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Alpha Gal syndrome

What do you eat? I was just diagnosed… everything in my freezer and pantry has either whey protein isolate, milk, or carrageenan.

I suspect I’m going to be learning to cook out of this ordeal. Almost everything I eat is off limits.

I have a lot of stomach issues. Not sure if this is related to the diagnosis or not.

Anyone have a shopping list of safe foods for this condition? I’m going to have to totally change my diet.

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There are some great vegan protein options - quinoa (yes, when cooked properly, taste nice, it’s BLAND if you just cook with water and nothing else), various beans. I cook quinoa with homemade vegetable stock (also super easy to make) with LOT of herb spices in it, but whatever spices you love, use those.

Poultry is the same way, there are a million ways to make very good chicken and turkey, even with the ground stuff. Spices are your friend :slight_smile:

Basically shop whole, non-mammal foods.

Here’s what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow:

quinoa (cooked with the veggie stock), spinach, mushrooms, grap tomatoes, red onion, avocado, with a dressing made with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, spicy brown mustard, and a little salt and pepper.

Breakfast Wednesday will be:

lettuce, sweet potato cubes, broccoli pesto, 2 hardboiled eggs

I can add the Italian casserole recipe I made last night if you like. I used pork sausage so you can’t use that, but you can make Italian turkey sausage starting with ground turkey and some spices.

Oh that’s a bummer. I looked into this over the summer as my daughter was having symptoms after eating beef, but ultimately it didn’t turn out to be Alpha Gal.

For me I think the hardest thing would be milk/cheese/yogurt/whey protein, so I agree with JB that vegan options for these things might work and also those marketed toward lactose intolerant (which my daughter also is) – coconut milk/yogurt/ice cream, cheese…is hard. Vegan cheese do exist but some are not that great (in my opinion). Often I’d rather just go without than eat vegan cheese.

Otherwise, anything you make with beef or pork can be made with chicken or fish. I don’t really ever eat pork and only rarely eat beef, so that part sounds easy to me.

Does Alpha Gal ever go into remission or be cured? I can’t remember.

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Agree on the protein substitution, you still just have to check everything else you put in. Lots of canned beans might have some lard or gelatin used to process them, which can trigger some AG people. And usually, you have no idea where “natural flavors” are coming from


Here’s a cookbook written by someone with alpha gal: https://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Gal-Cooks-Kathleen-Cahoj/dp/B09NRHHM72

Gosh…I’m so sorry. My SO has it and I’m a terrible cook. He does not have a problem w cheese or ice cream- no idea why. I’ve learned to cook scallops, tuna fish, and shrimp in a lot of different ways since he’s stuck w chicken eating out a lot.

I hope this isn’t inappropriate or insensitive to say and my intent with it is in kindness, but I did not recognize what you were talking about at first…So I opened the thread thinking I was going to be reading about a queen bee, alpha type gal. A real HBIC. The boss lady of boss ladies. Then I did a double take - there’s a boss lady diet? Because I could use a boost…

I know you are going through a health challenge, and I’ve had a different GI diagnosis that really put so many foods I like off-limits, and I remember how intimidating and overwhelming that was so I am absolutely not making light of the diagnosis. But I hope my misunderstanding is amusing for a minute.


I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I met someone who had it a couple of years ago–she was the friend of a friend, and joined us on a boat trip. Part of the plan was to stop for lunch at a place on the water, and we didn’t know her limitations when we made our plans. It was so severe for her that she couldn’t be at the same table with people eating beef. Luckily, the place we ate at had lots of good chicken choices, and we all ate chicken so we wouldn’t aggravate her condition. We sat outside apart from other people, and she was fine for that lunch.

Best of luck on coming up with alternatives that you can eat. It’s not at all easy, but I’m sure you’ll find food you like that doesn’t cause problems.



dont overlook the cuisines of India and much of Africa and middle east, which are heavily vegetarian. You may want to look for recipes and ideas. If you are lucky you have a good source of specialty store. Mammal meat is not the only way to get protein as billions of world citizens can show you. Plus some of the flavor profiles are amazing. Check out Woks of Life web site for Chinese and Asian ideas. They have an excellent encyclopedia of ingredients. Again if you are fortunate to have good asian market like Ranch 99 or H Mart, you may discover tofu is more than that mushy white block you find in the grocery store

be careful of vegan cheeses, many are made with cashew and other nut products which carry their own fun. I have slowly developed an issue with walnut and cashew. I LOVE cashew but can only do in very small quantities. I LOVE cheese so I sympathize with your loss.

Be careful with dining out as cross contamination of a flat top grill or utensil is all it may take. Personally I would stick to vegetarian restaurants with caution

Look for Emu and Ostrich suppliers including salamis and steak like cuts.

I bet your stomach issues will calm down


I have two friends with it. The one is sensitive to any meat or dairy…to the point that even medications with certain ingredients will trigger hives. The other friend really only has issues with dairy…and she mostly has GI issues when she cheats with dairy.

So it will be a lot of figuring out to what degree it is affecting you and which things you need to cut out and what things you might individually be able to tolerate.

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I thought the same! I knew this happened with certain types of ticks but never knew what it was called.


That is funny! Now that you mention it.


I have it, was diagnosed 2 years ago this month. For me, I am ok so long as I 100% avoid beef and beef stock. I am fine with cheese, cows milk, etc. After a solid year of also avoiding pork, I tried it and found I was ok with all things pork. No idea how that’s possible, but it was a cheeseburger that tried to kill me in 2021 so I’ll stick with avoiding beef.

I would suggest a month of avoiding all mammal stuff, including dairy and cheese. Then, see if you can add in one thing a week, like cheese. I found it annoying and scary at first, especially eating out (rice at the Mexican place is gonna have animal fats in it, stock and the like and ohhhhhh that hurt me the one time I forgot).

You’ll eat a ton of chicken, turkey, beans and fish. There are some plant-based sausage patties (gardein) I love, the turkey ones give me heartburn.

Give your self some grace, I ate a shed load of chicken fingers and fries in the early months, on the occasions that figuring out something else at a restaurant was too daunting.

Occasionally I splurge and get emu and ostrich (emu steaks are good!!!) From Amaroo Hills, shipping is $$$ but again, I only do that like 2x a year and I stock up the freezer.

You will find your path, go easy on yourself until you have it figured out.

If you mess up, take a pepcid or famotidine (H2 blocker) and a benadryl (H1 blocker). You need both


I thought the same thing too, don’t feel badly …
I have celiac so I get what a pita these kinds of things are. I’m definitely googling Alpha Gal, kind of sounds like what my niece may have


I started itching again last night. I went through everything I ate and I think it might have been the whey protein added to my soy protein bars. I can’t say for sure. Looks like I’m starting at a very restricted diet and going to try and add foods back slowly.

My stomach is still terribly upset. I hope I don’t have bacterial overgrowth started. Something else is going on here in addition to the alpha gal, I suspect. I may ask about trying Cromolyn and see if that helps calm down my GI tract. I’ve had night sweats and just wake up with a stomache for about the past week. I don’t know if that is because I’ve been eating offending foods (like dairy or cheese). I really hope on a strict diet, my stomach settles down because usually the one thing I reach for with an upset stomach is ice cream (which before this point I have always tolerated for some reason).

I’m betting I have had alpha gal for the past 2 years without realizing it. And the tick bite I had about 4 weeks ago was the tipping point that made it so much worse.

I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to be able to take my horses out on trail rides when ticks are so incredibly common in Florida. I don’t need to be re-exposed. Maybe it’s time for a new sport? They have a pony club for adult riders and I believe there is a drill team in this area, but with an older horse I’m not sure she would appreciate the extra work involved in any of that. And I’m terribly bored with riding in the pasture.

What state should I move too that doesn’t have terrible ticks? And supports an equestrian lifestyle?
I’m seriously thinking about relocating, but where? I don’t know.

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I’m in Ohio and the only thing I’ve found is to be vigilant with clothes, permethrin, and full body tick checks when I get home. I’ve pulled two off me and thankfully didn’t test positive for Lyme, but it’s something I worry about already having chronic health issues.


If you don’t already have one, you may want to get an epi pen. My one friend mostly deals with GI issues…but will get hives. The other gets hives and trouble breathing. She was more sensitive, and had to check things like toothpaste, laundry detergent, medications…etc.

The GI stuff should calm down once you eliminate all things you are sensitive to (unless you have other GI issues going on). But you may have to look at ingredients on everything an anything (including soaps, lotions, etc.).


I am not sure if it would be enough safety and protection for you, but I have invested in some tick-repelling clothing. I have this hoodie, which I wear while hiking and camping. I am in the mid-Atlantic and FL heat and humidity are higher for sure, but I find this to be reasonably comfortable on all but the hottest summer days as it is lightweight and light color. It is also possible to treat your own clothing with permethrin, which aids in tick-bite prevention. Treatment of your clothes is recommended by CDC - permethrin is not like DEET and not safe to put directly on your skin, but on clothes it can be another tool in your arsenal.

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hidden mammal products in the most unexpected places. Even some mixed nut products can have have mammal derived products to help hold the salt coating. Capsules used for medications are often gelatin and Non dairy creamer still has whey in it.

You are probably going to have to become a very dedicated label reader for a while until you can get to a normal and they slowly retry adding

I can say ticks are very rare in western Washington. Have never had one. Not sure, however, how horse friendly it is. Pretty high COL overall


I am reading labels. I made homemade tacos this week and the spices ripped up my stomach. Then had an allergic reaction (minor hives) the next night. I realized the almond milk and soy milk has Gellan gum. I tried fish for lunch and that had guar gum. I know you can be cross reactive with the gums but they add gums to everything.

It’s definitely trial and error to try and determine what I’m reacting too. I know spices tend to be hard on my GI tract but I don’t know which particular ones are causing the issue. I am not allergic to garlic (as I was certain that would be positive)… Now I’m wondering if it’s something they add with the garlic that could be an issue. Or it could be the gums.

I don’t know if the allergy doctor will be much help? As they can only test for so many things, but it sure would be useful to know if I need to avoid all gums, or just some gums. Are there specific spices that I’m allergic to? If so, which ones.

I’m not allergic to soy but they always add spices to the soy. It’s a frustrating condition.