It is important to differentiate between an allergy and intolerance, because they can sometimes be confused due to similar symptoms.
Similarly it is important to differentiate between a milk or dairy allergy and being lactose intolerant.
Whereas the former is an adverse reaction or food allergy to one or more of the proteins in cow’s milk, the latter is the body’s inability to properly digest milk sugars.
With a milk allergy the immune system falsely regards milk proteins as detrimental to the body and reacts negatively to it, but one becomes lactose intolerant when the body actually is unable to manufacture enough of the enzyme lactase which is needed to digest milk sugar.
Milk allergy will kick in even with consumption of small quantities of milk, whereas lactose intolerance will not manifest itself Lactose intolerantwith small quantities.
Those who are can still have some dairy products such as hard cheese and yoghurt. Also lactose intolerance appears later in life while a milk allergy may manifest itself from birth.
And whereas the reaction to a milk allergy will be more immediate, symptoms of lactose intolerance will appear 30 minutes to 2 hours after consumption.
Intolerance can be identified by symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating, nausea, gas and diarrhea.