Treatment measures for milk allergy
Milk allergy is a common food allergy in infants and young children which is an abnormal reaction of the immune system of the body to milk and products containing milk. Cow’s cows are usually the cause, but milk from goats, sheep, buffalo and other mammals can also cause a reaction.
An allergic reaction usually happens within minutes to hours after drinking the milk. Symptoms range from mild to severe and usually include wheezing, hives, vomiting, digestive problems and oftentimes anaphylaxis which is a serious, life-threatening reaction.
Milk allergy symptoms
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Loose stools with presence of blood
- Abdominal cramps
- Development of hives
- Coughing and Wheezing
- Itchy skin rash that develops around the mouth
- Runny nose and watery eyes
- Colic in babies
- Symptoms of anaphylaxis include facial flushing, itching, constriction of the airways, difficulty in breathing due to swelling of the throat and low blood pressure.
The two main proteins found in cow’s milk that causes an allergic reaction include casein which is present in the solid part or curd of milk that curdles and whey which can be found in the liquid part of milk that remains after the milk curdles. Any of these proteins can cause allergic reactions in a child. These can be hard to avoid because they can be present in some processed food.
- If the baby is breastfed and allergic to milk, the mother should avoid consumption of the dairy products.
- If the child is formula-fed with severe milk allergy, switch to either soy-based or hydrolysate-based milk formulas. The diet of the child should be free from dairy products for at least 12-18 months.
- Provide the prescribed antihistamines or epinephrine to a child who accidentally consumes dairy products and end up with an allergic reaction.
- Avoid giving the affected child foods that contain cow’s milk such as skim, solid, dried, condensed and evaporated milk.
- Avoid giving milk products containing, casein, caseinate, sodium or calcium caseinate, whey or lactalbumin.
- Avoid pre-mixed cereals that contain powdered cow’s milk.
- Soy products that also contains cow’s milk should also be avoided such as frozen soy desserts.