“Unlike more traditional food allergies where consumption of an allergen produces symptoms within minutes, AGS reactions typically occur 3-8 hours after eating. Thus many patients fail to consider food as a possible trigger and many healthcare providers do not routinely recognize the characteristic delay–both issues can prolong tie to reach a diagnosis.” -Dr. Scott P. Commins, MD PhD
Alpha-gal allergic reactions can occur after exposure to:
Mammalian meats, organs, and blood
Dairy products, gelatin, and other foods derived from mammals
Foods that contain mammalian byproducts
Drugs, medical products, personal care, household and other products with mammalian ingredients
Products containing carrageenan, which isn’t from a mammal, but which contains the alpha-gal epitope
What is Alpha-Gal Syndrome?
The term alpha-gal or α-Gal syndrome describes a novel IgE-mediated immediate-type allergy to the disaccharide galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal). Its classification as a syndrome is proposed on the basis of its clinical relevance in three different fields of allergy: food, drugs, and tick bites (Fischer, et al). Alpha-gal is a sugar (galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose) found in most mammals with the exception of humans, apes, and monkeys. Alpha-gal can be found in many products made from mammals including some medications, cosmetics, vaccines, gelatin, and milk products. Although it was initially presumed that the lone star tick transmitted alpha-gal, it is now evident that other ticks can also transmit it. This is in consideration of the fact that alpha-gal exists in Australia and Europe where the lone star tick has not been found. Alpha gal is transmitted to star ticks after biting animals including cows and sheep. Ticks will then carry the alpha gal and inject the molecules into the human body. This may trigger the appearance of a condition known as the alpha-gal syndrome. This results from an unusual immune response to the alpha gal sugar. Affected people would have mild to severe allergic reactions upon eating red meat (beef, lamb, pork, venison, and rabbits). Allergic reactions also occur upon exposure to products from mammals such as cosmetics, medications such cetuximab (cancer drug), vaccines, gelatin, and milk products. More serious reactions can develop in people suffering from repeated tick bites. Symptoms do not necessarily develop after each exposure and naturally symptoms vary from one individual to another. Alpha gal allergies appear to affect individuals of all ages. It is mostly common in south eastern and mid-western United States, though many cases have been identified in other parts of the country where the lone star tick is not typically seen. (N. Soliman) In January 2021, a report in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, there were more than 34,000 documented cases in the U.S. alone between 2010 and 2018, suggesting alpha-gal syndrome "is an increasingly recognized public health problem". Symptoms Symptoms include hives, itching, eczema, dizziness, fainting, breathing difficulties, and drop in blood pressure. Other symptoms include; swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, or other body parts. A runny nose, sneezing, and headaches are also common. Gastro-intestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting are not uncommon. While reactions to the majority food allergies are seen almost immediately following food ingestion, alpha-gal allergy can be delayed up to eight hours following the consumption of red meat. This is due to the fact that alpha-gal molecules take a longer time to be digested and absorbed compared to other allergens. In the extreme cases, patients may develop alpha-gal anaphylactic shock. This is a serious medical emergency that require immediate medical attention and treatment with epinephrine (adrenaline) injector such as EpiPen. Signs of anaphylaxis concludes; drop in blood pressure, swelling of the mouth and the throat, airway constriction, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. (N. Soliman)
Soliman Auricular Allergy Treatment (SAAT) - Scheduling & Price
SAAT allergy appointment is scheduled by phone only. A non-refundable deposit of $150 is required for scheduling to reserve the appointment time. The deposit will be applied to the cost of service after treatment.
SAAT Alpha-Gal Treatment: $400
Includes: Health consultation, allergen testing, SAAT treatment, follow-up visit/call, 1 needle replacement.
*Please inform us if you have allergies to metal and/or adhesives. Treatment for metal and/or adhesive allergies is required before starting the Soliman Auricular Allergy Treatment (SAAT). A sublingual (under tongue) treatment remedy will be recommended for a minimum of six weeks and retesting of metal and adhesive after.
SAAT Treatment Method
Initial visit will consist of complete health consultation followed by SAAT allergen testing. During testing the provider will provide step-by-step instructions on the testing procedure. SAAT allergy testing consists of non-invasive neuromuscular testing.
The SAAT treatment will begin once the specific allergenic acupoint is determined for the specific allergen. The needling procedure involves a thin 3mm needle inserted into the determined allergenic acupoint on the ear. The needle is then covered with a medical adhesive tape to prevent it from falling out. The needle will be retained on the ear for 3 to 4 weeks.
*Please inform the provider if there is any discomfort (rare) during the testing or treatment process.
What to Expect
SAAT treatment is to assist with reduction of the allergic reaction to the alpha-gal in meat and products containing alpha-gal. Blood test results for alpha-gal antibodies (IgE) may remain unchanged following an SAAT treatment. A patient will be provided with a gradual exposure plan after the completion of the treatment. The gradual exposure is to prevent severe allergic reaction and to ensure that the treatment was successful. If patient continues to experience allergic reaction a re-treatment will be provided for alpha-gal at no additional charge.
SAAT treatment is not a cure but a treatment method that enables the body to be desensitized to certain allergen(s). Although the procedure has been reported to have an 80 to 90 percent success rate not all will experience the same outcome.