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How To Deal With Dairy Allergies

Updated on December 26, 2015

Introduction to Dairy Allergy

Dairy allergy is a type of allergic response triggered by your immune system upon exposure or intake of cow's milk, due to the presence of milk proteins that trigger such allergies to develop. Dairy allergy is just one of several types of allergies that could arise from dairy products. In order to better understand how this allergy takes place, it is important to begin by learning about what protein components within a cow's milk is causing this allergic response. There are three known triggers, which are the following: casein protein, whey protein, and lactose sugar.

In all of these three types of milk protein, the first two (casein and whey protein) are the mai reason behind the formation of dairy allergy in most people. Meanwhile, lactose sugar is the main component responsible for lactose intolerance in most people. Dairy allergy does not just affect infants who regularly intake milk but can also happen to adults at the later stages of life.

Possible Warning Signs

Early detection of signs or symptoms for dairy allergies, or any health condition for that matter, is vital in providing immediate treatment. However, identifying the physical manifestations of dairy or milk allergy might be easier said than done. Different individuals react to allergens differently, so the symptoms might be different from person to person. Throughout various research and study efforts, however, medical experts have been able to identify three general categories of symptoms for dairy allergy.

Categories of Dairy Allergy Symptoms

Each category of symptom affect different areas of the body.

They are listed below:

*Symptoms on the skin – Acquiring dairy allergy can lead to developing itchy red rashes, eczema, allergic shiners, hives, and swollen mouth, tongue, face, or throat.

*Respiratory symptoms – Dairy allergies can cause excess coughing, runny nose, sneezing, shortness of breath, and nasal congestion.

*Digestive symptoms – When affecting your digestive system, dairy allergy could result to abdominal cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

Is It The Same With Lactose Intolerance?

To make it clear, dairy allergy and lactose intolerance are completely different from each other. Several people have mistaken these two as synonymous and it is important to set that distinction for you to provide the most appropriate treatment for each one. When a person is sensitive to a particular food, it is caused by food intolerance but this does not always result in an allergic response. When a person develops allergy from a certain food, however, the immune system reacts in what it perceives as threat and so you develop these various symptoms also known as reactions.

On the other hand, lactose intolerance happens when there is a lack of important enzymes known as lactase, which helps to digest the food that you intake as it enters your small intestine. Without this enzyme, an individual starts to experience various digestive problems. Since these two conditions are triggered by differing physiological events, they require different methods of treatment. And this is the very aim behind creating that distinction between dairy allergy and lactose intolerance.

Possible Treatment Options

As research studies continue in an effort to better understand how dairy allergies happen and what you can do to prevent it, experts have also unveiled valuable ways in which this condition can be treated. These treatment approaches can then be divided into two general categories of traditional and natural treatments.

In the traditional method of healing dairy allergies, it utilizes the product of modern medicine and other form of prescriptions. The aim of using medicine is to control or reverse the symptoms of allergy. During an allergic reaction, the body releases histamine that results in fluid leakage in the body. An antihistamine medication is then prescribed for patients with dairy allergies to reverse the effects of the reaction.

Another treatment option for treating allergies utilizes natural means. A specific hormone called Cortisol is crucial for preventing allergic reactions from developing. Cortisol helps to strengthen your adrenal gland and when you combine these with efforts to prevent direct or prolonged exposure to the allergens. Nature also offers the best cure for these allergies with the use of certain herbs as ginseng and licorice.

Foods To Avoid

Prevention is still better than cure. Therefore, individuals known to be allergic to dairy products or cow's milk must try to identify which foods carry that allergen that can produce this type of reaction. This will enable you to establish a diet plan that will limit or prevent exposure to these food types that could trigger such allergies. This does not just apply to direct intake of these food or ingredients, but they can also be present in other food products. You must then carefully read labels to ensure that none of the following ingredients are present:

  • milk
  • ice cream milk
  • cream
  • yogurt
  • cheeses
  • butter or margarine
  • cream sauces
  • sherbet
  • baked food with milk ingredients
  • mashed potatoes
  • cereals and breakfast mixes

Do take note that most of these are used as ingredients in preparing other dishes, so take time to read the labels to ensure that none of these are used.

Alternative Sources of Calcium

Another important issue with dairy allergies and avoiding milk proteins is the lack of calcium in your body. A good alternative of diet that you can adapt is the Vegan Diet since it provides the required level of calcium intake per day while being safe enough to take even for those who have sensitivities to protein from a cow's milk.

Before you begin identifying an alternative method of gaining the calcium needed by your body, identify your age group so you can determine how much calcium your body needs to function on a daily basis. Those who are between 19 to 50 will need about 1000mg of calcium, while those aged 51 and above need 1200 mg of calcium.

Issues of Dairy Allergy In Kinds and Infants

Infants and young children are required to drink milk or include mostly dairy products as part of their diet. Health experts indicate that the calcium that is derived from milk is important in facilitating for the process of building and growth of their bones. So, the issue of dairy allergies in infants and young children requires special attention for parents. There has to be a more suitable alternative since you cannot totally eliminate milk from their diet as it will result to calcium deficiency.

Another special concern for parents with young infants is through the process of breastfeeding. Even though your child is not exposed to cow's milk, your diet choices can still introduce allergens and milk proteins that could bring about allergic reactions in your child. Hence, breastfeeding mothers are advised to avoid dairy products in your diet since they can be passed onto your child during the process of breastfeeding.

Vegan Diet DVDs on Amazon

Vegan Diet Videos on Amazon


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