Milk (cow’s milk in particular) contains in excess 25 different protein elements that can cause allergy in individuals whose immune system is highly sensitive. In such a case, the body’s immune system attacks the protein (allergen) as if it were a harmful element. The resultant reaction is what causes allergy, which manifests itself differently in different people.
Although milk allergy affects both children and adults, few adults suffer the same. This is because infants allergic to milk do outgrow the problem by the age of three years. Very few live with the problem past this age. There are also instances of adults with no past history of milk allergy developing the same. Such are people who could have had “dormant’ allergy symptoms that for one reason or another become pronounced in adulthood.
The most common symptoms of milk allergy can be categorized into three main groups, depending on areas of the body that they affect. These are dermatological, gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms.
These are basically milk allergy symptoms that appear on the skin. While some are mild, others are usually pronounced and can actually encourage secondary skin infections. They include redness on the skin that can be itchy, swellings (on the mouth, lips and tongue) and development of black eyes. Serious symptoms include hives and eczema. While an allergist will normally prescribe topical medicated skin creams and lotions, a homeopathic practitioner will prescribe homeopathy treatments, which can be prepared herbal remedies.
Gastrointestinal milk allergy symptoms usually affect the stomach and intestines. Such symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, runny diarrhea, stomach cramps and excessive gas. These symptoms can make one very uncomfortable. Left unaddressed, some of the symptoms can worsen and bring about other health problems. Both conventional medications and alternative treatment methods offered by homeopathic practitioners are available.
These are symptoms that affect the nose, throat and lungs. They include running nose, itchy/watery eyes, sneezing, coughing and shortness of breath amongst other symptoms. Although these symptoms do appear as mild, they need to be addressed fast as they can make one very uncomfortable. Both conventional and alterative treatments are available.
It is worth pointing out that these symptoms are not only restricted to milk allergy. Allergic individuals will experience the same symptoms when they consume other foods their immune systems are highly sensitive to. Alongside conventional treatment medications, allergists usually recommend that an individual keeps off suspected allergy triggers (milk and milk products) to prevent further suffering. While adults can comfortably avoid milk and milk products, infants and young children who still need to develop must have alternative protein sources. Alternative commercially prepared protein sources are available that mothers can buy and use in feeding their children.
It is very important for adults experiencing milk allergy symptoms to first seek proper medical advice before drawing a conclusion that they are allergic to milk and milk products. This is because milk allergy symptoms are very similar to lactose intolerance, which is the body’s inability to digest milk sugars. This inability is usually caused by lack of lactase enzyme.
Tina Teller is a mother who has dealt with the milk allergy problems of her children and has lots of experience regarding the symptoms of this particular allergy(in Denmark they call those symptomer på mælkeallergi). This post is her way of sharing the knowledge with others who are dealing with milk allergy.