Milk allergies are very common. Many people suffer from some sort of discomfort from exposure to milk, whether mild or severe. This is why it is so important that parents know what to look for in their children so they can catch a milk allergy or intolerance early. Here are some things that you need to know.
Anaphylaxis and Milk
If your child has a severe allergy to milk they may respond with severe anaphylaxis. This means that instead of having digestive problems, they will actually reject the milk before it gets that far into their system. The child may have a rash, trouble breathing, swelling, and even vomiting. Some children are so allergic that they don't have to digest the milk to get a negative reaction. For instance, they might touch the milk with their hand and break into a rash.
In this case the child is not intolerant to milk, but is allergic. Allergies can be fatal, which is why it is important to get the child tested and treated with an allergist right away. The allergist will help you know if you should eliminate milk or dairy from the child's diet and what treatment to do.
Intolerance and Milk
Some people do not have a full allergy to milk. Instead, they have a digestive intolerance. This means that their body has a hard time processing the protein, usually lactose, in the milk. For instance, the child may get stomach pain when they drink or digest milk products. The child may become severely constipated, or have diarrhea after consuming milk.
Although this is not as fatal as allergies, it can be dangerous in the long run. Having digestive issues over a long period of time can be dangerous to the stomach and the colon. This is why it is important to determine what is causing the digestive problems and take the necessary actions. Usually eliminating the culprit is enough to keep the child safe.
If My Child Is Allergic or Intolerant To Milk, Should I Take Them Off All Dairy Products?
This is a very individual question and should be considered on a case by case basis. Some children are intolerant to the lactose and protein in milk, but when it is cooked like in cheese or cultured in yogurt, they are fine. However, some children are more allergic to cheese than they are even to milk. This is why you should talk to the allergist about the intolerance or allergy so that you can determine which foods to eliminate.
By understanding milk allergies and intolerance, you can protect your child. If you think your child is expressing signs of an allergy or intolerance to milk, contact a health care clinic, such as Orange Beach Walk-In Medical Care, as soon as possible.