Allergy to meat is not a frequent problem nowadays but such a disturbance in the body is possible. It occurs in about 3-15% of kids and 3% of adults. The most common allergy is to beef, especially among children, who are suffering from cow’s milk protein and atopic dermatitis. “Red meat” is very renowned because of its nutritional and taste qualities. Also, beef contains a huge amount of zinc, minerals and collagen but the percentage of fats is lower than in chicken meat. It is recommended consuming for the elderly people, athletes and children. Therefore, in the case of an allergy to beef, it is very hard to part with such a healthful product.
Fortunately, all potentially allergenic proteins are eliminated after the careful heat treatment of beef. That is why usually, this allergy occurs in those people, who love and often eat raw meat or eat raw beef with various spices. It is significant to determine what exactly provokes this illness because it can be caused not only by beef but by any other types of meat as well. It depends on the product composition, i.e., the percentage of protein in each type of meat. The differences in the abundance of reactions to a particular kind of meat are connected with the geographical prevalence of their use in human diets.
The major allergens that induce the beef allergy are represented below:
- bovine serum albumin;
- cross-reactions to milk;
- muscle proteins (myosin, tropomyosin, actin);
- protein elastin;
- intolerance to any substances in beef.
The allergic processes in kids may arise in the background of hereditary predisposition.
Beef allergy symptoms
The distinctive feature of allergy to meat products is the different periods of its manifestation. Thus, the symptoms can arise directly after a meal or after a few hours, and often it is complicated to distinguish the main provocateur of disease. The intolerance to beef can be expressed in different ways. Primarily, disruption of the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract is noticed by way of such symptoms:
- diarrheal disorders;
- abdominal pain;
- in severe cases, the temperature can be increased and the severe vomiting, signs of shock are manifested.
Other reactions include:
- extensive urticaria;
- vascular collapse (hypotension, loss of consciousness, dizziness, incontinence, sweating);
- intense itching;
- allergic rhinitis;
- shortness of breath, wheezing;
- asthma attacks (anaphylaxis) – strong and highly hazardous body reaction, which can cause a death.
The manifestations of beef allergy in children are similar to adults’ reactions and comprise the responses of the digestive system: constant nausea accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal distention, bloating.
Skin signs appear in the form of a rash, itching, redness and swelling of the tissues and urticaria. Allergic rhinitis, redness and a burning sensation in the eyes, cough, excessive tearing and increased temperature occur very seldom.
Diagnostics and Treatment of Beef Allergy
The beef allergy can be confirmed in a hospital with an allergist, who diagnoses on the basis of complaints and examination of the patient. Varied skin and blood tests allow determining the form of the allergen.
If the results of medical examination prove the existence of an allergy not only to one particular allergen but also to meat in general, the best remedy is to follow a pescovegetarian diet. It means a complete exclusion of meat products but fish is not under ban. The protein is vital components of a balanced diet for the human nutrition, so in the case of an allergy, it should be replaced with vegetables. The doctors advise eating more soy, beans and dairy products.
If the allergic manifestations have already occurred, the allergist can prescribe only hormonal allergy medications, which are able to quickly remove the symptoms. If the illness is in an early stage of the development the following antihistamines are used: Zyrtec, Suprastin, Ksizal,Claritin, Advantan cream. The babies are treated with the help of ointments and gels (for skin reactions), nasal sprays and eye drops. Other medications like entero-sorbents, eliminate food allergy by accumulating toxins from the organism. In severe cases of intolerance to beef, immunomodulatory drugs can be assigned.
The basic healing can be complemented with the traditional methods, for instance, people use different plants such as marigold and its decoction, which help to cope with food intolerance. The patient should consume this broth for several months instead of tea. Bee products improve the work of the immune system; of course, they can be used only in case of absence of any allergic reactions to them.
It must be stressed that an allergy does not accept the self-treatment. Improperly selected medications can aggravate allergic processes.
After the end of the treatment course, under the advice of the doctor, the patient can try to eat other types of meat in small portions, for example, a chicken, turkey or lamb. People prone to allergic reactions should follow a healthy diet, maintain the immune system and intestinal flora in normal operation, and twice a year held a consultation with an allergist.
In order to prevent an allergy to meat, it is required to freeze fresh product and then stew or cook it properly. While cooking meat for kids, it is recommended to drain two or three times the resulting broth and pour new water. This method of cooking completely destroys all the allergens from the fibers. If the heat treatment does not help to avoid the growth of food intolerance, then it indicates a false allergy to meat. This phenomenon may have several reasons and can be associated with the kind of meat product and with the peculiarities of animals and birds feeding. One more preventive measure is to purchase environmentally friendly products, which do not possess any hormones and medicinal supplements, thus, they are safer for the human body.
To conclude, if any allergic manifestations appear, the patient must immediately consult an allergist because urgent treatment of the disease obviate possible complications and increases the chances to prevent the negative effects of the allergen on the body.