People who have milk allergy or severe sensitivity to milk has serious risk or life threatening reactions, if they consume these products.
Milk allergy is most common in children. 2- 7.5 percent of children are affected by milk allergy symptoms.
20 percent of children who are allergic to milk are also allergic to soy milk.
Milk allergy is the reaction of the immune system to one or more cow’s milk proteins.
It is a common type of food allergy, especially during the first year of life.
20 protein components are present in cow’s milk such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins and so on, that may provoke an allergy reaction.
Casein is the main protein in the cow’s milk, accounting for about 80 percent of the total milk proteins.
When milk is left to sour, casein makes up the curd. The watery part of the milk holds the other 20 percent of the proteins. Many children lose their allergic reaction to milk by age 3, but some children remain highly allergic for a lifetime.
Symptoms of milk allergy:
Though you have the milk allergy and you ate the food that contains milk then the immune system overreacts to these products by considering them as harmful substances and releases some chemicals called as histamines.
The release of histamines can affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and the cardiovascular system. There are two types of milk allergy reactions such as, rapid allergic reactions and slower allergic reactions.
Symptoms of rapid allergic reactions can appear within minutes to hours after the ingestion of milk or milk contained foods. These reactions are:
- Excessive stomachache
- Itchy hives
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can involve various other parts of the body such as skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and cardiovascular system. The various symptoms of this disease are:
- Contracting of the airways
- Swelling of tongue, throat, mouth, and lungs
- Sudden dropping of the blood pressure
- Difficulty in breathing
- Loss of consciousness
Slower allergic reactions can appear over some hours to days after the ingestion of milk. These symptoms are:
- Fluid behind ears
- Failure to gain weight and grow normally
- Skin rashes and hives
- Cough, colds, stuffy or runny nose
Diagnosis for milk allergy:
The diagnosis for milk allergy involves how often you get the allergic reaction and what time it takes to start the symptoms after eating the food.
The doctor may perform skin test on you. This test involves injection of the liquid extracts of milk proteins on the forearm or back. This test also involves skin prick test. In this test doctors prick a tiny bit of skin and wait to see a reddish spots or swelling of the skin. This indicates an allergic reaction.
Some doctors will also do blood test. In this test a blood sample is mixed with some of the suspected allergens and checked for IgE antibodies.
Treatment for milk allergy:
- The primary treatment for milk allergy is to completely avoid the foods that contain the milk or milk products.
- Avoid the ingredients that indicate the presence of milk proteins. They are butter, cheese, curds, lactose, margarine, whey and whey products, calcium, magnesium and iron caseinogens, custard, hydrolysates, sour cream solids, yogurt and casein products.