'I was bitten by a tick and been left with a life-threatening red meat allergy'

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Christopher Goldman, 28, began to develop a severe reaction to mammal products after being bitten by a tick (Image: Sky News)
Christopher Goldman, 28, began to develop a severe reaction to mammal products after being bitten by a tick (Image: Sky News)

A keen dog walker has shared how she has been left with a life-threatening red meat allergy after being bitten by a tick.

Christopher Goldman, 28, began to develop a severe reaction to mammal products after encountering the parasite while walking through a woods in Surrey with his dog last December.

But after multiple fainting episodes - including five that took place on the same day - he has since been diagnosed with alpha-gal syndrome (AGS), which can cause him to suffer anaphylactic shocks if he is exposed to red meat like beef, pork or lamb or some derived medicinal products.

'I was bitten by a tick and been left with a life-threatening red meat allergy' eideziqkeiqhhinvAGS is contracted through tick bites triggered by exposure to a sugar molecule named alpha-gal found in mammals (Sky News)
'I was bitten by a tick and been left with a life-threatening red meat allergy'Christopher believes his condition can be triggered by airborne particles and is calling for more research into the condition (Sky News)

A serious of serious flare-ups have left him stuck within his home for weeks at a time, and in one recent incident he claims his symptoms were triggered shortly after he went outside while his neighbour was cooking. Such effects from airborne contact with meat products are, however, not currently supported by existing research into the allergy.

Christopher told Sky News that in a severe AGS episode on June 28, he woke up with "intense itching" and a high temperature - before running to the bathroom mirror to find he had turned "crimson red" and had hives all over his body. His face and tongue then "began to swell", and he felt throat start to constrict.

Subway diner taken to hospital seven minutes after biting into sandwichSubway diner taken to hospital seven minutes after biting into sandwich

He then fainted and was unable to speak for some time when he regained consciousness on the bathroom floor. The man from Woking added: "I just spent the time looking up at the ceiling, just waiting to either die or see what happened to me. It was definitely the most traumatic experience ever."

While his local hospital reportedly found no related conditions, a private blood test has since established that his tick bites had developed into alpha-gal syndrome. The condition has also taken a severe mental toll on Mr Goldman, and he says he also suffers intense moments of fear and anxiety when out in public if he comes into contact with certain smells.

Though not officially regarded as a medical trigger, Christopher now avoids any animal byproducts such as wool, dairy and leather, as he believes this will trigger a reaction. He has spent hundreds of pounds on new furniture and clothes, and now collects and seals off these items in one room near the front his house.

Mr Goldman believes that more research needs to be done into the condition, as sufferers who claim to have additional triggers in addition to meat and medicine are "getting absolutely no help" and are being told that their symptoms are psychosomatic. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, AGS is triggered by exposure to a sugar molecule named alpha-gal, which is found in most mammals, and is often contracted through tick bites when it is passed on in their saliva.

Benedict Tetzlaff-Deas

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