Cow's Milk Protein Allergy

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Cow's Milk Protein Allergy

Cow's Milk Protein Allergy

Part 1:


Allergy to cow's milk is a well-studied form of food allergy. There are both immediate and delayed patterns of milk allergy. Immediate type allergy tends to be obvious and shows up on skin tests. Delayed patterns of milk allergy are not obvious, do not produce positive skin tests and tend to cause chronic disease that is seldom diagnosed. Cow's milk contains many proteins that are antigenic - they excite immune responses. People of all ages with gastrointestinal tract disease may have difficulty digesting these proteins and may absorb them as antigens. Milk problems may be attributed to lactose intolerance and the milk-sugar enzyme, lactase, may be prescribed. Milk allergy is a protein problem and is not improved by changing the milk sugar - often the diagnosis of "lactose intolerance" is incomplete or wrong and symptoms persist with only lactose exclusion.

Cow's milk (protein) allergy

Regular milk is made up of protein, carbohydrates or sugar, fat, vitamins and minerals, and water. It's the milk protein that causes the allergic reaction in cow's milk allergy. Cow's milk protein allergy can develop in both breastfed and formula-fed children. However, breastfed children are usually less likely to develop food allergies of any sort. Occasionally, though, breastfed children develop cow's milk allergy when they react to the slight amount of cow's milk protein that's passed along from their mother's diet into her breastmilk. In other cases, certain babies can become sensitized to the cow's milk protein in their mothers' breastmilk, but don't actually have an allergic reaction until they're later introduced to cow's milk themselves.

Symptoms of cow's milk protein allergy

Babies who develop cow's milk protein allergy may have one or several of the following symptoms:

eczema or skin rash

abdominal pain or cramps


or diarrhea

Less commonly, some children may have a very serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This reaction usually occurs within minutes after eating or drinking food which they're allergic to. The most serious symptom of an anaphylactic reaction is the swelling of the face, mouth and tongue leading to difficulty breathing. Hives, itchy rash and flushing and severe vomiting are other signs that may be present should an anaphylactic reaction occur If child ever has these symptoms, get medical help immediately because untreated anaphylaxis can quickly become fatal. Fortunately, anaphylaxis is rare.

Cow's milk allergy confirmation

There are two very important reasons for making sure that a doctor evaluates baby's condition to confirm whether or not child has a milk allergy. The first reason is that cow's milk allergy is not the only cause of abdominal pain, eczema, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive crying. These symptoms can be caused by other conditions, which would need a different treatment. The second reason is because of the danger of an anaphylactic reaction. It's extremely important to know for certain if child has a cow's milk protein allergy because if he does, you'll have to be very careful about making sure that all milk and milk products are removed from his ...
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