- Great article for meat allergy sufferers from the Alpha Gal page Matthew Henderson
So, it was about three and one half years ago I was diagnosed with this life changing allergy. Not having grown up in tick country, I can remember all three of my bites, including the last one that passed this to me, and forever altered my trajectory. That last one occurred in Amelia, VA while I was enjoying some recreational shooting. That was a Friday in late March, and I found the insidious ...creature on the Sunday. I still remember how surprised my doctor was that I had been bitten so early in the year. Obviously, this little menace didn't get the memo that feeding time wasn't for another couple of months. Anyway, the bite itself lasted for about 4 months, and was red and inflamed the entire time. Oh, and did I mention that I wanted to rip my skin off, it itched something terrible. My doctor said he couldn't do much, except provide an anti-itch cream. During this time frame, I traveled to a location that had some awesome bbq, and I availed myself of the treat almost daily. During that week I started feeling really sick, started itching, and started seeing little bite-like bumps appear randomly over my body. I do not remember a time in my life where I have had large hives, I just never broke out in this fashion; rather experiencing rashes and blisters. Anyway, I was tested for Lyme and RMSF, but nothing came back positive. That week I was taking a lot of Ibuprofen and caffeine just to function, and the doctor diagnosed me with scabies. As the treatment didn't work, I was sent to a dermatologist, who told me he couldn't do anything, as I was having an allergic reaction. This I already knew, and had started my own research. By googling a combination of words, I landed on the AG Awareness page. As I read the articles, I found myself in disbelief and denial. After mulling over the information, I decided to contact an Allergist. They told me they were aware of AG, and scheduled the tests. I received the results, and my number was 2.54. As a testament to the number not identifying reactivity, I would react to beef by exhibiting hives and itching. But, to pork I would have severe gastrointestinal cramping and pain. Go figure. I never suffered anaphylaxis.
A few weeks ago, I decided to be tested again, and my results came back <0.10. Since then, I have tried small amounts of lean beef, with no reaction. I still cannot convince myself to try pork or ground beef.
Why am I writing this? To let people know there is hope. And, maybe it will help some of the medical personnel on this page. Since that fateful day, I have not been rebitten, which may account for the precipitous decline in my number. I would not recommend going hog-wild (ok, maybe a little pun intended) and eating everything if your numbers drop. Always be careful. Still, there can be an improvement.