(KAIT) -One Missouri woman is shocked she continues to battle an allergy years later all because of a tick bite.
According to a report from NBC, Kristie Downen was initially battling a tooth infection when she noticed a tick bite.
After running some tests, doctors told Downen she tested positive for Alpha-Gal Syndrome, caused by a lone star tick bite.
“Food started hurting. It got to the point where my stomach would swell up, I was vomiting,” Downen said.
“It was the last thing on my mind It’s still unbelievable that a tick would make you allergic to food.”
Dr. Minh-Thu Le said alpha-gal causes allergies to all mammal meat, adding it’s hard to diagnose since because symptoms aren’t always the same.
“Usually hives is one of the more common presenting factors, but also abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, anaphylaxis full-blown, so can’t breathe,” Le said.
Le said if you notice a pattern of symptoms, get tested, especially if you feel sick after eating meat.
Doctors said to use bug spray and long sleeves if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors.