Milk allergy   



Milk allergy

 
You often heard of these words “milk allergy”, but do you really know what is it all about, including its causes, symptoms, prevention methods and treatments? What if you just realize that your child is allergic to milk?
What should you do then? Now, let us get to know more about milk allergy.

Milk allergy is a type of food allergy in which our body could not accept the protein in the cow’s milk or animal’s milk. Our immune system reacts against these proteins and see these proteins as an antigen, thus triggering the production of an allergic antibody. Milk allergy also has the potential to cause life-threatening condition, known as anaphylaxis. Sometimes, lactose intolerance is mistaken for milk allergy although they are actually two different conditions as a person with lactose intolerance faces difficulty in breaking down the sugar in milk for proper digestion due to the absent of the responsible enzyme.

All the symptoms of milk allergy can be classified into three major symptoms as follows:

Type 1: The symptoms start right after the consumption of cow’s milk.
This reaction affects the skin, causing skin rashes, eczema and hives.
Type 2: The symptoms start after a few hours after the consumption of cow’s milk. It affects the gastrointestinal tract and causes symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
Type 3: The symptoms usually start after twenty hours after the consumption of cow’s milk. The most common symptom is diarrhea.

How can individuals with milk allergy prevent it then? The best way to prevent milk allergy is by avoiding foods that contain dairy products.
“Hmmm...it’s easy to say to avoid foods containing dairy products. Then, what else should individuals with milk allergy eat?” This is one of the popular questions that might arise in your mind.

Well, one should not be too worried as nowadays, there are many commercial foods, such as rice milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk and almond milk, that can be used as a substitute to cow’s milk. However, it is very important for the allergic individuals to find other sources of calcium in order to prevent calcium deficiency and osteoporosis. Besides that, they can also take fruit juices as an alternative source that supplements calcium.

In cases of accidental consumption of cow’s milk, one can go for Epinephrine pen or an Antihistamine, such as Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), which is frequently prescribed by doctors to treat accidental cow’s milk consumption.

Therefore, it is very important for the milk allergic individuals to be extra careful on the food they consume. The best way is to always check on the food label for ingredients used before consuming it. At the same time, one
should not forget to take calcium supplements in diet in order to stay healthy. 

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Happy reading,
Evelyn


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