Many children may experience what is called a milk allergy, and this allergy is an immune reaction to one of the many proteins found in animal milk, and it is often caused by the protein casein (alpha S1-casin) found in cow’s milk, and sometimes milk allergy is confused with lactose intolerance because they are They often share symptoms, however the two conditions are very different. Lactose intolerance occurs when a person lacks an enzyme (lactase) to metabolize lactose (milk sugar) in the intestine. Cow’s milk is the main cause of allergic reactions in young children and one of eight foods responsible for 90 One percent of allergy in children and the other seven are eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soybeans, fish, shellfish and wheat. Read on to learn more about milk allergy.
Causes of milk allergy?
One in 13 children under the age of 18 has a food allergy, and milk allergy usually appears when an infant is 3 months old.Milk allergy occurs when your body mistakenly identifies casein (found in milk and in all other cheese and dairy products) as a threat to your body and from Then your body reacts in an attempt to combat it and this results in an allergic reaction.
Milk allergy is more common in infants and young children, and experts aren’t completely sure why some babies have a milk allergy, while others don’t, but they think genetics may play a role. Milk allergy usually goes away by the time the child is 3 to 5 years old. Some babies never get rid of a milk allergy and may develop it in adulthood.
Where is casein found?
Mammalian milk, like cow’s milk, consists of:
- Lactose or milk sugar
- As many as four types of casein protein
- Other types of milk proteins
For most people with a true milk allergy due to casein, they should avoid milk and dairy products in all their forms as even small amounts may lead to a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis which can be life-threatening. Anaphylaxis is a condition that causes the immune system to release chemicals throughout the body. Signs of anaphylaxis include redness, hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing. This can lead to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal if not treated promptly.
The amount of milk in products can be very inconsistent so it is impossible to know exactly how much casein will be consumed, and milk is the third most common food that causes anaphylaxis. Foods to avoid when having a milk allergy include, but are not limited to:
- All types of milk (full fat, low fat, skimmed, yogurt)
- Butter, ghee, ghee, butter flavors
- Yogurt and kefir
- Cheese and anything containing cheese
- ice cream
- Cream (whipped, heavy, sour)
- Pudding, custard
Casein can also be in foods and other products that contain milk or milk powder such as biscuits, and casein can also be found in less obvious foods such as creams and flavors that do not contain dairy products. This makes casein one of the hardest allergens to avoid.
This means that it is very important for you to read food labels carefully and ask what is in certain foods before buying or eating them, and in restaurants, be sure to alert your server about a milk allergy before ordering a food.
Symptoms of a milk allergy
Often children with a milk allergy have a slow reaction which means that symptoms will develop over time from several hours to days later. Here are these symptoms:
1. Symptoms associated with a slow reaction include the following:
- Loose stools (may contain blood or mucus)
- Skin rash
- Runny nose or sinusitis
- Failure to thrive (slow to gain weight or height)
2. Symptoms that appear quickly (within seconds to hours) and include the following:
A child with a milk allergy may suffer from a serious reaction known as anaphylactic shock and this type is rare, and this shock may cause swelling of the throat and mouth, low blood pressure and difficulty breathing, and it can also lead to a heart attack, and it also requires immediate medical attention and is treated Epinephrine as an injection.
What are the risk factors for developing a milk allergy?
Researchers found that some children with a milk allergy who were exposed to small amounts of milk in their diets seemed to overcome their allergies more quickly than children who did not eat milk.
Cow’s milk should not be introduced to babies before one year because the child’s body cannot tolerate the high levels of protein and other nutrients found in cow’s milk, and all children should only be fed breast milk or formula milk until the age of 6 months, and after that period you can Start introducing solid foods at this stage, and avoid feeding the baby foods that contain milk.
How is a milk allergy diagnosed?
You should contact your doctor immediately if your child has any of the symptoms of milk allergy, the doctor will ask you about your family’s history of food allergies and will perform a physical examination, and there is no specific test to diagnose milk allergy so your child’s doctor will run several tests to make sure that another health problem is not causing Symptoms include:
- Stool tests to check for digestive problems.
- Blood tests to check for underlying health problems.
- Skin prick allergy test, in which your child’s skin is pricked with a needle containing a small amount of casein to see if there is a reaction.
Your baby’s doctor may also give your baby milk and monitor it for several hours afterward to check for any allergic reaction.
Formula for children with milk allergy
Most pediatricians recommend soy-based formulas with added vitamins and minerals for children with a milk allergy. If symptoms do not improve after switching to soy, hypoallergenic formulas are available. These include heavily degraded formulas in which proteins are broken down so that they are less likely to cause A reaction occurs.
The other type of hypoallergenic formula commonly used is known as the primary formula, in which only the simplest form of protein is used.
Should your child avoid casein even if he is not allergic to it?
Researchers have found that casein can boost inflammation in mice, and this has led some experts to question whether a casein-free diet would be beneficial for children with disorders exacerbated by inflammation such as autism and arthritis, at the moment no definitive link has been demonstrated. Combine a casein-free diet with reducing symptoms of illness or disorder.
Some people have found that cutting out casein improves symptoms of certain health problems and if you are considering a casein-free diet it is important to consult your doctor first.