My 14-year-old son has an acute allergic reaction to beef. He also has an allergy to dust mites, pollen, shellfish, sesame seeds, and McDonald’s hamburgers. The reaction is immediate and peri-oral and lasts about an hour. He has had two PSTs done and one alpha-gal test, which both came back negative. He has no previous tick bites. We’re now looking for a doctor who specializes in treating allergies.
Beef is one of the most common allergens, but not everyone with allergies to dairy products reacts to beef. There are many reasons for this, including genetics. A recent study of 460 children in Pakistan found that only one percent were allergic to dairy products. It’s important to remember that many children with milk allergies are not allergic to beef, so they don’t react to the same food. Beef allergy is often a reaction to milk, so you should avoid eating meat that contains milk until you’re sure you’re safe.
There are several possible causes for this allergy, including bacterial vaccines that contain bovine serum albumin. Other possible causes include genetics, certain infections, and allergies to certain co-existing conditions. For most people, a simple reaction to beef is unlikely, but it can still cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms. People who are sensitive to cow dander may also be allergic to beef. Thankfully, there are some options for people who suspect they’re allergic to beef.
There’s no permanent cure for beef allergy. Antihistamines can relieve symptoms, but severe reactions require the help of an allergist. If you’re concerned about the possibility of anaphylaxis or low blood pressure, an epinephrine injection will treat your reaction and prevent you from suffering serious consequences. A food allergy doctor can also teach you to use an epinephrine auto-injector, or EpiPen, if you suffer from severe reactions to beef.
If you suspect that you have a beef allergy, the best way to know for sure is to have a blood test done. Blood tests will measure the amount of alpha-gal antibodies in your blood. These tests are more accurate than other methods, but they can take a few days to return. You can’t cure beef allergy, but you can avoid triggering a reaction by protecting yourself from getting bitten by a tick. Lone Star ticks can live in areas of New York with higher rates of a reaction.
Alpha-gal syndrome is an uncommon allergy related to beef. It results from the bite of a tick that produces IgE antibodies. These antibodies cause an autoimmune response and sometimes cross-reactivity with other foods. Some individuals may be allergic to alpha-gal, and these individuals will develop a beef allergy. If you have an allergic reaction, it’s important to talk to your doctor to make sure you’re allergic to alpha-gal.
While a-Gal syndrome is thought to be the dominant cause of red meat allergy in adults, it can also affect children. In Virginia, a-Gal syndrome was common among children and shared many characteristics with adult patients. In a head-to-head comparison, however, a-Gal syndrome in children was reported by Kennedy et al. The authors of this study expanded the findings by comparing 35 children and one adult with an a-Gal syndrome.