What is Milk Allergy?
Milk allergy is a common food allergy that occurs when the immune system of the body reacts adversely to milk and milk products. Cow’s milk allergy (CMA) is the common milk allergy seen mainly in infants and children. Milk allergy can also be caused from other types of milk like sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, etc.
How is Milk Allergy Caused?
Milk allergy is caused when the body’s immune system responds abnormally to milk and products containing milk. Cow’s milk allergy is mainly caused by the milk proteins contained in cow’s milk. Infants may get affected with cow’s milk allergy when it’s protein is passed to the baby from the mother through breast feeding. Cow’s milk allergy can also be affected when the baby is introduced to cow’s milk for the very first time.
What are the Symptoms of Milk Allergy?
The symptoms of milk allergy can vary from person to person. The reaction to the food / milk usually begins within minutes or hours after the intake of food. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Digestive or gastrointestinal problems – like vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, constipation etc.
- Skin reactions – like itching, swelling, skin rashes, etc.
- Respiratory symptoms – like wheezing, running nose, breathing difficulties etc.
- Some people may experience severe milk allergies after taking a very less amount of milk, however, some may have only mild reaction.
What are the Preventive Measures of Milk Allergy?
- Avoid milk and milk products that causes allergy. Milk proteins are found in products like yogurt, butter, ice-cream etc.
- Breast feed infants and try to avoid other milk.
- Soy-based formulas based on soy protein are an alternative to milk. Many children shows allergy to soy-milk too so observe if that happens.
What is the Treatment of Milk Allergy?
- Avoiding the foods that causes allergy is the main treatment of milk allergy.
- Contact your doctor if symptoms become severe.
What are the Risk Factors of Milk Allergy?
Somebody with the below history can be at a risk of getting milk allergy:
- A family history of allergic diseases
- Seasonal allergies
- Age of introduction of milk
- Lifestyle or environmental exposure etc.
What is the difference between Cow’s Milk Allergy and Lactose Intolerance?
Milk allergy and lactose intolerance are unrelated.
Lactose Intolerance is the intolerance of milk caused to some people due to the lack of sufficient amount of the enzyme lactase in their body. Lactase is the enzyme needed for the body to digest lactose, the sugar in the milk. Lactose intolerance is common problem and can affect in any age.
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