Living With a Child With a Milk Allergy
I remember struggling with my son for months, constant crying, upset tummy and, messy diapers. I mentioned to his pediatrician that I thought he might have a milk allergy, and she brushed it off as Colic. After waking up to find my son with patches of skin bleeding, I was adamant about getting him tested. And lo and behold, he was allergic to cows milk. So this began my journey as a mother of a child with a severe allergy. This was almost two years ago, and my son still struggles with a milk allergy. Although we have learned our ways around the allergy to greatly help him, and make all of our lives much simpler. Read on about how you can too!
Lactose Intolerance VS. Cows milk Allergy
Many people get Lactose Intolerance and a cows milk allergy confused, when in fact they are totally different! Lactose intolerance is, as it sounds, an intolerance to lactose. Meaning, your body does not make the enzymes that are required to break down the sugar in milk. With this, you have the option of Lactose-free milk. A cows milk allergy is when you are allergic to one of or both of the proteins in a cows milk. An actual cows milk allergy is rather rare.
Swelling of lip, tongue, or throat
After finally talking the doctor into testing my son they sent for a referral at the allergy specialists. The test was rather simple.
- We arrived at the doctors and filled out the paper work
- When we went back to the room, we got him undressed to his diaper
- They put small drops of allergens on his back
- They will see how the spots react
I highly recommend asking them to test for a nut allergy at the same time, because if your child is allergic to milk, you will need to know they best alternative. The test is not painful, it is a little uncomfortable because it can become itchy.
Whats the best cows milk alternative?
There are 5 popular alternatives to cows milk
- Almond milk
- Soy milk
- Cashew milk
- Coconut milk
- Rice milk
There is also Goats milk, but some children who are allergic to cows milk are allergic to goats milk.
In my opinion the best alternative is by far Almond milk. It is high in calcium so your childs bones will not be lacking from not having the cows milk.
It is important to know, too much Soy milk can cause a little boy to produce Estrogen. This could lead to him growing breast, or even producing breast milk.
The hardest part about having child with allergies is eating out. When your at home, you have the comfort of knowing each ingredient going into your meals. But lets be honest, cooking every night can get tiring, and its a nice treat to take your family out for a night. If you have the option, look around before hand because some places offer better dairy free options than others. Either way though, be sure to ask for an allergy menu when you arrive, because most places have accommodations. be sure to let them know about your allergy, they want to help you too!
Can you outgrow a milk allergy?
It is VERY common to outgrow a milk allergy. Most children will start to have less symptoms around the age of one. Be sure to abide by your pediatricians request, but we tried to reintroduce cows milk at one year old. Our son has not outgrown it completely, but can now have milk that is cooked into food in moderation. Raw milk still causes his hives and eczema to act up.
I know how hard it is when you want to treat your child with a milk allergy, especially when you have another child who isn't allergic! With my oldest we always told him "If your good, we can stop for ice cream." But we cant do that any more. And its not fair to him, to not get ice cream, because his brother is allergic. So I checked around and got lucky enough to find a delicious brand that specializes in dairy free items. My children both love the ice cream sandwiches!
A milk allergy, is so easy to control, with the correct diet. Now that it has been a couple years, we are so comfortable with it, we don't even have to put much thought into it. So take a deep breath momma, its all going to be okay!
Please remember that all the information here is from a personal experience and I am not a licenced pediatrician so please be sure to work closely with your child's doctor with any allergy.
© 2018 Hannah Kuykendall