The Challenges of Alpha-Gal Diagnosis

Lonestar tick photo-female and male
Lone Star tick: Adult female, adult male, nymph. Photo credit: James Occi, PhD. Rutgers University

The People’s Pharmacy writer, Joe Graedon, published 08.21. 2023 “Why Is Alpha-Gal Allergy So Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed?” In this article, Graedon explains the multiple challenges of diagnosis of Alpha-gal allergy which is triggered through the bite and exposure to saliva of the Lone star tick. Alpha-gal (galactose-alpha-1, 3-galactose) is a carbohydrate found in the meat of mammals and mammal products (cows, pigs, sheep, goats, bison and deer). Unlike allergies to bee stings and many food allergies, it can be a delayed allergic reaction, making diagnosis even more challenging.

The most challenging issue with this allergy is that many physicians are not aware of the condition nor the varying presentations that this meat allergy can exhibit.  Though this condition was identified over ten years ago, education and awareness of this condition has been slow to reach the public and medical care professionals. 

For More Information

Read the full article at The People’s Pharmacy

Listen to The People’s Pharmacy 2022 interview with Dr. Platts-Mills 

Read other LDA articles on Alpha-gal allergy/syndrome