Allergic to what? PORK?!?

The Oxford Dictionary defines allergy as a damaging immune response to a substance. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), a professional organization with over 7,000 members in the United States, Canada, along with 72 other countries explains that an allergic reaction occurs when the immune system overreacts to a harmless substance known as an allergen or antigen. According to Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine and Immunology Clinical Professor of Pediatrics Mary Beth Fasano, MD, MSPH, and member of the AAAAI, not everyone exposed to a substance will develop a sensitivity or allergy to the allergen or antigen they are exposed to. When a reaction does occur, it could manifest in a number of ways.


Signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction may include any combination of the following:

  • eyes: red, itchy, swollen, watery;
  • nose: sneezing, aching, stuffy runny and/or congested with post nasal drip nose, or a sore throat, hoarseness of voice, headaches;
  • lungs: coughing, wheezing, tightness in chest or shortness of breath;
  • inflammatory Response: skin irritation, redness, itching, swelling, blistering, weeping, crusting, rash, eruptions, hives (itchy bumps or welts) swelling of the face, neck, eyelids, lips, tongue;
  • gastrointestinal Distress: bloating, nausea, emesis (vomiting), diarrhea, mild to severe pain;
  • other: fatigue, malaise, dizzy or lightheadedness;
  • just to name a few…
An allergen could be as common as hay fever or a reaction to a caustic substance known to cause skin irritation when it comes into contact with skin or a bit more unusual such as pork. Yes, pork. Known in the medical community as Pork-Cat Syndrome. Sensitivity to pork does not show early in life with most reports of individual older than age 8 along with the majority being adults or teens. It is believed the sensitization to cats develops over time. It is recommended that patients who are known to have pet allergies may need to be screened for meat and milk allergy.
The Mayo Clinic states: Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. It can occur within seconds or minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to, such as peanuts or bee stings. Similar to an allergic reaction, anaphylaxis causes your immune system to release a flood of chemicals the difference is that anaphylaxis can cause you to go into shock. When the body goes into shock the body’s blood pressure drops suddenly moreover your airways narrow, consequently making it impossible to breathe.
Signs and symptoms include:
  • low blood pressure (hypotension) a rapid, weak pulse;
  • constriction of your airways, a swollen tongue, or throat, which can cause wheezing and trouble breathing;
  • a skin rash including hives, itching, flushed or pale skin;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • dizziness or fainting.
 Anaphylaxis requires immediate emergency care, dial 911. If an anaphylaxis attack is not treated right away, it can be deadly. Seek emergency medical help if you, your child or someone else you’re with has a severe allergic reaction. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms go away.

In closing, As time passes, doctors, specialists, clinicians, researchers and patients alike are finding a correlation between many of the disease, we once believed we understood, allergic reactions, the autoimmune system and the pain discomfort we have come to learn to live with. When watching what we ingest be it through oral ingestion, breathing it in or absorbing it through our skin is the key to feeling even a little bit better isn’t it worth it?

Cited Sources:

“Allergy | Definition of Allergy in English by Oxford Dictionaries.” Oxford Dictionaries | English, Oxford Dictionaries,

“Allergic Reaction | AAAAI.” The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology,

Fasano, Mary Beth. “What Is an Allergic Reaction?” AAAAI, The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology | AAAAI, 27 June 2013,

Posthumus, Jonathon, et al. “Initial Description of Pork-Cat Syndrome…” The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2013,

“Food Allergy.” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 21 Dec. 2017,

“Food Allergy.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2 May 2017,

“Anaphylaxis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Feb. 2017,

Commins, Scott P., and Thomas A. E. Platts-Mills. “Delayed Anaphylaxis to Red Meat in Patients with IgE Specific for Galactose Alpha-1,3-Galactose (Alpha-Gal).” Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2013,

Mamikoglu, B. “Beef, Pork, and Milk Allergy (Cross-Reactivity with Each Other and Pet Allergies).” Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: Official Journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2005,

Published by lisa proctor

Since 2012 I have suffered the effects of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Moreover, through lifestyle changes, I've taken back control of my life and regain much of the independence I thought lost to me. It is for this very reason I wish to share my discoveries with others with the hope that it will serve you as well.

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