Symptoms Of A Milk Allergy In Adults: What Causes Lactose Intolerance
Milk allergy is caused when the immune system of the body mistakenly perceives protein present in milk to be harmful. Milk mainly consists of water, calcium, fat and lactose a type of sugar. There are at least 25 types of protein present in milk. Allergy develops when the immune system thinks any of these proteins are harmful. The two proteins in milk that are mainly found to be allergen are casein and whey protein. Milk allergy is most common in children but can also develop in adults, especially between 30 and 40 years of age.
Eczema And Other Allergic Symptoms
Finally, there is a chance that some other common allergic symptoms can be caused by lactose intolerance. Again, the research is older , but some studies suggest a connection between a person’s inability to digest lactose and recurring allergy symptoms like eczema and sinus congestion.
For example, a Postgraduate Medical Journal review studied small groups of patients reporting itching, skin rashes, nasal allergy symptoms, and asthma and found that many of the patients ultimately diagnosed as lactose intolerant during the testing period reported symptoms like eczema, rhinitis, and sinusitis. If it isn’t dairy, your skin problems may also be linked to these 6 Worst-Ever Foods for Your Skin.
Signs And Symptoms Of Cmpa
Cows milk protein allergy , also known as cows milk allergy , is the most common food allergy in infants and children.With such a wide range of symptoms, recognizing CMPA can be a challenge. It is particularly difficult when symptoms are similar to the expected behavior of your baby or when they overlap with other common problems.
Babies with CMPA may experience:
- Digestive problems
- Skin problems
- Respiratory symptoms
- Generic symptoms
It is also important to note that not all symptoms will occur immediately after feeding some may be delayed by several hours or even days.
These types of symptoms can be distressing, particularly at this time when you are getting to know your baby. CMPA can be easily managed with diet, so getting an early and accurate diagnosis is very important. If you suspect your baby may be allergic to cows milk, you should always discuss this with your doctor or healthcare professional.
Up to 60% of affected infants have digestive symptoms.
Up to 30% of affected infants have respiratory symptoms.
- Rash with raised red lumps
- Swelling of lips or eyelids
- Dry, scaly or itchy red skin
Up to 70% of affected infants have skin-related symptoms.
Inconsolable crying is very common in infants with CMPA, while anaphylaxis is very rare.
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What Can I Share With My Doctor
Some doctors may be unaware of the latest recommendations and excellent resources available on this topic:
- The ABM Protocolon Allergic Proctocolitis
- The Infant Proctocolitis website designed to educate healthcare professionals as well as families. It has a special medical section for your doctors. The recommendation that mothers work with a registered dietitian will reassure your health professionals that your health is being looked after. The section for Frequently Asked Questions on infantproctocolitis.org is very useful. Should I Switch to Formula? explains Allergic Proctocolitis doesnt require switching to special formulas which are often expensive and dont always suit the baby and that breastfeeding with an elimination diet is the healthiest choice.
- The GP Infant Feeding Network website has comprehensive information for GPs on CMPA, explaining it is rarely necessary to stop breastfeeding, how breastfeeding is important for allergic children and when to refer to a paediatric allergy clinic.
- Breastfeeding Works! Even With Allergies by Robyn Noble contains over 500 references to support its information.
Can I Have Baked Milk
About 70% of children with a milk allergy can eat baked or extensively heated milk.5 Heating the milk changes the milk proteins and may trick the body into not reacting to them.
Baked milk typically refers to milk in a baked food that has been heated for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 F. If you have been diagnosed with an IgE-mediated milk allergy, talk with your doctor about whether or not you can have baked milk before you attempt to introduce it. There is a chance for a severe allergic reaction.
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What Do I Do If My Baby Is Lactose Intolerant
Finding out the cause of your babys symptoms is the biggest challenge. But once your GP confirms that your baby has lactose intolerance, its easy to treat.
If your baby has temporary lactose intolerance, their symptoms will often resolve with time, but a lactose free diet will still be needed during this temporary period. So, hold on in there as the constant nappy changing will get better!
How Do Doctors Diagnose Milk Allergy
Your doctor will examine you. They will ask you questions about your history. They will ask you what happens when you eat/drink foods with milk. If they suspect an IgE-mediated milk allergy, they may order allergy testing to help confirm the diagnosis. A skin prick test or a blood test known as a specific IgE test may be used by your doctor to diagnose this food allergy. Allergy testing is generally not helpful or suggested for non-IgE-mediated reactions.
Another test called an oral food challenge may be done by an allergist to diagnose a milk allergy or confirm if the allergy has been outgrown. There are other conditions that may be triggered by cows milk, so you may also receive a referral to a gastroenterologist .
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Spitting Up And Vomiting
Spitting up is normal for infants. However, forceful spit-up may be a symptom of GERD. This is especially true if your infant is older than 12 months and still spitting up forcefully after meals.
Spitting up blood, green or yellow fluid, or a substance that looks like coffee grounds may also signify GERD or other more serious disorders.
Spitting up is normally painless. Your baby should still appear happy and healthy after spitting up. Forceful spitting up or vomiting is more painful and will be followed by crying and fussing.
What Are The Risk Factors
Youre at an increased risk for a pineapple allergy if a close relative is allergic to pineapple. Close relatives include parents, siblings, and grandparents.
This is an especially important consideration when introducing new foods to babies. While it may seem counterintuitive, delaying introduction of familial allergenic foods to babies can actually increase allergy risk according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology .
Aim to introduce top allergenic foods to babies by 6 months of age . For babies with existing atopic dermatitis, a peanut allergy sibling, or a previous allergic reaction, speak to your doctor first.
Fruits, such as pineapple, can contain allergens found in other foods or substances. If youre allergic to pineapple, you may also have an allergy to natural rubber latex. And, you may experience allergic symptoms when youre exposed to items made from it. Things made from natural rubber latex include:
- hospital gloves
If youve experienced anaphylaxis before, your doctor has likely prescribed an EpiPen. This is an auto-injected dose of epinephrine, which is a fast-acting type of adrenalin. Its used to relieve severe immune system reactions to allergens.
You should visit the ER immediately after the use of an EpiPen, even if your symptoms are significantly reduced or eliminated due to the possibility of a second-wave reaction that is not responsive to epinephrine.
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Symptoms Of Cows Milk Allergy
The symptoms of cows milk allergy are wide ranging and may affect the skin, digestive system, breathing and more.
In cow’s milk allergy the immune system mistakenly identifies a protein in cow’s milk as harmful and triggers an allergic reaction. This leads to a range of symptoms that can vary in type, severity and time of onset from baby to baby.
The symptoms of CMA and the severity of the reactions are wide ranging. They can include colic, skin reactions , digestive problems and hay fever-like symptoms . Symptoms can range from mild to severe reactions.
These symptoms can either appear immediately after consuming dairy or may be delayed, taking a few hours or up to a few days to develop. Babies with CMA may have a mixture of both ‘immediate’ and ‘delayed’ symptoms. Symptoms may also lead to night-time waking, crying or distress during feeding, or poor weight gain. Find out more about the different types of cows milk allergy.
Can appear within minutes or up to two hours after eating a food containing cows milk protein and may include:
Swollen lips, tongue or face
Hives, rash, redness, itching or swelling
What’s The Difference Between Milk Allergies Vs Lactose Intolerance
With a milk allergy in infants, a babys immune system reacts negatively to the proteins in cows milk. Breastfed babies are reacting to the dairy his mother has eaten , while formula-fed babies are reacting to the cows milk proteins in the formula. In either case, a baby’s immune system sees the cows milk proteins as foreign substances.
Milk intolerance, on the other hand, has nothing to do with cows milk proteins or the immune system, and instead has to do with the digestive system. Your child might have loose stools or blood in stool hours or days later.
Congenital lactose intolerance is an extremely rare metabolic condition that also impacts the digestive system. Lactose intolerance more commonly develops in older kids and adults. The few babies with lactose intolerance will usually fare much better on a formula with little or no lactose.
- Irritability, crying or other colic symptoms
- Failure to thrive and gain weight
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Symptoms Of Milk Allergy
The most common symptoms of food allergy in the breastfed baby include:
- Stomach or intestinal problems such as vomiting or reflux, signs of tummy ache/colic or diarrhoea , green poos, poop with blood in it , poop with a lot of mucus, sore bottom, flatulence , constipation, an inflamed oesophagus 10 or FPIES11a rare food allergy with severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Skin problems such as eczema, patches of dry skin, cradle cap, nappy rash/sore bottom, rashes, hives, swelling of the eyelids or lips, flushed cheeks, skin may be unusually pale.
- Breathing problems for example snuffles or cold-like symptoms, frequent ear infections, a persistent cough, wheezing or asthma.
- Fussing during breastfeeding, biting at the breast or sore nipples can be associated with pain from allergies as babies can be very tense and clamp down at the breast. Sometimes there can be pronounced creasing or ridging of the nipple/areola. Babies with allergies may resist traditional positions and may push at the breast with their hands or keep coming off the breast or wriggling. Babies may want to feed all day and all night or conversely refuse to feed. Babies can seem incompetent at the breast. 12
- Unhappy baby, unexplained crying, grunting, general fussing, baby difficult to settle and comfort, difficulty gaining weight despite copious poops, hiccups, frequent or persistent startle reflex or trouble sleeping . Allergy author Maureen Minchin describes allergy related behaviours as follows:
Is It Normal For Babies To Get Hiccups
Newborn hiccups are caused by reflexive spasms of the diaphragm muscle which makes up the base of the rib cage and helps in breathing. They usually continue for about a minute to a couple of hours but are completely harmless as well as painless. When your babys organ systems grow to maturity, hiccups will naturally reduce. Funnily enough, your baby will find his hiccups as a source of joy or amusement at the sounds coming from his body. Take a cue from your little one and relax as hiccups arent problematic for a baby in most cases. There are multiple reasons for babies to get hiccups. Let us look at some of them.
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Is It A Milk Allergy Instead
Keep in mind, too, that your baby might not have a problem with lactose, but rather a milk allergy.
Milk allergy symptoms are similar to symptoms of a lactose intolerance, but these conditions arent the same.
A milk allergy is a type of food allergy that occurs when the immune system overreacts to dairy. If your baby has a milk allergy, they may have an upset stomach and diarrhea. But theyll also have symptoms that dont occur with an intolerance:
- watery eyes
If you suspect a milk allergy even a mild allergy see your doctor. A milk allergy can advance and cause severe symptoms like a drop in blood pressure, trouble breathing, and anaphylaxis. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, milk allergies affect about 2.5 percent of children under 3 years old.
General: Low Or No Weight Gain Or Failure To Thrive
Most infants double their birth weight by six months and triple it by 12 months. Each dot on a growth chart is a percentile. The dots form a growth curve that shows a pattern of growth relative to the population. A childs head circumference, weight, and height generally follow a consistent trend over time.
Sometimes though, slow weight gain may lead to a diagnosis of Failure to Thrive , which is one of the symptoms of a cow milk allergy. Slow weight gain is gaining weight more slowly than other children the same age and gender.
Many factors contribute to slow weight gain, and often several factors are at play. Food allergy reactions can cause problems digesting or absorbing food, leading to failure to thrive. For example, babies may not get the nutrition they need because of excessive diarrhea or vomiting. The body may not get all the nutrients needed, which can mean they cant grow as quickly as they should.
As always, ask your childs healthcare professional if you are concerned about your childs weight.
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What Is A Food Allergy
An allergic reaction to food happens when your immune system overreacts to a food that you would normally expect to be harmless. The food that causes a reaction is known as an allergen. Common allergens include nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, dairy, wheat, eggs and soya, but it is possible to be allergic to anything. Reactions can happen immediately after eating the food, or they might appear several hours later. Immediate reactions are known as IgE-mediated, and delayed reactions are known as non-IgE mediated.
Ive Tried An Elimination Diet But My Baby Is No Better What Next
If you have tried an elimination diet for dairy with no improvement see Elimination Diet for more ideas such as how to spot hidden dairy in processed food, trying a total exclusion diet and more. In the event that a food allergy is not the culprit, stay in close contact with your health professionals and IBCLC lactation consultant to help find other causes for your babys symptoms.
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What Can I Substitute For Milk When Cooking And Baking
You can find a lot of milk substitutes made from legumes, seeds, and grains. These include rice, hemp, soy, sunflower, oat, and coconut milks. If you are not allergic to nuts, nut milks may be an option too. They are sold in different flavors, as well as sweetened and unsweetened.
You can usually use any of these as a one-for-one replacement for milk in recipes. For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of milk, you can use one cup of soy milk. Unsweetened and unflavored versions tend to work best in recipes.
When cooking, you can substitute non-dairy margarine or oils in equal amounts for butter.
Soy-based, coconut-based, and pea-based yogurt, sour cream, and cream cheese products are available at many grocery stores. Milk-free ice creams and other products are also available. Be sure to check the labels to make sure they dont contain milk ingredients.
Why Does My Baby Have Reflux Or Regurgitation
In babies, the lower oesophageal sphincter is not fully matured. This allows stomach contents to flow back up. Some factors causing baby reflux cannot be avoided, such as:
- Lying flat most of the time
- Consuming an almost completely liquid diet
- Being born prematurely
Occasionally, baby reflux and regurgitation can be caused by a food allergy such as Cows Milk Allergy . Having an immature digestive tract, lying flat most of the time and consuming an almost entirely liquid diet may also contribute to baby reflux and regurgitation.
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General: Excess Fussiness Sleeplessness Or Colic
Every baby cries, but crying continuously and inconsolably for extended periods is unusual. You might hear someone say a baby who cries a lot has colic. Some doctors find colic controversial, but excess crying comes from somewhere, often with insomnia. Doctors also often downplay fussiness, which can delay diagnosing CMA. We hear this from parents all too often!
When should you suspect that crying is excessive and something serious is happening? The going adage is to talk to the doctor if it happens in threes. That is: if your baby cries for 3+ hours in a day, for 3+ days in a week, for over 3 weeks. That can signal gastrointestinal pain, which could result from CMA.
Extreme fussiness can also come with reflux, a rash, or other factors. Keep this in mind when asking your childs doctor about the possibility of CMA.
Use Under Medical Supervision
Talk to your healthcare professional to see if Alfamino® formula is right for you.
The content on this website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered to be medical advice. It is not intended to replace the advice of your childs’ healthcare team. Please consult your healthcare team with any questions about the appropriate nutrition for your child.
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