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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jen

Alpha Gal syndrome: Diagnosis, Treatment, Thyroid Medications

Alpha Gal syndrome is a red meat allergy that was first reported in 2002. This is a sensitization to alpha-gal-specific IgE sensitization.

It is transmitted through the lone star tick transmits (east coast, south eastern US), however it might be transmitted through other ticks.

What are the symptoms?

Most common symptom is urticaria or hives. The interesting thing is that symptoms are delayed 3-6 hours. Symptoms can also include stomach pain, discomfort and can even be anaphylactic.

Caused by toxic world? Allergy gets activated through the tick bite, possible the host (us) is already immunocompromised and has an imbalanced immune system.

What are the treatments?

Avoid the meat products for now while you heal your gut.

You can recover: avoid the foods and heal, then can possible add them back in. Another consideration is low dose immunotherapy. There has also been a studies that used auricular acupuncture for successful treatment (however, we know this won’t be mainstream, I’m sure there is a drug on the pipelines -sarcasm).

Want to ask for testing? Here are the codes and panel to ask for from your health professional

Testing: ICD10 Z91.014

Testing Quest panel code Alpha-gal IgE test 95241

What about desiccated thyroid hormone like NP thyroid?

When people say no NP thyroid for Hashimotos patient, it could be due to the concern of alpha-gal syndrome. Desiccated thyroid is made from porcine thyroid, so it might cause a reaction. Heal the body first and then you might be able to reintroduce. Other options would be Tirosint, Cytomel, or a compounding thyroid medication- work with your integrative physician.

Test (don’t guess) eliminate red meat and reintroduce after healing.

Also, this would be a concern for other tick born infections.

What to avoid if you have alpha-gal:

Beef, bison, elk, pork, lamb, venison, goat, gelatin, collagen, organ meats, tallow cow’s milk, and lard.

Medical: heparin, surgical mesh

Supplements that can contain organ meat (desiccated thyroid, ox bile, retain, pancreatic enzymes, organ meat supplements, glycerin)

What you can eat:

Bird meat (poultry), amphibians (like frog meat), fish, seafood, crustaceans (shrimp, crab, ect), plants, mushrooms, fruits, and grains.

Work with your integrative physician to come up with a meal plan for your diagnosis!

Need to start healing your gut? Gut Shield contains botanicals to help heal your gastrointestinal track with L-glutamine, aloe vera and DGL. Another great tool would be a peptide called BCP-157 that will help repair the gut lining.

Remember, be an advocate for yourself. Listen to your body and carefully track symptoms. You can do an elimination diet for yourself to see if you have symptoms related to any food.

Is this an attack on farmers and food? Possibly, time will tell about the theories out there, however, I think it’s a results of our toxic environment which causes our immune system to be imbalanced. Work on your gut health and the four pillars of health and you will be good! Remember, facts and faith over fear!

Ref: Young I, Prematunge C, Pussegoda K, Corrin T, Waddell L. Tick exposures and alpha-gal syndrome: A systematic review of the evidence. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2021 May;12(3):101674. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2021.101674. Epub 2021 Jan 27. PMID: 33529984.

de la Fuente J, Pacheco I, Villar M, Cabezas-Cruz A. The alpha-Gal syndrome: new insights into the tick-host conflict and cooperation. Parasit Vectors. 2019 Apr 3;12(1):154. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3413-z. PMID: 30944017; PMCID: PMC6448316.

Commins SP. Diagnosis & management of alpha-gal syndrome: lessons from 2,500 patients. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2020 Jul;16(7):667-677. doi: 10.1080/1744666X.2020.1782745. Epub 2020 Jul 8. PMID: 32571129; PMCID: PMC8344025.

Bernal M, Huecker M, Shreffler J, Mittel O, Mittel J, Soliman N. Successful Treatment for Alpha Gal Mammal Product Allergy Using Auricular Acupuncture: A Case Series. Med Acupunct. 2021 Oct 1;33(5):343-348. doi: 10.1089/acu.2021.0010. Epub 2021 Oct 18. PMID: 35003502; PMCID: PMC8729907.

Cabezas-Cruz A, Hodžić A, Román-Carrasco P, Mateos-Hernández L, Duscher GG, Sinha DK, Hemmer W, Swoboda I, Estrada-Peña A, de la Fuente J. Environmental and Molecular Drivers of the α-Gal Syndrome. Front Immunol. 2019 May 31;10:1210. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01210. PMID: 31214181; PMCID: PMC6554561.

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