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Spotting The Symptoms Of Milk Allergy

Feb 2, 2008
Milk Allergy refers to the adverse reactions that involve one or more proteins of milk, whether belonging to the whey protein or casein group. Milk allergy is one of the most common problems in children, affecting over 3% of infants, because cow's milk is usually the first substance a baby encounters. However, this condition develops into other allergy problems from other protein sources when the baby grows up.

The symptoms of milk allergy can appear immediately after consumption or several hours (and even days) after the intake of cow's milk. Among the children and adults that experience this condition, the most common symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and other problems involving the skin, such as eczema or hives.

Doctors have categorized the symptoms into three unique patterns. The first type of patients experience the symptoms immediately after consuming small amounts of cow's milk. The symptoms usually appear on the skin as hives or eczema, with and without gastro-intestinal and respiratory symptoms.

The second class of patients experiences the symptoms of milk allergy several hours after the intake of "modest?amounts of cow's milk. Unlike the first pattern, the symptoms are mainly focused on diarrhea and vomiting.

The last type of group included the patients who develop milk allergy symptoms after 20 hours or more after consuming large amounts of cow's milk. These patients experience diarrhea with or without skin reactions and respiratory symptoms.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Milk Allergy

Doctors can easily diagnose a child with milk allergy, especially if the symptoms appeared right after the child switch to cow's milk formula. It can also be an easy process when an adult experiences this condition frequently after eating milk-based foods. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of this condition is usually difficult for older children and adults because milk-based foods and drinks are usually consumed with other kinds of foods.

To determine if a person has milk allergy, doctors will run several laboratory tests, including blood tests and skin-prick examinations. Many doctors try to eliminate milk products one at a time to determine the main cause of the problem.

Treating milk allergy using medicines will not cure this condition. The only way to prevent allergic reactions from cow's milk is to avoid any products that may be the cause of the problem. Since avoiding milk products can be difficult because many foods have hidden milk proteins, it is important that a professional dietician supervise your treatment.
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