Creating Waves of Awareness
Calling on the unyielding wisdom of all homeopaths on the topic of this growing epidemic of Lyme Disease.
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In the 1970s, a mysterious and deadly illness began infecting children in a small town in Connecticut. Today it's a global epidemic. A real-life thriller, this Academy Award semifinalist exposes the controversy surrounding the growing and hidden epidemic of Lyme disease.
Listen to all the misdiagnoses, the individual symptoms, the spread of this disease is growing.
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Bite by Lone Star Tick that is very itchy may make you allergic to meat and even go to anaphylactic shock and even death.
Wall Street Journal Article -
Published on Jun 23, 2012 | Jerath said doctors did not know about alpha-gal allergy, as it is called for short, until recently. Though she couldn't say the total number of cases the clinic has diagnosed in the past year, she said that it has become so frequent that it's something she and her staff check for in almost every patient who comes to the clinic.
"We probably follow 30 or so patients with it," she said.
Jerath said she suspects a lot of people have the condition but are undiagnosed because the symptoms start showing four to six hours after they eat the culprit food, which makes them think that it is not caused by food.
"People just don't think about it. If it happens right away, you associate it" with food poisoning, she said.
Though researchers are still trying to determine what triggers people to start producing the antibody, a recent study from the University of Virginia suggests the condition may be linked to tick and chigger bites. In the study, 80 percent of the participants reported being bitten by ticks either weeks or months before symptoms began.
Researchers believe all types of ticks can trigger the reaction. They also found that people with Type B or AB blood seem protected from developing the antibody.
Clark believes a tick bite is how he got alpha-gal. While working outdoors last fall, he noticed that his legs were covered with little red ticks. He got them off his skin and clothes but did not suffer any other symptoms at the time.
He said that since he was diagnosed, he has been bitten twice by ticks. On both occasions, the area around the bite swelled into a red welt, a common reaction University of Virginia researchers found in their study among those who develop the red meat allergy.
Jerath said that though the tick theory is the most common explanation that is available right now, scientists are still trying to determine how it happens and how they can make it go away. She said that because there is no commercially available test yet that looks for the antibody, the clinic has come up with a surrogate testing that looks at other things present in the blood of alpha-gal patients to determine whether a person has it or not.
She said people who suspect they are having allergic reactions to beef, pork, venison or lamb need to see an allergist.
| Scientists say the allergy-inducing tick bites have affected about 1,500 people since it was first reported in 2008 —compared to the roughly 25,000 new cases of Lyme diseases reported every year.
Tracking Viruses from Animals To People
People's Pharmacy | Q. I have two friends who have developed severe red-meat allergies, one of whom was told by his doctor that it was likely tick-bite related. What can you tell us about this?
A. The condition your friends have developed is called "alpha-gal allergy." It is triggered by a reaction to a tick bite (Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, online, June 5, 2013). The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) is the culprit.
Eating beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, venison or buffalo meat can result in a delayed anaphylactic response (3 to 6 hours later). Read more about this mysterious but potentially life-threatening allergy on our website, PeoplesPharmacy.com. You may also wish to listen to our hour-long interview with experts on this important reaction, Alpha-Gal Allergy.
Children are increasingly susceptible and may be hard to diagnose. Children should be checked thoroughly for ticks whenever they come in from playing in woods or grassy areas.
Here are some other stories from visitors to this website. Share your own story below in the comment section.
"I, too, have the alpha-gal allergy and have been allergic to all mammalian meats for about 13 years. A year ago, I began to react to whey but can still eat all other dairy products. My reactions are severe: full body hives and a drop in blood pressure. The reaction starts four hours after I have had a meat product, which of course, I no longer knowingly eat. I have a strong reaction to tick bites. The bite stays red and itchy for a long time--several weeks to months." L.B., Chapel Hill, NC.
This tick-induced allergy to meat can cause symptoms such as hives, digestive distress and difficulty breathing. This reaction is mysterious because it can occur hours after eating. Poultry and fish do not trigger this response.
Dr Platts Mills has researched alpha-gal |
What exactly is this mammalian meat allergy?
When certain people are bitten by ticks or chiggers, the bite appears to set off a chain of reactions in the body. One of these reactions is the production of an allergic class of antibody that binds to a carbohydrate present on meat called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, also known as alpha-gal. When a person with the alpha-gal antibody eats mammalian meat, the meat triggers the release of histamine. Histamine is a compound found in the body that causes allergic symptoms like hives, itching and, in the worst case, anaphylaxis (a reaction that leads to sudden weakness, swelling of the throat, lips and tongue, difficulty breathing and/or unconsciousness).
In addition to the classic allergy symptoms, some of our patients report significant gastrointestinal distress or gynecological symptoms. These symptoms can take the form of abdominal cramping and pain, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting and in some cases uterine cramping with spotting. It is not uncommon for a patient who has anaphylaxis to lose consciousness while moving their bowels. Some patients have reactions that are characterized almost entirely of GI or gynecological symptoms while others may not experience these types of symptoms at all.
This allergy is different from other food allergies like peanut allergy in that the response is delayed. Unlike someone with a peanut allergy who has an immediate reaction when they eat a peanut, people with the alpha-gal allergy usually do not start having symptoms until several hours after they eat meat.
Ticked Off Carnivores
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Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever | Jun 14, 2013 -- 6 Year Old Girl Dies After Tick Bite Infection