The answer may surprise you!
Apparently ticks are a bit more dangerous than we thought, not only putting us at risk for Lyme Disease and other known pathogens, but also a "new-to-me" symptom called Alpha-gal allergy.
While I haven't been directly impacted by this one, it does hit close to home. My Dad was recently diagnosed and since we have learned so much about the "huh?" factor related to this news.
So what is Alpha-gal?
Alpha-gal is an allergy, which scientists believe is triggered by a tick bite which then manifests itself into the development of an allergic reaction to red meat. And sometimes pork.
That's right - that tick bite you may have gotten and dismissed, well it could develop into an allergy to your beloved beef tacos and bacon.
Interestingly enough the cause-and-effect is often hard to pinpoint, due to the metabolism of meat in the body - often causing symptoms hours and hours after consuming.
What to look out for? rashes, hives, upset stomach / GI issues, "meat sweats" and other noticeable changes 4-8 hours after eating a heavy beef or pork meal. Especially if these are relatively new symptoms to you.
What's better is that a simple allergy test can help determine if in fact you've developed this new allergen. Talk to your doctor, or naturopath and inquire about allergy testing, especially for beef and pork.
p.s. Dr. Scott Commins does an excellent job detailing this phenomenon in the article (and podcasts) linked here: https://www.med.unc.edu/medicine/news/chairs-corner/podcast/alpha-gal/
Talk about things that make you go hmmm....
**Know someone you think could use this information? Please do share! The more we know the better. Knowledge is power.