What is Milk Allergy?
Milk allergy as the name indicates is due to one of the constituents present in the milk. Milk allergy is a kind of food allergy that can be caused by the milk products as well. In most of the cases, it is the children who suffer from this allergy and accounts to about 90% of the cases. Most of the people confuse it with lactose intolerance but both of them are different from one another. With time things improve but proper care has to be taken or negligence can be life threatening. That is why it is necessary to take proper measures if you find that your kid is suffering from the milk allergy.
Milk allergies are also of different types including:
- Rice milk allergy.
- Almond milk allergy.
- Breast milk allergy.
- Soy milk allergy.
The symptoms of all these milk allergies are quite different and only your doctor can guide you in the right direction.
How do I know If I am Allergic to Milk?
After having milk or exposed to milk protein, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Infants may pass blood stools.
- Stomach upset.
Causes of Milk Allergy
Almost all the food allergies are caused because the immune system becomes weak for certain products of food. The same happens with milk allergy as well. Whenever you drink milk or consume any food item prepared from milk, the elements will go into the body and it is the immune system which gives a message that some of the elements are not good for your body. In this way, the body develops a negative behavior towards certain elements and whenever you take them you might fall sick, vomit etc... The antibodies become weak and are unable to fight with the same thus making you allergic towards it.
There are basically two elements which cause this allergy, one is the casein while the other is whey. A person can develop allergy with any one of the elements or both of them as well.
Signs and Symptoms of Milk Allergy
Usually, the symptoms of any allergy differ from person to person and are quite variable for the kids and the adults. But there are a few signs which are quite common and are found in anyone who is suffering from the milk allergy.
- Runny nose can be a common symptom of milk allergy.
- Skin rash.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Gain in weight.
The symptoms of milk allergy can be either visible as soon as you drink milk and in some of the cases it is seen after few hours as well. So one should not ignore any of the symptoms but note down and check the frequency as well. Only then you will be able to provide complete information to the doctor so that the next step can be taken.
Tests to Diagnose Milk Allergy
If you come across any of the signs listed above, it means you need to consult the doctor. Before you visit the doctor it is important to prepare yourself. Note down your symptoms of milk allergy and check what happens once you drink milk. You need to provide complete information to them, only then they will be able to reach to any conclusion thus ensuring the right treatment.
Apart from studying what you have told them, there are different kinds of tests which can be prescribed to confirm whether you are suffering from milk allergy or not. It is the early diagnosis that will decide whether you need to go for the tests or not.
Some of the tests that you might have to get it done are:
- A skin test is a very first way to determine whether the person is suffering from the milk allergy or not. In this test, your skin will be made to expose to one of the proteins found in the milk and if you get a bump it means that you are allergic to milk.
- A blood test can also be done to get a clear indication about the milk allergy. Usually, proper results are not visible with this test and that is why skin prick test is best suited for such allergies.
- An oral food challenge for diagnosing milk allergy is yet another way in which the doctor will ask you to drink milk and see what happens next. With the help of this challenge, they will come to know whether or not you are having the milk allergy.
Once the reports are out, the doctor will prescribe the necessary medicines or the treatments which can help you to combat the milk allergy on your own.
Treatment for Milk Allergy
If one becomes prone to milk allergy, getting treatment to it completely is not possible. At the maximum, you can just combat it but complete solution is not available. Same is the case with milk allergy as well. You need to avoid milk as well foods made from it. Only then you can build a strong immune system. But in case you or your children have taken milk or any product then you have the antihistamines medicines which are highly fruitful in this concern. With the help of such medicines, you can easily reduce the symptoms to a large extent. In the case of emergency, you can go for adrenaline as well because it gives instant relief. So depending on the diagnosis and the complexity, your doctor can advise what is best for you.
Prevention of Milk Allergy
One of the ideal ways to prevent and put a check on milk allergy is by stop drinking milk as well as other products which are made from it. As your immune system is unable to accept a particulate type of milk protein, therefore, it is advisable to keep away from butter, yogurt, cheese, ice cream etc... This will help you to overcome the problem or else things can become critical too if proper care is not taken. Then you have the medications which can be tried and injections to deal with the emergency situation.
Risk Factors for Milk Allergy
Usually, there are no risks involved with the milk allergy except the fact that you need to stay away from milk and its products. But the risk might increase with any of the below things happen.
- Sometimes the risk of milk allergy may increase if you are suffering from other types of food allergies as well.
- If someone in your family had been suffering from milk allergy, there are chances that you might inherent it from them but not always.
- Commonly the milk allergy is visible in small children only as their immune system is quite weak but with time it becomes strong and gets the ability to fight with the foreign particles as well.
- If you are suffering from any kind of skin allergy, there are high chances that you might get prone to milk allergy too.
Complications of Milk Allergy
If anyone is suffering from milk allergy, there are no complications associated with it but yes they can develop other kinds of food allergies as well. Also, they might get allergic to dust and other things. But on the whole, there are no complications which can make the condition severe.
Prognosis/Outlook for Milk Allergy
The outlook or prognosis for a non hereditary milk allergy is good. Mild or severe milk allergy usually occurs in children. There are about 2.5% of the kids below the age of 3 who are suffering from milk allergy.
Home Remedies for Milk Allergy
Apart from the medications, there are lots of natural ways as well which can be used to combat the milk allergy. Here are some of the home remedies that you can try:
- Honey is one of the best home remedies to treat milk allergy. Just one spoon of honey every day before you take the breakfast is enough to bring a lot of relief.
- Even ginger is another effective home remedy for the milk allergy and can do wonders if taken on a regular basis.
- Carrot juice is also good in lowering the signs of milk allergy. If you want you can combine the cucumber juice and beetroot juice as well so as to prove a better combination.
- Increase the intake of calcium as well as magnesium because it proves really fruitful. For this you can start eating green vegetables, even bananas are also good for the milk allergy. If you wish you can start with their respective supplements as well which are easily available in the market.
One of the best thing that you can do is begin with a small quantity of milk so that your body recognizes the same and will get used to it once you regular take it. Thus the milk allergy can be reduced.
Coping with Milk Allergy
Coping with milk allergy is challenging. It is really typical on the part of the parents to deal with it, that is why complete support should be provided to the parents as well as the children. The schools should organize programs where parents and children can learn ways to cope with milk allergy and get relief from it. You can get associated with groups that talk about such allergies as you will be able to grab a lot of information and get knowledge as well. Thus these groups can prove beneficial to you in a number of ways.
Recovery from Milk Allergy
Sometimes the milk allergy is only for a short period of time and can go away when kids grow as in most of the cases. But there are chances that it can become a lifetime allergy too, so one needs to take proper care at the initial stages only so as to get rid of it. Also, you can consult your doctor on this and they will be able to provide the better information you are looking for.