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What is Milk Allergy and how to stay protected?

Each year thousands of babies are diagnosed with allergies towards milk. Though the rates of babies with milk allergies are low in the Indian sub-continent, but the numbers are still rearing up even while we speak. This is why you need to know a lot of basic things about this allergy. Milk allergy is nothing but the abnormal response by body’s immune system towards milk or products that contain milk. Cow’s milk has been known to have allergic reactions among many children, over the years. But children with milk allergies are also susceptible to milk coming from goats, sheep, buffaloes, etc. Babies are never allergic to their mother’s breast milk, they start having this problem when consuming milk from other sources.

The allergic reaction can start within a few minutes after consumption of milk, or it can start after a few hours. And the time frame varies from one child to the next. The signs of milk allergy may include vomiting, wheezing, formation of hives or other digestive problems. Avoidance of milk and other dairy products is the common treatment for such an allergy. If your child suffers from milk allergy, there is no need to panic. Children usually outgrow this allergy after a few years.

Short Term Symptoms of Milk Allergy

There are certain symptoms that manifest themselves right away, as soon the child consumes milk or any milk product. Some such symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing
  • Hives

Long Term Symptoms of Milk Allergy

There are some other symptoms that would start appearing after many hours. It is important to diagnose these and associate them with milk allergy. Some such symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Violent coughing sessions
  • Loose stool which might contain blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy skin rashes, that mostly develop around the mouth
  • Colic pain in babies

Difference between Milk Allergy and Lactose Intolerance

Milk allergy is just a bit different from lactose intolerance. While the milk allergy is caused by the immune system’s reaction to milk and milk products, there is no such response associated with lactose intolerance. Treatment is essential if a child is diagnosed with lactose intolerance, while milk allergies are cured during the normal course of growth. Lactose intolerance comes with clear symptoms such as gas formation, bloating and diarrhea after consuming milk or milk related products.

If your child is affected by milk allergy it is best to seek consultation from an allergist. If feasible, try to visit the doctor while the allergic reaction is still ongoing, this will help the doctor diagnose the root cause of the problem.

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