she said, “You might be able to keep cheese in your diet longer!”

    Finally, I tell everyone I know about this allergy. It is so unusual and hard to diagnose (since it comes on long after the meat) that I think people are living with this and not realizing that with each reaction, the allergy gets worse. My local EMTs had never heard of it, nor had my local “country” doctor.

    I am able to work around this with my own cooking, but I am afraid I will never be able to travel abroad again, especially to places such as India or Peru. This allergy has given me new sympathy and appreciation for folks who have serious illnesses that cannot be controlled by diet. This is annoying and difficult, but for the most part, I can manage it.

    My family, however, is sick of chicken and fish!

    • Lucy G says :

      I’m curious about what your allergist said about not drinking milk when, if I’m right, in the FAQ section they suggested continuing to consume dairy to lessen the likelihood of developing a sensitivity to it. It would be great if the Platts-Mills team could give some advice on this as I would miss dairy much more than meat. Thanks much.

  9. Steve king says :

    Allergy friends,
    I live in the augusta ga area. I have been allergic to beef and pork for over 12 years. I do tolerate cheese and milk along with other dairy products. My reactions are exactly4 hours after ingesting any 4 legged mammal. Pressure on my chest, nasal dryness and then hives that would make Will Smith on the movie Hitch look like nothing. Actually venison made my feet swell. Dont know if anyone gets anxiety attacks but I cant sit still when they attack. I have not eaten meat or pork in over 10 years. Ckicken and fish are the only subs but have learned to live with them. I have learned to be very creative with cooking but still miss the pork most of all. My only advice is to be careful as this can be very dangerous. I’ve had to many close calls and dont chance it anymore.
    Good luck all and hopefully one day there will be a reversal drug out there.
    All the best
    Steve

  10. Ted Harvey says :

    I have had this for about 2 years or so. I don’t react to all mammals. Pork ribs seem to be the worst. The only way to know what I can and cannot have, is to try something. I have suffered with this about 5 times and am too afraid to try anything. I tried a little of sausage last month and thought I was dying. The first time this happened, I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack. It was so bad, I was out on the couch in the family room and couldn’t even find my way to my bedroom. Mine have come from a result of chiggers. I went 56 years without having them and then I get them every year for the last 3 years. I golf everyday in the season and hunt in the fall and winter, so I am always exposed. I can eat all the ham I want but can’t have veal. Whey protein doesn’t bother me either. When I went to a dermatologist, he had never heard of such a thing, so he was no help. He only said, “stay away from red meat”. I live in southern New Jersey, so it is not just in North Carolina. I do miss having a nice hamburger, but I won’t take a chance on having a reaction to it.- Would like to hear from people from my area who also suffer with this.

  11. Amy says :

    I had my first reaction 9/15 about 7 hours after eating a cheeseburger. Like many of you, I was completely taken by surprise as I have never reacted so violently to anything. I was lucky enough to find an allergist in Memphis who was already aware of this allergy as he suspected this allergy was the cause of the anaphylaxis four days earlier. He, of course, ran the test to confirm and the results were off the charts. I am not tolerating dairy well. I don’t react necessarily, but I just don’t feel right. I can even feel it if I eat a piece of chocolate. I really hope that I will at least be able to tolerate dairy again soon. In the meantime, I guess I’ll figure out a way to live without my favorite things.

    • Debora M Trent says :

      Amy, hang in there! You will find that everyone reacts a little different to this alergy. I have had it for almost 2 years now and am learning what and what not to do. Dairy doesn’t bother me, but I get cross contaminated very easily when I eat out. Some people get better overtime which I hope I will be one of them along with the same hopes for you! Take care, Debora

    • Ted Harvey says :

      Amy, after staying away from anything mammal for about 6 months, with no tick or chigger bites, maybe try a little piece of things to see if you are any better after time. I am in the same boat as you. I really miss having a burger, but my reactions have been so severe, I won’t take the chance. The test to see the level of alpha-gal in my body is not FDA approved, so no no allergist will test me. Anyway, good luck and keep an epi-pen handy. Also, benadryl seemed to work quite well for me, even though it knocked me out quite a bit.

      Ted Harvey
      Ocean City, NJ

      • Amy says :

        Thank you both! I think I can do without the meat. It’s the milk and cheese. Milk is in EVERYTHING! Lol! Went to Subway this morning and got an English muffin with turkey, spinach, onions, jalapeños, tomato, and mayo. After my lunch, of chicken nuggets, I started feeling that ‘not right’ feeling. I figured out that the English muffin was made with milk. So, no more English muffins for me. I hope we will all be rid of this someday!! Take care y’all!! 🙂

  12. Bob says :

    Reading the posts is both fhelpful and frustrating because it seems our symptoms differ so much. But the “feeling” that something isn’t quite right happens to me frequently even though I avoid meat. I often have minor itching and I know it’s related. Hopefully we can share info on what helps and as some have, I went through the symptoms a couple of years ago but slowly added meat and was fine. But being the genius I am, I was bitten again and it’s worse this time. I take benadryl to get through minor attacks but was wondering if possibly a daily allergy tablet such as Allegra may help. I also was wondering if by reintroducing meat and some discomfort I am damaging my system. Had the test and it shows quite positive but bacon doesn’t bother me much while a rare steak would mean a trip to the hospital. Basically I think it would be helpful to combine our experiences and treatments in hopes we can learn ways to work through it. This site is really helpful. Thanks to all.

    • Amy says :

      Hi Bob! I have that ‘not right’ feeling after consuming anything that has dairy in it. I was able to stay away from dairy for a whole day and felt fine that day. Dairy has a way of finding it’s way into my diet, though, so out of the last week and a half this one day has been the only good day (had my first experience 9/15 and I was in anaphylactic shock). My allergist has advised I stay away from dairy for a few months and then see if I can slowly reintroduce it into my diet. So, leave dairy alone for a day and see how you feel. I find this blog to be very helpful as well! Thanks to all! Take care!!

  13. Laura Lapins Willis says :

    This forum is so useful! Thank you.

    I live in Tennessee and have been treated at the Vanderbilt Allergy Clinic, where they happily gave me the blood test to see my alpha-gal levels (off the charts high!). I take an Allegra every day prophylactically, carry Benadryl and have Epi-Pens. I eat no mammals and have had some cross-contamination incidents at restaurants. I eat out a lot less than I used to. It just isn’t fun when 2/3 of the menu is off limits and there’s always a chance of getting poisoned.

    My allergist said that the less milk I drink, the longer I can keep cheese. So more milk. But milk-cheese-yogurt don’t bother me (yet).

    The oddest thing for me is that the location of my tick bite (in the small of my back) still bothers me. My dermatologist shot it full of steroids twice before we knew what it was (other than an annoying tick bite), but that was two years ago! Does anyone else’s bite still bother them? And is that itching related to an onset of symptoms? Very strange.

    • Lucy Gorham says :

      Hi Laura:

      Even before the Alpha-gal issue, I had the experience of having old tick bites flare up and become itchy again after a new tick bite. With the mammalian meat allergy, I found that old tick bite areas were some of the worst when I was covered with hives. One of them was at least two years old. I read somewhere that people that have tick bites that stay itchy for a long time are more prone to alpha-gal. I’m wondering if what we’re seeing is the beginnings of an allergy that then reaches some threshold level with repeated bites and kicks into overdrive with the meat allergy. Just speculation on my part as I’m not a health care professional.

      Thanks for the info on cutting out milk in order to be able to eat cheese and other dairy products longer. I don’t have problems with dairy so far and hope to keep it that way, since that would be a much bigger deal to me than meat. Too much of an ice cream lover.

      I appreciate hearings the experience of others as I always learn something new. Thanks for sharing.

      • Debora M Trent says :

        Amy, In response to your post last wednesday, I have found that I have to be careful with any deli meats that were cut with the same blades that cut ham and beef products. I have gotten cross contamination from this and had slight reactions that benedryl took care of. It may have been the english muffin or maybe the turkey if it had been cut with a blade right after ham or other meat product at subway. Something to consider. Take care!

  14. Suzanne Pendley says :

    I just heard of the meat allergy today because a friend has it. I have been having the reaction to meat in the United States for about 6 years. Meat in Ireland and Costa Rica did not bother me. A cross contamination that bothers me is MSG and it is in many prepared foods and used by many resturants. There are several names for MSG so it is often hard to detect. I am so happy to find that I am not the only one who is “strange.” I will get the test if I can find a way to get it in Oklahoma.

  15. Jim Reise says :

    Very interesting reading everyones comments. My reactions occur in a half hour though more commonly after 4 to 6 hours and at night. In the last 10 years it has got progressively worse. Symptoms; itchy hands and feet, stomach, bathroom, ears turn hot and red, heart starts racing a million beats a minute. Use to scare the *&^% out of me, I guess it still does. When my ears first turn warm I grab the Benadryl, yell to the wife for ice and water, swallow one pill, drink a bunch of water, chew the second pill and keep it under my tongue (slows reaction quicker), lay flat and put the ice behind my neck for 5 or ten minutes(seems to help with the low blood pressure), think to myself to remain calm, when I eventually feel a chill in my body I know I am not going to die after all, pull on a blanket and pass out. Can’t even count them any more.
    When I first became concerned I was sent to see some Cardiologists, after very extensive testing (stress tests, invasive testing, loop recorder, etc.) I finally went to an allergist. He told me that the events I had been experiencing were due to a serious allergic reaction, certainly no one had to tell me they were serious. He ran every test he could think of, negative, including meats. The allergist then wrote a prescription for a Tryptase test to be used the next time I had a reaction, this would confirm whether or not I was actually experiencing allergic reactions, it was positive, anaphylactic, I wasn’t crazy. His conclusion was that I was allergic to sulfites, avoid them and I would be fine. I do not think so, maybe sulfites enhance the reaction but we realized if I do not eat red meat I do not have a reaction, was fine with bacon until 2 weeks ago. Its seafood, turkey and chicken. Ran across the Virginia study, I have dealt with thousands of ticks in my life, sounds like I should get tested.

  16. Jennifer says :

    I am also a newly diagnosed alpha gal sufferer. My first reactions started in May 2012 but didnt become life threatening until October. The following items/ingrediants are what i have so far confirmed that i react to:
    any red meat, cooking red meat, being in a facility that is cooking red meat
    any and ALL milk derived products including gelatins and medications with gelatin as fillers, coffee, tea, oranges, grapes, banannas, soy milk and products (but not as severe), candy,and gum (gelatin), anything with xantham gum, and white sugar (sugar is filtered through bone charr which is made from cow and horse bones)

    My list increases every week. Some reactions are the minute i swallow it, some are minutes later, and yet others are hours later.
    I have been able to avoid any more anaphylatic reactions since October but the little mini reactions seem to be keeping me sick, feeling like crap, and just plain ill temperment. I know its the occassional milk product that i didnt realize was present but i sure would like to have a cheif to do my shopping and cooking so i can quit over analyzing everything i put close to my mouth.

    If there is a symptom of a reaction i seem to have experienced it all these last 2 months. They include hives, itching,throat swelling, itchy throat, jitters, vomiting, ears burning, pin pricks on various parts of the body, internal swelling, anaphylatic shock, extremely high blood pressure (186/146), and many more.

    People around me still don’t believe this can happen to anyone. I always just tell them if you want a show then watch me eat something i shouldn’t then be prepared to run me to the E.R. That usually makes them realize im not just playing around. I had someone think it was all in my head until i accidently ate some sauce from chic-fil-a that had bar-b-que sauce in it along with xanthum gum and boy they got a show about 20 minutes later. They then appologized for not believing me and made me promise not to do it again. LOL it was unintentional but still proved my point at my expense.

    Anyone interested, there is an Alpha-gal page on facebook. Look it up for more experiences and answers.

    • Sherry says :

      Jennifer, Wow I felt like I was reading about myself. Same reactions and comments from others. My face/neck/upper chest flush/turn red within minutes and later as well depending on what I eat.

      Here is what I have learned to eat or not since I have developed Alpha Gal August 2012. (other than red meat/pork)

      I have gone dairy free, gluten free, A BIG NO NOI… tomatoes, onion, spinach and items with vinegar (dressing), soy, citrus fruit, all berries, red beans, no condiments & spices, I avoid boxed or canned foods and anything that has a list of ingredients.

      I limit….sweet potato’s, regular potato, banana’s and small amounts of chicken. I have found eating leftovers – chicken and cooked veggies also cause my face to turn red.

      My Allergy Doctor said I was not allergic to the above….but man do I have reactions to eating the above. Food Intolerance I guess.

      I can eat….carrots, celery, cucumbers, lettuce-all types, squash, zucchini, corn, apples, pears, watermelon & cantaloupe, dry beans all type (except red), natural peanut butter ,natural gluten fee oatmeal, turkey and fresh fish.

      If I eat anything on the NO LIST…I feel like crap!!!! So far I only had severe reactions to red meat & pork (this was before I found out about this crazy allergy) I avoid these two items completely.

      My blood pressure before Alpha gal was always approximately 123/66 now it hangs out around 143/78. Plus when I workout my face looks like a bright red tomato. I never feel bad working out just the bright red face. CRAZY!!

      I have talked to my Family Doctor and Allergy Doctor. No answers. I experiment and take lots of notes so my Hubby knows what I can and cannot eat. The only allergy medicine that helps is Allegra on a daily basis and Benadryl if I start feeling itchy.

      My Alpha-gal started with about 50 chigger bites on my legs. Best of luck to you. I don’t do facebook but I often check this site and others. Thanks for sharing your experiences it makes me feel a little more normal.

      Sherry,
      Smith Mountain Lake, VA

  17. Debora Trent says :

    Dear Jennifer, just read your comments on your new allergy. I have had this for more than 2 years now. I have just this week started to having some reaction to what I believe is whey products that are in ice cream and a protein drink that I was drinking each morning for breakfast. I have heard people talk about whey allergy and milk allergy along with the gelitan reaction, which I have experienced also. You are the first to mention coffee, tea, and several fruits. I am curious to hear how you reacted to these products without any mammal byproduct being involved. I believe you had a reaction, but curious what might have brought it on. Hang in there! I spoke to a man recently that is in a study at UVA. He told me that his allergy has changed (mutated) many times over the years to what he can eat and not eat, he can’t eat corn products anymore, along with meat and some dairy. This allergy seems to react differently with each individual. I really like this site, because it lets me know that I’m not alone in this! Take care!

  18. Cathy, Long Island, NY says :

    I was just recently diagnosed with the alpha-gal enzyme (had the blood test), as well as a positive allergy test for beef and pork. I went to the allergist because I had gotten a lone star tick bite and read about this reaction. Turns out, anaphylactic reactions I’d had in the past and assumed were from cross-contamination with shellfish (because I don’t eat shellfish) were actually from the mammalian meat – when doctor tested me for shellfish, the tests came back negative. I have had many tick bites over the past several years, as I do a lot of hiking, and in particular, have had hundreds of chigger bites. Now, more recent research seems to be indicating that chiggers don’t actually exist on Long Island, where I live, but that what were believed to be chiggers are actually lone star tick larvae. My worst reactions seem to be close in time to the times I had many bites on my legs. I find this is causing a lot of worry and anxiety. I find it interesting that so many people are saying that they just “don’t feel right,” because I feel that way more frequently than I ever share with anyone, just because people just kind of look at you like you’re a hypochondriac. I have not had any beef or pork in about 6 weeks since I got my most recent tick bite, but I often feel “uncomfortable” – a little itchy, some heart palpitations, kind of a clogged up feeling in my head, fatigue and headaches,some stomach issues – that come and go and I now wonder if this is because of small amounts in other foods I am eating. Anyone else feel this way?

  19. mackie jo pennington says :

    If anyone can help me i would be so appreciated it. I was diagnosed with Alpha Gal last October. I was treated for anxiety & panic attacks Also. It has been terrible, I almost lost my job. I clean for aliving and was working in a restaurant and was having hiving very often.I was not eating the red meat just cleaning up kitchen. I also cleaned for someone who owned horses. I have found out im allergic to animal as well. People dont understand now serious this allergy can be. It is life threatening.I was biten my a Lone Star Tick. If any one else has had any reaction to handle or clean up after meat please post. Im asking for help it! I also have other systems. Thanks for your time and help
    .

  20. Paul says :

    I react to beef meat and redbull drinks. I do not react to pork as it appears. If I eat an abundance of cheese and drink a lot of dairy meet I react somewhat, but not as intense in just eating the red beef meat or drinking a red bull. My joints hurt really bad and my gums seem to bleed some what. I have had this reaction to duck meat also. I do not believe I have seen this reaction to chicken and turkey. Goat and lamb may not react, but I have not eaten enough to prove this through.

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