Dairy products are identified as one of the cause of food allergies.
Dairy products at the young age could be the triggers of allergies later in your life. This allergy is called as dairy allergy.
What is dairy allergy?
Dairy allergy is the immune system response to one or more of the proteins found in the cow’s milk.
Dairy products are the most frequent allergens which cause dairy allergy.
Dairy allergy is common in adults and infants. 2-3 percent of the infants are affected with milk allergy.
As the age increases milk allergy will disappear in children but in some children it will continue up to the age of adults.
What cause dairy allergy?
Lactose, casein and whey from the milk are the common causes of dairy allergy. These three substances are included in a variety of foods other than milk and cheese.
Food sources for lactose and casein:
- Milk in any form
- Ice cream and ice milk
- Salad dressings
- Dessert toppings
- Processed meats
- Potato chips
- Cottage cheese and sour cream
- Coffee whiteners
You can also find dairy products in other vitamins, supplements, soaps, lotions and some cosmetics. Milk and dairy products are the major sources of nutrients in American diet. The most important nutrient is calcium.
Symptoms of dairy allergy:
Dairy allergy is responsible for gastro intestinal symptoms in millions of people.
The symptoms of dairy allergy can appear on the skin, digestive system or the respiratory system.
Skin reactions: Hives, itchy red rashes on the skin, swelling of the mouth, lips, tongue, face, eyes and throat, eczema, and black eyes.
Digestive system reactions: Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, constipation, gas, blood in urine and bloating.
Respiratory system reactions: These reactions include runny nose, asthma, sneezing, coughing, watery, itchy and red eyes, wheezing, nasal congestion, difficulty in breathing and in some severe condition anaphylaxis can also occur.
Some children may also experience symptoms such as dull look in their eyes and reddish ear lobes. Some other symptoms of dairy allergy are inactiveness, exhaustion and bed wetting.
Testing methods for dairy allergy:
The doctors can perform three most common testing methods.
Hydrogen breathe test: This test is to check the hydrogen levels in the breathe resulting from undigested lactose in the colon.
Lactose intolerance test: This blood test is to check the blood sugar levels under normal circumstances and after the ingestion of lactose. If the blood sugar level is not raised even after the ingestion of lactose this indicates undigested lactose and thus lactose intolerance.
Stool acidity test: This test analyzes the levels of acidity in the stool brought on by undigested lactose. This test acts as the substitute for hydrogen breathe test.
Treatment for dairy allergy:
- Treatment depends on the severity of dairy allergy symptoms. If you have mild lactose intolerance you can consume limited amounts of dairy products with the use of a digestive aid, such as lactase enzyme.
- If you have severe dairy allergy symptoms then stop taking dairy products and take other calcium sources. Since dairy is the primary source of calcium intake.
- Antihistamines can be prescribed for dairy allergy.
- Another divisive treatment alternative involves desensitizing the patient to the allergen through a series of injections.