Milk Allergy – the Basics

Health & FitnessNutrition & Supplement

  • Author George Peterson
  • Published June 28, 2012
  • Word count 501

Milk allergy is pretty common but tends to disappear when a kid becomes two to three years old. However, in rare cases it might last a lifetime. The children who are allergic to milk often do not want to drink any milk at all when their parents try to feed them. The most common symptoms for milk allergies include hives, rashes, diarrhea and vomiting. The ones who are allergic to milk react to the proteins and not the sugars in the milk. They should, however, know that there are lots of hidden sources of milk proteins they might not be able to distinguish at first. About three quarters of the children with eczema and food allergies develop other environmental allergies and asthma. This occurrence is referred to as the allergic march. The first signs of eczema manifest themselves when the child is from six months to about three years old. They are followed by signs of food allergies that often appear by the age of five. Environmental allergies appear last. The most common allergies for little children include milk, peanut and eggs.

What happens during a normal allergic reaction?

When it comes to food allergic reactions, their symptoms develop minutes after consuming the food. However, in some cases they get delayed and do not manifest themselves for about two to four hours. The symptoms last for about a day and then disappear. When the allergy is very severe a small amount of the food can cause the symptoms to develop fast. The first symptoms of an allergic reaction include the appearance of a rash, redness around the mouth or hives. These symptoms then spread to the whole body of the allergic person. There might be additional symptoms like a runny nose, itchy watery eyes, sneezing, choking, coughing, wheezing, gagging and troubles with breathing. Vomiting, diarrhea and cramps are sure to follow, too. The allergic reaction can stop at some stage or in some cases it might cause anaphylaxis. This is a very severe allergic reaction that involves a few parts of the person’s body and can sometimes even result in death.

Do dairy or milk have to be consumed in order for a milk allergy to be caused?

The answer is no. You do not have to eat the food in order to cause an allergic reaction, but when you eat it big amounts enter the body at the same time and these results in more severe allergic reactions. You can get hives from skin contact with food you are allergic to. In case the food enters a wet surface of your body (for example, a cut on your hand or on your lips or even your eyes) this might result in a severe case of an allergic reaction. Sometimes, even the smell of a food can lead to an allergic reaction, but these are not really severe in most of the cases unless the smell is really strong. Therefore milk allergy is not to be underestimated in any case.

Remember that detecting the symptoms of milk allergy is especially important for infants (in Denmark, people refer to this as Modermælkserstatning). Do not use any medications for milk allergy (in Danish the term is Mælkeallergi) without consulting with specialist.

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