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How to Prevent Alpha Gal Syndrome

A woman out for a hike in a temperate rainforest.

If you experience uncomfortable digestive system symptoms after eating mammalian meat, you may be dealing with alpha gal syndrome. This syndrome is a direct result of a Lone Star tick bite, which transfers alpha gal into a person’s bloodstream. The person’s immune system develops an allergy to alpha gal, so upon eating mammalian meat (which also has alpha gal in it), allergic symptoms may surface.

The people who are most at risk for developing alpha gal syndrome include those who spend a considerable time outdoors and those who have been bit multiple times by the Lone Star tick. Keep reading to discover how you can prevent alpha gal syndrome and important facts about ticks:

How can I prevent alpha gal syndrome?

Since alpha gal syndrome is directly related to tick bites, you must prioritize protecting yourself against ticks while you are outdoors. While you prepare the kids for their backyard playdate or get ready for your camping trip, remember to wear long pants that are tucked inside socks, long sleeved shirt, and a hat. If possible, take a shower when you come inside again and check for ticks.

Consider these facts about as you get ready for your next outdoor adventure:

  • Ticks do not fly or jump! They position themselves in areas that allow them to easily cling to a person or animal such as tall grass or branches.
  • Ticks are attracted to carbon dioxide, heat, and sweat. They do not like the smell of peppermint, lavender, cinnamon, orange, lemon, or rose geranium.
  • Ticks will crawl over your body for 30 minutes to a couple hours, looking for the perfect place to feed such as the groin, armpit, or behind your knees.
  • Ticks do not completely burrow under your skin. They anchor themselves into your skin with their hypostome, a part of their mouth.

If you notice a tick on your body, it is important to remove the tick with tweezers and steady pressure. Do not twist or crush the body. Keep the tick in a bag, if possible, and get it tested to see if it had any diseases like Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and others.

If you suspect alpha gal syndrome, call our team right away: 478-787-4728.