Cow’s milk is a common source of dairy allergy. Dairy Allergy can occur in both children and adults, but it is more common among infants. To know the symptoms and treatment of dairy allergy in adults refer the following article.
A dairy allergy (a food allergy) is caused when the immune system starts responding adversely to certain proteins present in cow’s milk. Often dairy allergy is confused with lactose intolerance. Three components of cow’s milk such as casein protein, whey and lactose sugar cause dietary reactions. The curd that forms when milk is left to sour, is known as Casein and the watery part which is left after the curd is removed, is known as whey. 80% of milk is made up of Casein so it is the vital allergen, a food that causes an allergy.
People can be allergic to either whey or casein, or both and very small amounts of these allergens can trigger an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive. People who are sensitive to whey might not react to pasteurized milk as pasteurization, the heat treatment changes whey. People allergic to casein will probably react to all types of milk and milk products as heat treatment don’t affect casein. When allergic people consume dairy products, the immune system assumes these proteins to be unwanted substances and thus, it discharges large amount of antibodies histamines to control these intruders which gives rise to inflammation and various dairy allergy symptoms. The best treatment of dairy allergies is to avoid milk products and dairy products altogether.
It is important to differentiate between lactose intolerance and milk allergy, as milk allergy can cause severe reactions. Lactose intolerance is caused due to the absence of enzymes that are necessary for digestion of lactose sugar found in milk and has nothing to do with the immune system. Compared to lactose intolerance dairy allergy symptoms are more serious. Sometimes lactose intolerance is also caused by Digestive diseases or injuries to the small intestine because they reduce the amount of lactose produced. In rare cases, the condition can be inherited. Goats’ milk and sheep milk also contain lactose therefore they are not suitable alternatives to cows’ milk for people who are intolerant to lactose. For lactose intolerance there is no medical treatment but symptoms can be avoided by controlling the amount of lactose in the diet.
Symptoms of Dairy Allergy In Adults:
Digestive System Reactions:
The main symptoms of dairy allergy concerning the digestive tract are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. After a few hours these symptoms will vanish.
Within a minute up to two hours after ingesting milk an itchy red rash might occur. Eczema, black circles around the eyes (known as allergic shiners) and a swollen mouth or tongue, face or throat could occur.
To dairy allergies the response of the respiratory system could be one of the following reactions; runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, wheezing, shortness of breath, or coughing; or even anaphylactic shock.
Treatment of Dairy Allergy :
To be able to cope with and digest dairy products the body needs additional lactase. Lactase tablets or drops can be taken when eating to help the body to digest these foods. Consult the doctor that this medication will not cause you further harm or more allergy problems.
Soy Based Formulas and Hypoallergenic Formulas:
Special soy based formulas or hypoallergenic toddler formula should be given to infants suffering from allergic reactions to milk. All the essential nutrients for children will be contained by these formulas.
When you experience a severe reaction to your allergy resulting in loss of consciousness, epinephrine or adrenaline shots might be required. The throat and mouth or respiratory tract swell up and make it difficult to breathe resulting in loss of consciousness. With this treatment severely allergic people need to carry an injection all the time with them.
Things to do when you are allergic to milk
Talk to a nutritionist:
A nutritionist will help you to comprehend which foods contain milk in them. They also help you to find milk-free substitutes like calcium, vitamin D, and protein rich replacements.
Be careful when you eat out:
Tell your server that you are allergic to milk and before you order always ask about the ingredients in a menu item.
Bring your own food:
Bring your own food if you are going to be a guest at someone’s house, just in case you can not eat what the host prepares since it contains milk.
Check out the Nutrition Facts label:
It is a necessity that the Nutrition Facts label on all packaged foods must list if a food contains a common allergen like milk. You can also double check that a food is safe by reviewing the ingredient list on the food label.
Purchase deli meats with caution:
when meats are sliced on the same equipment used to slice cheese cross-contamination can occur. Deli meats in prepackaged products can also contain milk proteins in the brines that surround the meat. You can call to find more information on the 1-800 number on the back of their products that most food manufacturers list.
Read food labels and stay up-to-date with food products:
Every now and then food manufactures change their labels. Still if you eat a certain product all of the time, remember that the ingredients can change. Always avoid product labels that have the letter D in bold type as the D stands for dairy.
Avoid milk-containing foods and ingredients:
The patient must strictly avoid milk and any other dairy products such as butter, cream, custard pudding, ghee, yogurt, etc.
Unique Diet Needs : Diet for a Dairy Allergy (YouTube Video):