Written by Integrative Today | Medically Reviewed by Deborah Farley | Updated on
Did you know that up to 3 percent of the population has Alpha-Gal syndrome, or AGS?
AGS is a serious and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. The illness can have lifelong effects on a person, which is why many people are avid about learning about what causes this reaction.
Do you want to learn more about Alpha-Gal syndrome and Alpha Gal treatment? Keep on reading this article to find out everything you know about the cause of AGS and more.
What Is Alpha-Gal Syndrome?
A recently discovered food allergy to red meat and other goods derived from mammals is known as Alpha-Gal syndrome. The illness is most frequently brought on by a Lone Star tick bite in the United States.
Alpha-Gal, a sugar molecule, is introduced into the body by the tick’s bite. Some people experience mild to severe allergic reactions to red meat, such as beef, hog, lamb, or other mammal products as a result of this setting off an immune system reaction.
Compared to other food allergies, the signs and symptoms of an Alpha-Gal allergic reaction are frequently delayed. The majority of reactions to popular dietary allergens, including peanuts or shellfish, take place shortly after exposure.
Reactions to Alpha-Gal syndrome often start three to six hours after exposure. Red foods like beef as well as other foods produced from animals can all start an allergic reaction.
Can Ticks Cause AGS?
Yes, you can contract Alpha-Gal syndrome from a tick bite.
Ticks that cause Alpha-Gal syndrome carry Alpha-Gal molecules in their blood. These molecules come from the common prey they bite, such as sheep and cows. Alpha-Gal is injected into a person’s body when a tick carrying the disease bites that individual.
Some individuals, for unidentified reasons, have a strong immunological sensitivity to these molecules. They may be unable to consume red meat or other products derived from mammals without experiencing an allergic reaction.
Additionally, a person may experience more severe symptoms if they are subjected to several tick bites over time.
Other Alpha-Gal Syndrome Risk Factors
The reason why some persons get Alpha-Gal syndrome after exposure while others do not is still unknown to doctors. The illness primarily affects residents of the Southeast as well as several areas of New York, New Jersey, and New England. Here are some other risk factors of AGS:
- if you go outside frequently
- if you’ve been bitten by a Lone Star tick several times
- if you possess a malformation of the mast cell, such as indolent systemic mastocytosis
The Lone Star tick has been widespread in the United States for the past 20 to 30 years, reaching as far north as Maine and as far west as central Texas and Oklahoma.
Alpha-Gal syndrome can also happen in other regions, including Europe, Australia, and some of Asia, where tick bites also seem to raise your risk of developing the disorder.
Seek Alpha Gal Treatment
As you have learned, Alpha-Gal syndrome is a serious allergic reaction that is most commonly caused by a tick bite. While this illness is life-altering, luckily there is Alpha Gal treatment available to you.
To learn more about acupuncture treatment and how it could help relieve symptoms of AGS, click here.
Meet Our Expert: Deborah Farley
Founder of Acupuncture Works,LLC in Lynchburg Virginia. Deborah is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine as a Licensed Acupuncturist (L. Ac.).
She is also licensed by the State of Florida as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM). Deborah is a Diplomate of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
She graduated from the East West College of Natural Medicine with a Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine and a Bachelor’s Degree of Professional Health Sciences.