She thinks she may have developed a surprising allergy.

By Sam Silverman
April 25, 2019

Sometimes all you can do when you are faced with an unfortunate situation is laugh. That is exactly what teen Amiyah Evans, of Clinton, Mississippi, is doing after her lips ballooned from an allergic reaction.

The 18-year-old documented her severely swollen lips on social media—and her posts are getting a lot of attention.

Evans tweeted that her doctors aren’t exactly sure what caused the allergic reaction, but she suspects a hamburger is the culprit.

RELATED:  Tick-Borne Meat Allergies Are On the Rise. This Fitness Celeb Shares Her Firsthand Experience

After eating hamburger meat Friday night that she purchased at a grocer other than where she usually shops, she woke up Saturday morning to swelling all around her face. Her lips continued to get bigger and bigger until she finally went to the emergency room, where she was given Benadryl, which hardly helped. Her lips got so swollen she had trouble speaking—yet the laughter in the waiting room kept her positive.

"I didn't really panic about it at first because my siblings were making fun of me anyway, so I just made a big joke out of it," Evans told Buzzfeed.

Evans had never reacted like this to meat before. Meat allergies don't typically strike out of nowhere, but meat allergies in the U.S. caused by tick bites have been increasing. These cases are called alpha-gal syndrome, and they are triggered by the bite of a lone star tick.

Alpha-gal is a carbohydrate found in the blood and meat of mammals, such as beef and lamb. When a tick feeds off a cow, for example, and then bites a human, it can expose the human to alpha-gal. Your immune system might then produce antibodies to alpha-gal that lead to an allergic reaction every time you eat red meat.

Doctors aren’t exactly sure why this happens, and there's also no evidence that Evans recently was bitten by a tick.

RELATED: What to Know About Food Allergy Symptoms, From Hives to Anaphylaxis

Evans' video of her trip to the emergency room has been viewed more than 950,000 times. She's managed to turn a medical mystery into an internet sensation, even changing her Twitter handle to "miyah w/ da phat lips."

Thankfully, the swelling eventually went down and Evans is now doing much better.

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