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Red Meat Intolerance: Symptoms and Causes

Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan by Victoria Mazmanyan | Last updated on Օգոստոսի 24, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Red Meat Intolerance

Red meat intolerance is difficulty digesting meat, resulting in general digestive symptoms after consumption, such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and occasionally skin rashes and itching. These symptoms usually occur hours after consumption.

Meat intolerance is a rare condition that develops more commonly in people who have had bariatric surgeries, such as gastric bypass surgery (1).

Some people report developing meat intolerance after a period of not consuming meat products. In most cases, this is a transient issue that can go away after gradually reintroducing meat to a person's diet.

There is no exact test to diagnose this disorder. The most practical way of identifying meat intolerance is by paying attention to the occurrence of symptoms after meat intake and trying an elimination diet. If excluding meat from one’s diet eradicates symptoms, the diagnosis is probable.

Red Meat Intolerance vs. Allergy

Although food intolerance and allergy may exhibit similar symptoms, the physiological mechanisms behind them are different.

Red meat allergy involves the immune system and can be more dangerous to health than red meat intolerance. Symptoms of primary beef allergy and pork-cat syndrome appear immediately after red meat consumption.

The acquired form of red meat allergy called alpha-gal syndrome is similar to red meat intolerance in that the signs occur hours after consumption. However, this syndrome is more severe than red meat intolerance (2).

A small portion of red meat is not likely to cause serious symptoms in people with red meat intolerance, unlike in people with meat allergies.

You can find a more detailed explanation of the types and causes of red meat allergy on our page.

It should be noted that beef allergy is the most frequently reported allergy, with a prevalence of 1.5 to 6.5 percent among children with atopic dermatitis, food allergies, or intolerances. However, in youngsters allergic to cow's milk, the prevalence of beef allergies might reach 20% (3).

Iron deficiency is common in people who have a meat intolerance or allergy. For most patients, the first step in treatment is oral iron therapy combined with dietary advice. For more information, you should visit your doctor.


Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Մասնագիտությունը՝ General Medicine at YSMU
Թարմացվել է՝ Օգոստոսի 24, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan
Ցանկացած դիետա սկսելուց առաջ անհապաղ խորհդակցեք Ձեր բժիշկի հետ: