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Symptoms, Signs, Milk Allergy Alternatives

Updated on April 25, 2012
Consider these the enemy!
Consider these the enemy! | Source

I've heard so many people say how easy it must be to handle milk allergies. Simple, just avoid products made with milk Well, I'm here to tell you from experience, it's not that easy. When my daughter was initially diagnosed with milk and milk by product allergies it was easy because she wasn't quite a year old and changing her to a soy based formula was a piece of cake, for a few months at least.

Introducing baby food, cereal, prepared foods or even foods I prepared or baked had to be milk free. Anything she consumed had to be completely milk free. Let me tell you it's not easy and quite time consuming having to read every label to confirm if it does or doesn't contain any form of milk products. However if that meant she stayed healthy that was all that mattered to me. That meant no more upset stomach, no cramps, no vomiting and no diarrhea. I was more than okay with that.

Milk allergies present quite a few symptoms and reactions:

These appear moments after a milk product is consumed.

  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Wheezing -- for anyone with asthma it sometimes will trigger an attack, always have an inhaler ready just in case.

These symptoms and reactions take a little longer to appear.

  • Colic in infants
  • Loose stools
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • A rash around the mouth
  • Itchy skin

In rare cases a severe reaction is called a Anaphylaxis, it is a life threatening response that causes tingling within the body, narrows the airway and subsequently blocks breathing. Those who have this type of reaction are required to carry an Epi Pen which when used distributes adrenaline into the adrenal glands and allows your body to sustain energy, allow your breathing though somewhat shallow, is to be maintained until you've reached the hospital. Anytime someone has a life threatening reaction someone should administer the edi pen dosage and another person should call 911.

When shopping for any food that your child or an adult in your house that has milk allergies it is best to avoid food that is milk or dairy based products. Any food that could be prepared with milk or milk by products.

  • Milk -- that's an easy one
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Ice Cream
  • Butter or Margarine
  • Coffee Creamers, Liquid or Powder
  • Chocolate

You must read all labels on prepaid foods and avoid the following ingredients.

  • Artificial butter flavor or products.
  • Artificial cheese products.
  • Candies such as chocolate, nougat or caramel.
  • Any ingredients that begins with " Lact " such as lactose or lactate, these are milk by products.
  • Whey, this is a liquid that is a by product when producing cheese.
  • Protein powders.
  • Hydrosolate, a whey protein that can be found in protein powders.
  • Simplesse, is a whey protein that has been used as a fat substitute.
  • Casein, this is a protein that is usually found in milk.

When eating out you will need to ask how the food is prepared and make sure there isn't a chance of cross contamination. Ask if any of the food was dipped in milk before being cooked, did they use butter, cheese, any artificial butter or cheese.

Another factor to consider is products that we use such as make up, lipstick, facial creams, hand or body creams, bubble baths, shampoo's, or conditioner's may also contain milk or milk by products. It might take awhile but reading the labels of anything that may touch your skin could mean the difference between being healthy or having an allergic reaction.

No matter how careful you are there is always the chance that something may be missed, may be labeled incorrectly or when eating out that in error the food was prepared with or near milk or milk by products. Having a dose or two of antihistamine. Antihistamine can help relieve the milder reactions such as hives, itchy skin and rashes. Those who have been prescribed an epi pen should have it with them at all times. Being careful and being prepared is always good in case of an emergency.

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