Dairy Allergy Symptoms
Dairy products are recommended for good bone health and it is an important component for growing children. Sometimes, dairy products can lead to allergy in some people. It develops when body’s immunity respond adversely to some proteins in milk. Dairy products consumption can lead to bloating, gas pains and diarrhea. If a person has dairy allergy, the only way to manage it is to stay away from dairy products. The following article lets you know about the dairy allergy in detail.
Dairy Allergy Causes
Milk contains two kinds of proteins known as casein and whey. When a person consumes a dairy product, the immune system mistakenly identifies one or both of these proteins as harmful and reacts to it. This results in an allergic reaction. Consequently, a large amount of histamines are released which may give rise to inflammation and other dairy allergic symptoms.
Dairy Allergy Symptoms
Dairy allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe. It can appear in some people soon after drinking milk and in others, it may take some time. Some important dairy allergy symptoms are as follows:
- Skin – On the skin there can be appearance of rashes, hives, swelling in mouth, face, lips, tongue and throat due to dairy food allergy.
- Digestive System – Dairy foods can lead to various digestive disorders such as abdominal cramps, gas, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and bloating.
- Respiratory System – Dairy foods can cause some allergic reactions in the respiratory system such as coughing, wheezing, sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, runny nose and breathing difficulty.
- Severe allergic conditions can also lead to anaphylaxis. This is the condition where there is a swelling in the lungs, which may block the normal air flow. Symptoms like low blood pressure, constriction of airways and dizziness occur. This condition, thus, affects the normal breathing, blood pressure and heart beat. This leads to unconsciousness which could be life threatening.
- Some allergic symptoms in infants due to dairy foods can lead to ear and sinus infections along with the above described symptoms.
To know dairy allergy symptoms in children, read our other article on Dairy Allergy Symptoms in Children
Dairy Allergy Treatment
The treatment for dairy allergy depends on its symptoms.
• To treat mild symptoms, some antihistamine medicines are given.
• To cure anaphylaxis condition, epinephrine injections are prescribed and patient is kept under observation for several hours.
• Some treatments also require a patient to avoid milk and other milk products completely.
• Siberian ginseng and licorice root are given to patients in some cases of dairy allergy symptoms.
Managing Dairy Allergy
Here are a few ways to manage dairy allergy:
• Strictly avoid milk, milk products, and foods containing milk products
• Read the labels while shopping and look for terms such as whey, casein, lactose, lactate, cream, curd, ghee etc.
• While eating out in restaurants, beware of cross-contamination
• Be careful of processed food such as salad dressings, deli meats, canned tuna, snack food, as they can contain milk derivatives
• While shopping, buy hypo-allergenic or milk free products
Milk Allergy or Lactose Intolerance – The Difference
Milk allergy is different from lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body is unable to produce lactase, which is involved in the breaking down of lactose in the intestines. Milk allergy occurs because of the immune system, which identifies milk proteins as an invading substance that need to be fought against. This causes different kinds of symptoms.
Food products in which milk proteins are found
Products containing milk and milk products can be found in many food products. Some of these are:
• Bakery glazes
• Breath mints
• Salad dressings
• Coffee whiteners
• Ice cream
• Infant formulas
• Nutrition bars
• Processed meats
• Whipped toppings
Dairy can be found in so many food products and avoiding them completely is difficult. But for most people, it is enough to avoid large amounts of dairy. If the allergy is so severe that no dairy can be ingested at all without symptoms occurring, it is recommendable to talk to a doctor, in order to find alternatives to deal with the condition.
Hidden Sources of Dairy
For someone suffering from dairy allergy, it is important to note what is being eaten and if there is milk used in the production of the food in question. It is then important to check carefully whether this is the case even with foods that you might not expect dairy to be found form. Some of these are meat products and soy. Foods made from soy are often made using milk in order to boost the protein content in them. Similarly, meat is often treated with milk products in order to give it flavor.
This is all about dairy allergy symptoms, causes, treatment and the foods containing dairy products.