Alpha Gal allergy can be an extra challenge, because unlike other illnesses that require a lifestyle change in order to get healthy, this syndrome forces the sufferer to go through immediate changes to their diet, instead of a gradual one. On top of that, eating something that you shouldn’t if you have high cholesterol or diabetes might not immediately or severely impact your life like it will for an Alpha Gal patient. That vigilance can be tiring, but it’s important for your ongoing health.
Having Alpha-Gal and also being a physician may give me a unique perspective on this subject, but it doesn’t really give me an advantage. I still have to be extra careful with my restaurant orders, and very vigilant that my cooking ingredients at home don’t trigger my symptoms. My staff can attest to my sensitiveness, as I’ve recently developed symptoms when someone in my office microwaves beef or pork for their lunch.
I wish that when I first developed this disease there was already a support group and resources in place to help me navigate it, but I’m one of the first physicians to recognize and research this illness, and I developed symptoms before there was a name for the problem.
If you’re a recently diagnosed patient, you are a little more fortunate. So many people and organizations are on your side. More and more physicians are recognizing the symptoms of this illness, and there are countless blogs, websites, and apps out there that can help you navigate your new healthier lifestyle. I’m going to list a few that I find helpful; I am not paid by any of these websites, and I do not endorse any of their agendas. I hope this helps someone who needs it.
Facebook *There are many Alpha Gal support groups on FB, such as Alpha Gal Arkansas, The Alpha Gal Kitchen, Alpha Gal Encouragers-NW Arkansas, NWA Food Allergy Family Support, Alpha Gal Support Non-Public, Camping with Alpha-Gal/MO, AR, KS, OK, Alpha Gal of NWA, The [NEW] Alpha Gal Support Group, and many others you can join according to your region.
PETA *I realize that suggesting PETA can be controversial, as they have their own agendas to forward that don’t necessarily align with my beliefs, but there are many great articles and lists of vegan products.
Devanutrition.com *This website sells supplements and vitamins that are certified vegan. Very helpful for those that are wanting to take supplements but cannot verifiy that the vitamins sold OTC are safe.
Kirkman Labs *This is another supplement website that has vegan options.
Barnivore.com *Do you enjoy beer, wine, and spirits? Well, this website lists vegan and vegetarian safe drinks.
Cheese.com/vegetarian *For those of you that can still tolerate dairy (I’m unfortunately not in this group) this is a good resource. Some cheeses are started/cultured in rennet, which is made from the stomach tissue of a calf. It’s important you know your cheese is safe, or if you have a reaction, don’t immediately discount cheese as the cause of your problem, even if you’ve tolerated it before.
Tickwarriors.com *This is a website created by Jennifer Platt, PhD, who contracted a tick-borne illness in 2011. Her personal experience led her to start Tick Warriors, and on this site you can buy natural and environmentally friendly alternatives for personal defense against ticks, as well as sprays for your yard.
There are many more websites out there to help you navigate your new lifestyle. I hope that this list serves as a starting place for you. Again, I do not receive any compensation from the above mentioned sites, nor do I endorse any personal or political beliefs connected to them. I wish your good luck and health in your journey, and know that you have support.