Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What are alpha-gal antibodies, and why did I get tested for them?

Here are a couple of articles on some research that my friend Gina sent to me that matches closely the allergy symptoms that I was having back in 2004:

1. The mystery of the tick and the allergy

2. Man's Sudden Food Allergy Was a Medical Mystery for Months

Basically, researchers have been looking at people with delayed-onset anaphylaxis after eating certain types of meat, and have managed to link their symptoms back to tick bites.  And that does fit with my experience, as I was doing a lot more hiking back in the days when I had my allergies, and frequently had ticks. Something in the tick bite caused people to become allergic to galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (a.k.a. alpha-gal).

Hence the testing for alpha-gal antibodies.

Update (6-20-12): Good Morning America has a story that pins this specifically on the Lone Star Tick.

First steak in 7 years

I got the full food-allergy test and turned up negative on everything, and I got the alpha-gal antibody blood test, and that was negative as well. I got that news on Friday afternoon, and Sunday night I ate my first steak in seven years. And it was good.

But I had been outside playing with the kids earlier and managed to pick up a couple of mosquito bites, and between the mosquito bites and random phantom itchiness, I had enough anxiety that I didn't sleep all that well. But I really want to keep experimenting. So I think I'm going to start eating beef once a week for lunch, just to see. And I can have my anxiety during the day.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Layered Hypocondria

There's this mole under my left eye that I catch in the mirror every once in a while and think, "Holy crap! Where did that thing come from?!" and then I remember that one time this happens I actually dug up a picture so I could see if it was changing and realized that it's always been there and has never changed.

So I don't have skin cancer.

But what's up with this not remembering what my own face looks like? Could I be developing face blindness?