September 4, 2017

Important Information You Should Know about Meat Allergy

About 2% of adults and 8% of children have food allergies. The following foods cause an allergic reaction in children most often:

• Cow’s milk;
• Peanuts;
• Hen’s eggs;
• Soy;
• Nuts;
• Shellfish;
• Fish;
• Wheat.

As for adults, they are often affected by an allergy to nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, vegetables and fruits, which results in the oral allergy syndrome. Moreover, a person can be allergic to any type of food.

Meat allergies are uncommon, probably, because usually this food is used cooked, thanks to which the proteins that cause allergic reactions are broken down by heat. In such a way an allergic antibody cannot recognize them, so the allergic reaction simply does not occur.

Anyway, it is also possible to have different allergic reactions to meat, which may occur within minutes of eating it, including the following:

• Wheezing;
• Angioedema;
• Urticarial;
• Nausea;
• Anaphylaxis;
• Vomiting;
• Diarrhea;
• Coughing.

Also, it is possible to have the following reactions:

• Eosinophilic esophagitis;
• Reaction to carbohydrates contained in meat.

Allergic Reaction to Beef

Allergic reactions can occur after eating any kinds of meat, but most often this happens after consuming beef. Young children have a higher risk of beef allergy, especially those with eczema. Also, this allergy affects 20% of children with an allergy to cow’s milk. Moreover, up to 93% of people who suffer from beef allergy have an allergic reaction to cow’s milk as well. If you have beef allergy, you should note that you might also have an allergic reaction to beef gelatin, so you should be really careful with certain vaccines. You should always tell your healthcare provider if you have meat allergy before vaccination.

Allergic Reaction to Poultry

Poultry, such as turkey and chicken, can also cause an allergy, but it occurs not as often as an allergy to beef or pork. This can be explained by the fact that poultry is usually cooked very well, because the risk of food poisoning after eating undercooked poultry is pretty high. So, poultry is usually cooked more thoughtfully than pork or beef. Some people with egg allergy also have bird-egg syndrome, which is a respiratory allergy caused by feathers, for instance, asthma or allergic rhinitis. Even if you have this syndrome, it does not necessarily mean that you also have an allergy to poultry. Moreover, only a small percentage of people with this syndrome have an allergic reaction to chicken.

Allergic Reaction to Pork

Pork and wild boar meat can also cause allergic reactions. In particular, people with respiratory allergic reactions to cat albumin should be very carefully, because they have a higher risk of having an allergy to pork. This condition is called the pork-cat syndrome, because it occurs due to similar structures of pork albumin and cat albumin. If you have an allergy to Fel d 1, a protein of cats, you may have no allergic reactions to pork.

Allergic Reaction to Alpha-Gal

Mammalian meats (beef, lamb and pork) contain a carbohydrate called alpha-gal (galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose), which may cause severe allergic reactions. Allergic reactions to carbohydrate occur in 3-6 hours after consuming mammalian meat. Usually, symptoms of food allergies occur within the next 30 minutes, so this is one of the differences between alpha-gal allergy and meat allergy. An allergic reaction may occur suddenly, even in people who have never had such problems after eating meat before. Some studies suggest that this happens due to tick bites that increase the risk of allergic reaction to carbohydrate.

Usually people with alpha-gal allergy have negative results after testing allergy to extracts of pork, beef and lamb. A delayed reaction after eating the meat is one of the symptoms of this type of allergy. It can also be diagnosed through skin testing to cooked meat that is suspected to be the cause of an allergic reaction. A range of blood tests can also be used to check the presence of antibodies to galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose.

Meat allergy is treated in the same way as other food allergies. If you have this meat allergy, consult your healthcare provider about it and the way it can be managed.

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