The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1031: Could a Tick Bite Make You Allergic to Burgers?

Alpha gal allergy is a peculiar situation in which a tick bite results in making a person allergic to burgers and other meat, but with a delayed response.
Current time

Could a Tick Bite Make You Allergic to Burgers?

0% played0% buffered

How Helpful Is Lowering Cholesterol?

This week, the American College of Cardiology met and revealed surprising data on some new studies. What is the best way to lower cholesterol? Do healthy people get any benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering drugs? How did doctors determine that some patients really do suffer from muscle problems when they take statins?

Could a Tick Bite Make You Allergic to Burgers?

About a decade ago, immunologists discovered that people who had been bitten by a lone star tick, common throughout the southeastern United States, could experience a dangerous allergic reaction to eating meat. Beef, pork and lamb might all be problematic. But figuring the connection out was complicated, because reactions are usually delayed many hours after eating a burger or barbecue on a bun. We talk with a specialist about how she diagnoses alpha-gal allergy and how it should be treated.

If you have had an experience being allergic to burgers, Joe and Terry invite you to share it. Do you have questions about lowering your cholesterol? You can email before 8 am EDT on Saturday, April 9, 2016.

This Week’s Guests:

Robert DuBroff, MD, is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. He is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiology and has a specialty in lipidology. His article was published in the American Journal of Medicine.

Steven Nissen, MD, is chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He is the co-author, with Mark Gillinov, MD, of Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever NeedHe reported on the GAUSS-3 trial along with his colleagues at the American College of Cardiology meeting in Chicago. The study was published online in JAMA this week.

Maya Jerath, MD, PhD, is board certified in Internal Medicine and Allergy and Immunology.  She is head of the UNC Allergy and Immunology Clinic at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She sees patients with a wide range of allergic and immunologic disorders, including rare and hard-to-diagnose conditions. She has a special interest in food allergy, eosinophilic esophagitis, and immunotherapy, and a specialized clinical interest in the diagnosis and management of alpha-gal meat allergy. Her website is

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

Buy the CD

Download the mp3
photo credit: John Tann via photopin cc

Rate this article
3.9- 27 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Get the latest health news right in your inbox

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

Screenshots of The People's Pharmacy website on mobile devices of various sizes
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.

Showing 1 comments
Add your comment

Interesting discussion about alpha-gal allergy , as many symptoms mimic gastroparesis (stomach pain, nausea, occurrence several hours after eating,etc.) and reluctance of medical teams to investigate/test for the cause. There are several known causes for GP, although one of the largest known causes is ‘idiopathic’. If a connection between alpha-gal allergy and gastroparesis becomes known via further exploration, then (hopefully) the lives of countless thousands of GPers can be significantly improved….

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^