Many life-time meat eaters are now allergic to meat. The east coast of America is seeing an outbreak of meat allergies. As we all know, lyme disease is spread by ticks. In a wild twist of events, tick saliva may produce an allergic reaction in humans consuming red meat according to Dr. Thomas Platts-Mills of the University of Virginia. Certain antibodies found in humans are meant to defend against harmful bacteria or toxins. An allergic reaction is triggered when antibodies bind to the otherwise benign substance resulting in a release of histamine. Breathing difficulties, hives, nausea and swelling can develop from the histamine.
The University of Virginia study revealed that meat allergies are on the rise in areas with a heavy tick population in Africa, Central America and the United States. However, according to Dr. Platts-Mills, ticks may not be the only cause of the allergies. The allergy can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms do not appear until several hours after the consumption of red meat. The former meat eaters can still consume fish and chicken.
The meat allergy appears to be caused from the lone star tick. The lone star tick has a white spot on its back and is very small in appearance. According to Dr. Scott Commins, main writer of the University of Virginia study, the tick causes a small prick in the skin, which allows its saliva to enter the wound. The resulting allergic reactions can be potentially deadly with anaphylactic shock
Alpha-gel, which is thought to be the allergen culprit in the meat allergies, is found in red meat, lamb and pork. The group plans to conduct further studies between the connection of the tick bites and meat allergies. Until a cure is found, people with red meat allergies are forced to avoid steak, hamburger, pork and lamb.
Emily Masters of Bedford was diagnosed with a meat allergy after a 4th of July cookout. Her stomach began to hurt and her arm started itching at the bend of her elbow. Hives soon developed and she began to swell. Breathing soon became difficult. According to Masters, she was diagnosed with anaphylactic shock at Bedford Memorial Hospital. Later after a consultation with Dr. Louis Matos, she was diagnosed with a red meat allergy. Since that wild twist of events, Masters never leaves home without an epi-pen and avoids red meat.
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