Camping with ticks: I have the mammalian meat allergy

Discussion in 'Camping Around Wildlife' started by unclemark, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS

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    In 2017, a tick bite during a Georgia camping trip changed my eating habits permanently.
     
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  2. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Pretty crazy! Thank you for sharing and increasing awareness!
     
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  3. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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  4. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Happy cows spread lone star ticks...
     
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  5. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS

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    It is crazy. An allergy like this is almost a hobby. In the video, I had to resist the urge to start every sentence with, "Here's where the story gets weird ..." Thanks for watching.
     
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  6. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS

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    Definitely. But one theory for the lateness of the "discovery" of the allergy (beginning in 2007) is that deer populations were hunted to severe minimums during the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s in the southeast United States, so the lone star tick had no natural hosts and their populations were in decline. Reduced hunting brought resurgent deer populations since the 70s, which have helped the tick to spread, which has resulted in more allergy cases -- enough that the allergy could finally be "discovered" by medical science that had modernized while deer were rare. Who knows? Thanks for watching!
     
  7. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS

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  8. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    The good news about Alpha-Gal is that most people will be able to eat mammalian meat in a few years assuming they arent re-bitten.
    On the flip side several medications are derived from bovine or swine and could cause a fatal reaction. Heparin and some insulins.
     
  9. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS

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    A decision like that probably requires medical advice. Certainly, top researchers have begun to counsel some of their own Alpha Gal patients they can eat mammalian meats with minimal fats, particularly deli meats. On a facebook forum, I've seen one patient declare that he backs off meat in the summer after his first tick bite and resumes eating in winter after the effects of bites have worn off, and he takes antihistamines to deal with reactions if they occur. But many, many people on that forum have horror stories of believing they had recovered from the allergy, eating mammalian meat, and suffering severe reactions. I see no reason to experiment, but I've continued to get new lone star tick bites each year in 2017, 2018, and 2019, so that's a factor. Further, I've had localized skin reactions to old bite sites when I've worn wool socks, for example, so I have no interest in putting mammal meat inside my body. Thanks for posting.
     
  10. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    Couple of folks around here have the same thing, & a pal of mine was recently diagnosed w/ Lyme Disease; the whitetail population has exploded here in Va., & not as many folks seem to hunt, & ticks abound out the yang...
     
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  11. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I actually do breed possums on our property. Or should I say I make the environment very possum friendly so that they may breed themselves. :smiley: In 13 years, we've went from an occasional one, to a very healthy nightly population of dozens. Haven't seen a tick here in years.

    Camping is another story altogether and DEET required.
     
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  12. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS

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    I have a few opossums show up every year, but my dogs don't agree with the proposition that they belong here. I don't see ticks at home -- also didn't see any this weekend at Annie and Abel Van Meter State Park in Missouri. The cooler weather has perhaps slowed them down. Mosquitoes are still laughing at my DEET, however.
     
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  13. unclemark

    unclemark Overland Park, KS

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    Weird thing: The allergy apparently comes from a different species of tick than the one that carries Lyme Disease. I think you and I live in states where both ticks are active, though. Reduced hunting is supposedly a factor in the supposed increase in tick-borne maladies, but who knows? This allergy was around long before it was discovered, docs just called it "irritable bowel syndrome" and shrugged.
     
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  14. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    An underappreciated reason for the deer population explosion was the eradication of the screwworm fly mid 20th century. I don't know how people can forget something so gross...
     
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  15. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    They aren't eradicated, there was an outbreak a couple years ago in the Keys. A few domestic animals were affected but it was mostly deer affected.
     
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  16. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Eradicated from the cattle-producing parts of the US which is where they bothered people enough to get USDA-APHIS involved? Naw, they aren't gone as a species, but their absence in places like Texas has had a big impact on the ecology of tick meals.
     
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