• By Laurel J. Kelly

Housecall: Can a tick bite cause an allergy to red meat?

July 9, 2018

a close-up of a plate of grilled beef and vegetable shish kebabsTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Alpha-gal syndrome 
Can a tick bite cause an allergy to red meat? Yes. Alpha-gal syndrome is a recently identified type of food allergy to red meat. In the U.S., the condition most often begins when a Lone Star tick bite transmits a sugar molecule called alpha-gal into the body. In some people, this triggers an immune system reaction that later produces mild to severe allergic reactions when they eat red meat. Here's what you need to know.

Stress incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine. Stress incontinence happens when physical movement or activity, such as coughing, sneezing, running or heavy lifting, puts pressure and stress on your bladder. Stress incontinence differs from urge incontinence, which is caused by the bladder muscle contracting and usually is associated with a sense of urgency. Learn more about the symptoms and causes of stress incontinence.

EXPERT ANSWERS
Can vitamin D prevent Alzheimer's and dementia?
Research suggests that people with very low levels of vitamin D in their blood, a condition known as vitamin D deficiency, are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. But, at this point, the association between vitamin D deficiency and dementia risk is only observational. Additional research is needed to show cause and effect. Learn more from Dr. Jonathan Graff-Radford, a Mayo Clinic neurologist.

What is very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol? Is it harmful?
Very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is produced in the liver and released into the bloodstream to supply body tissues with triglycerides, a type of fat. High levels of very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol have been associated with the development of plaque deposits on artery walls, which narrow the passage and restrict blood flow. Learn more from Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist.

PLUS ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
Congenital heart disease in adults
Video: 'Vertigo'
HIV testing
Slideshow: Poison ivy and other summer skin irritants

HEALTHY RECIPES
Minty-lime iced tea
Classic Boston baked beans
Grilled flank steak salad with roasted corn vinaigrette
Lemon cheesecake

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK
Burned by fun in the sun?
If you have a sunburn, the damage is already done. But you can ease the discomfort. Try these steps:

  1. Apply cold compresses to the sunburn or take a cool bath.
  2. Apply a moisturizing cream or gel containing aloe.
  3. If small blisters form, don't break them. If they break, gently clean the area with mild soap and water, and cover the area with gauze.
  4. If these tips don't help or your sunburn is severe with large blisters, call your health care provider.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

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