Alpha-gal allergy (from ticks, that can cause allergy to meat)

Not dead yet!

Well-Known Member
Fascinating article about a tick-borne allergy. I was floored reading this, never heard of it. (Warning: if you're vegan, you might be upset by the things I'm about to say about animal slaughter. Just being respectful and telling you now. I put it inside the spoiler area. Save your energy. :) )

[article=]This is the alpha-gal allergy, a hypersensitivity with potential anaphylaxis to mammalian meat—beef, pork, lamb, venison. Defined by researchers at the University of Virginia around 2008, it is caused by tick bites. Alpha-gal is a growing menace in the Southeast where I live. It behaves like no other food allergy in that it reacts to a carbohydrate (not a protein) and its symptoms (they vary—gastrointestinal distress, hives, itching) are delayed. They often develop 4 to 6 hours after ingestion. So the juicy steak you had for dinner can wake you up in the middle of the night like a three-alarm fire.[/article]

The carbohydrate in meat is glycogen, isn't it? Wouldn't that possibly lead to muscle aches?

Incidentally, Herbert Shelton (1930's health guru, one of the founders of Natural Hygeine) has a long piece in one of his books about bear meat and how it was best in the spring, after the animal had fasted. This would deplete the glycogen in the muscles to a minimum level. Mostly he was interested in the way the fasting would sanitize the bowels (he was big on fasting), but he also said that the meat was more "sweet" - I guess he was referring to how pleasant it tasted, since it was low in glycogen.

When I was a kid, very young, we would buy a pig in the fall, and in order to prevent the animal from fighting or possibly injuring us, we'd walk the animal around for over two hours, taking turns until the pig collapsed of exhaustion, then came the jugular cut. That would also put an animal into a low glycogen state.

This illness has only been known since 2008, but I imagine the way it works is, you get a bit of blood from other animals that the ticks have bitten, and you produce antibodies to that, similar to getting mouse serum from some medicines (vaccines, old style monoclonal antibodies). Anyone heard of it?

Get Our Free ME/CFS and FM Blog!

Forum Tips

Support Our Work



Shopping on For HR

Latest Resources