Women's Health

Ticked Off

Theresa Epperly was getting ready for bed after a cookout in the summer of 2015 when her throat started to close up. The 38-year-old’s lips swelled and a rash sprang up across her skin. At the ER, doctors diagnosed idiopathic anaphylaxis—medical-speak for “You’re having a potentially lethal allergic reaction, but we don’t know why.”

Weeks later, it happened again. Then she experienced a third attack, and blood tests revealed that Epperly had alpha-gal syndrome, an allergy to red meat

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