AGS: The Red Meat Allergy

By Anthony K November 15, 2022

Stop whining about mosquitoes and bees. Until recently, the medical profession pointed out that the deadly Alpha-gal Syndrome (AGS) is caused by a notorious ‘Lone Star’ tick, a common pest found in most parts of the Southern united states. So what is it, what are some of the symptoms, and how can you keep yourself safe?

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What are some of the symptoms?

The victims of the allergy report symptoms ranging from breaking out in hives and upset stomach cramps after eating red meat. The medical community cited that it is caused by the alpha-gal molecule, which is present in trace levels in dairy products and animal-derived gelatin but is absent from the muscles and fat of primates.

The immune system responds to allergens similarly to other allergic reactions. Antibodies made by the patient’s immune system recognize the allergen, triggering inflammatory responses and the production of chemicals. You need to have an adrenaline injector on you and be near a hospital if you run the danger of having a severe allergic reaction.

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Is AGS treatable?

As with all allergies, you cannot treat AGS, but you can manage the symptoms that come with it. You can initially manage the symptoms by eliminating dairy products, meat, and blood from animals. Taking any animal products can cause the reaction to get worse. If you experience a response, you can treat your symptoms with antihistamines or allergy medication.

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How may AGS be avoided?

Preventing tick bites is essential as it reduces the chances of developing Alpha-gal Syndrome. The CDC advises avoiding areas where ticks may be found; grassy, brushy, and wooded areas. If you need to go out, you can use disinfectant on your clothes and your pet’s fur to ensure you’re well protected.