Allergy, Beef

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Age group

7 years & above

Some food causes adverse reactions in the human body after consumption. While many people are allergic to food items like eggplant, egg, tomato, and different fruits, meat allergy is rare. Meat and poultry products are nutrient-rich, which is why they are a staple in many individuals' diets. It is a good source of protein, particularly red meat.

However, some people are allergic to red meat. It is referred to as the Alpha-gal syndrome, or commonly the beef allergy. Alpha-gal is a carbohydrate present in cells of most mammals, including cows, sheep, and pigs.

Beef allergy typically occurs in human beings in two cases, which include:

  • A bite by the lone star tick, an insect found in places of the animal resting areas, and is the primary source of beef allergy.
  • Consumption of red meat, particularly beef, can also cause symptoms of beef allergy.

In most food allergies, the symptoms usually appear within a few minutes. For instance, if you’re allergic to brinjal, you will see your body reacting as soon as you take a bite. But for the alpha-gal syndrome, the symptoms take time to appear.

Most beef allergy symptoms occur six to eight hours after meat consumption. The common symptoms include:

  • Raised or puffy, itching skin, or beef allergy rash
  • Inflammation of the different body parts, including lips, face, tongue, throat
  • Runny nose and sneezing
  • Throbbing pain in the head
  • Pain in the abdomen, diarrhoea, or feeling of throwing up
  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Anaphylaxis

The symptoms of beef allergy vary from individual to individual. The condition can become severe if left untreated and even lead to death. Activities like workouts or light exercise after consuming meat may slow the allergy’s reaction time.

Alpha-gal syndrome may lead to anaphylaxis, which requires urgent medical care in the hospital. The signs and symptoms to look for in anaphylaxis are:

  • Swelling of the throat that makes breathing difficult
  • A significant drop in blood pressure (shock)
  • A quick pulse
  • Feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or losing consciousness

Beef allergies can be challenging to detect. A blood test can be used to diagnose this allergy. A Beef Allergy Blood Test can detect the presence of alpha-gal antibodies in your bloodstream. This blood test method gives more accurate results than other testing methods for beef allergies, but results can take several days. It is best to avoid consumption of beef during this time.

When you visit your doctor, mention your food habit or previous allergic reactions. Also, do not forget to mention if you think you have been bitten by ticks or came in contact with them.

Apollo 24|7 offers Beef Allergy Test to individuals who want to get tested. The reports of the test are shared within eight days. The Beef Allergy Test procedure is similar to other allergy tests. A blood sample will be collected to identify the allergen. Your doctor may prescribe epinephrine if the condition is severe. You must avoid the trigger in mild cases and be mindful of your diet.

faqFrequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently asked questions

If you experience stomach upset after consumption of beef, it is because you are having issues with digestion. The human body finds it difficult to digest meat products because the protein in meat (particularly red meat) is more difficult for us to break down. Large amounts of fatty foods, such as meat, cause your stomach to empty more slowly, causing bloating or discomfort.
No, beef allergy is not curable. If you test positive for alpha-gal syndrome, you must avoid eating red meat, including lamb, beef, and pig. Your doctor may give you medications to prevent symptoms from deteriorating.
Alpha-gal is found only in red meats, not in chicken. So, you can consume chicken without any worry. However, most people allergic to alpha-gal must also avoid dairy products from cow's, sheep's, or goat's milk. The alpha-gal allergies can tolerate all vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, poultry, legumes and seafood.
If you are intolerant to beef, you will have digestive issues. In case of allergies, you will see symptoms like rash, headache, runny nose, etc. A doctor can diagnose if you have a beef allergy or are just intolerant to it.
A Beef Allergy Test requires a blood sample from the patient. The process is similar to other allergy tests.The blood sample can be obtained intravenously or through a simple finger prick method.
Beef allergy is rare and occurs only in a small population. For this reason, most individuals are unaware of this allergy.

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The information mentioned above is meant for educational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute to your Physician’s advice. It is highly recommended that the customer consults with a qualified healthcare professional to interpret test results