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Allergy to lamb

Updated February 21, 2017

While rare, allergies to lamb meat do occasionally occur. Most of these reactions are mild, but individuals who are highly allergic sometimes experience life-threatening symptoms. Knowing how to recognise and treat lamb allergies helps prevent these more serious cases.

Description

Individuals who are allergic to lamb produce a histamine upon contact with the meat that causes the body to perceive the substance as a threat. This histamine may cause a variety of reactions, some more serious than others.

Symptoms

The most common allergic reactions produce eczema or hives on the face. Other possible symptoms include a runny nose, cough, asthma or---in rare cases---anaphylactic shock.

Diagnosis

Doctors typically diagnose lamb allergies using an immunoblot test. Home allergy testing kits are available for those who prefer to perform the tests themselves.

Treatment

Most allergic reactions to lamb can be treated with simple antihistamines, eye drops or nasal sprays. In more severe cases, patients may need to carry an EpiPen to be used while waiting for emergency medical attention.

Prevention

Since lamb meat is not an especially common food, most allergic reaction can be prevented by simply avoiding the meat altogether.

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About the Author

Tiffany Bennett is a recent graduate from Toccoa Falls College. While earning her degree in counseling and psychology, she discovered that she enjoys various forms of writing. She is currently living in Athens, Ga., and looking forward to beginning a graduate degree program in international affairs at the University of Georgia.