Alpha-Gal Syndrome

PINEY WARDEN

Explorer
Jan 13, 2012
260
262
Be aware Pine Barrens Enthusiasts of Alpha-Gal Syndrome which is caused by Ticks. Red Meats, Pork, and Dairy Products such As Milk could ever change your life with food allergies. It is becoming more common and very scary. If bitten by one of these ticks it could cause one of many of the food allergies. This does not go away overnight and could last for 7-10 years if not longer with no current cure. For I have had the unfortunate luck of contracting this syndrome which I am highly allergic to Red Meat, Pork, And Dairy Products. I have had several visits to the ER from accidentally eating ingredients containing above mentioned allergens. Cross Contamination on grills will cause issues as well if not careful. Medications and vaccines as well you take contain some allergens depending on the product. My daily life has changed significantly where I need to carry Benadryl and Epi Pens full time. Going out to eat is a challenge and my wife needs to make my meals from scratch. So my point being is to inform everyone please be as careful as possible when out in the woods and take the extra preventative measures to avoid tick bites the best you can. This is becoming quite common anymore. Read up on Alpha-Gal explaining symptoms in case you may be experiencing unusual food intolerance. I’ve been born and raised in this woods my entire life and have always been cautious regarding ticks. So if it can happen to me it can happen to you.
 

Jon Holcombe

Explorer
Dec 1, 2015
967
1,934
Medford
Sorry to hear about your unfortunate and scary situation. It sounds like a life changing illness. You are out there every day so it must be very hard to completely avoid being bitten no matter how careful you are.

For others that read this: I spray my socks, pants, shirts, backpack and hat (in case I happen to kneel in grass) with permethrin every other wash and during warm weather, almost every time I wear them. I try to avoid grass if at all possible.
 
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RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
4,985
3,189
Pestletown, N.J.
That is horrible news Piney Warden. I wish you well.

I have a friend who contracted it several years ago and one of his biggest problems stemmed from him not being able to find anyone to accurateley diagnose it. Similar to the advent of Lyme Disease in this area , doctors were just guessing at the causes of the symptoms. It took him well over a year to be properly diagnosed.

Like you Piney Warden, my friend was an avid woodsman and hunter and started a side business of making turkey slate pot calls. He hasn't stopped hunting but now he is forced to donate any deer that he kills because he cannot eat the meat. Very traumatic lifestyle changes.
 

PINEY WARDEN

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Jan 13, 2012
260
262
Terrible news Piney Warden!! I wish you well. Redneck brings up what I was going to ask. How long did it take to get diagnosed?
My symptoms showed up around July 5 two years ago. After eating all beef hotdogs with the family July 4. I started with extreme stomach pains and fully covered in hives. But prior to that I was experiencing lots of stomach pain after eating any red meat or cheese. So I immediately went to the allergist office and the doc called for a blood test and he told me to stop all red meats, pork, and dairy. Two weeks later the tests came back positive for all 3.
 

PINEY WARDEN

Explorer
Jan 13, 2012
260
262
That is horrible news Piney Warden. I wish you well.

I have a friend who contracted it several years ago and one of his biggest problems stemmed from him not being able to find anyone to accurateley diagnose it. Similar to the advent of Lyme Disease in this area , doctors were just guessing at the causes of the symptoms. It took him well over a year to be properly diagnosed.

Like you Piney Warden, my friend was an avid woodsman and hunter and started a side business of making turkey slate pot calls. He hasn't stopped hunting but now he is forced to donate any deer that he kills because he cannot eat the meat. Very traumatic lifestyle changes.
The ultimate worst Scott is not being able to have venison. I always went to the deer clubs dinners and banquets. Now I just sit with my mouth watering watching others enjoy it. Venison was a huge part of my life as a sportsman. Now I give all of my deer away to the less unfortunate that really could use it for their families.
 

PINEY WARDEN

Explorer
Jan 13, 2012
260
262
Thank you all. I just wanted to make as many folks aware of this situation you may be faced with and what the symptoms are. It is so ever life changing. I know there are many new folks on this forum that want to be out in the pines and possibly are unaware of these kinds of situations similar to chiggers. So hopefully they will spray up and take caution.
 
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M1 Abrams

Explorer
May 4, 2023
172
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Burlington County
@PINEY WARDEN,

As one of those newish folks on the forum (joined this May) who has hopes of going deeper into the pines in the next several months, the possibility of picking up Alpha-Gal or some other tick-borne infection is very much on my mind. I realize there's an element of risk, and take it very seriously. Prior to any deep explorations, I will definitely be touching base with a few more experienced members regarding use of permethrin as well as any other strategies to mitigate the risk.

Speaking for all the recent additions here, thanks for having our backs and trying to keep us out of trouble. I very much appreciate you documenting how hard Alpha-Gal has hit you, though with all my heart I wish you never had to deal with it. I hope and pray your burden will begin to ease soon.
 

Boyd

Administrator
Staff member
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
9,659
2,865
Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I just use the permethrin as per directions, heeding the cautions. I do the spraying outside and wear disposable gloves, then let the clothes dry in the sun. I was unable to find any permethrin in stores this season, went to Dick's Sporting Goods twice and no luck. WalMart used to carry it but three different stores didn't have any. Finally ordered Sawyers pump spray (only kind they had) online from REI, when it came these were in each package.

sawyers.jpg
 

PINEY WARDEN

Explorer
Jan 13, 2012
260
262
@PINEY WARDEN,

As one of those newish folks on the forum (joined this May) who has hopes of going deeper into the pines in the next several months, the possibility of picking up Alpha-Gal or some other tick-borne infection is very much on my mind. I realize there's an element of risk, and take it very seriously. Prior to any deep explorations, I will definitely be touching base with a few more experienced members regarding use of permethrin as well as any other strategies to mitigate the risk.

Speaking for all the recent additions here, thanks for having our backs and trying to keep us out of trouble. I very much appreciate you documenting how hard Alpha-Gal has hit you, though with all my heart I wish you never had to deal with it. I hope and pray your burden will begin to ease soon.
Thank you my friend! Many folks do not realize how dangerous this is and how it impacts you and your families life.
 
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smoke_jumper

Piney
Mar 5, 2012
1,555
1,082
Atco, NJ
What’s this? Pineys don’t eat seafood? Barnegat Bay is nothing more then an extension of the pines. You just need it cooked right. I’ll bet there’s a few of us on here that have a couple family recipes that would make you actually enjoy fish. My wife refused to eat fish until she met me lol
 
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