An alpha-gal syndrome is a form of allergy to food. It is responsible for people developing an allergy to red meat and other goods derived from mammals.

A sugar molecule known as alpha-gal is released into the circulation after a bite from a Lone Star tick, which causes the alpha-gal syndrome. This activates the body’s defenses, leading to mild to severe allergic responses to red meat and other animal-derived foods.

There’s no treatment available other than avoiding red meat and other animal products; antihistamines, epinephrine, and emergency medical care may be necessary if a severe allergic reaction occurs.


Alpha-gal syndrome symptoms vary from mild to severe and may be fatal.

Skin responses are relatively common.

  • Erythema
  • Angioedema
  • Pruritus
  • Urticaria

You may also have gastrointestinal (GI) problems, which might be the sole symptom.

  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heartburn
  • Muscle cramps

The alpha-gal syndrome may also trigger lung symptoms.

  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

Other symptoms include the following:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Mast cell activation syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)


The alpha-gal syndrome may be diagnosed by medical professionals based on the patient’s personal history and the results of specific medical tests.

Your medical professional will probably ask you:

  • Have you been bitten by a tick or visited tick-infested areas?
  • What are your symptoms?
  • How long did symptoms appear after eating red meat or certain other meals, such as mammal food products?

A physical exam is something else that your provider could do.

Additional diagnostic procedures for alpha-gal syndrome may include the following:


In most cases, the treatment for alpha-gal syndrome consists of avoiding foods that contain alpha-gal and using drugs to control symptoms that may emerge due to accidental exposure. You and your healthcare practitioner may collaborate to ensure you steer clear of any alpha-gal goods or treatments.

If a patient has an allergic response, a medical professional may provide rescue medication such as antihistamines or an epinephrine (adrenaline) injector. Your symptoms determine whether or not other treatments are successful. Cromolyn solution taken orally may help alleviate gastrointestinal problems.

Related Articles


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Referred pain is a phenomenon where pain is perceived at a [...]


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Quinoline yellow is a synthetic food colorant commonly used in the [...]


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Pneumothorax is a condition characterized by the presence of air in [...]