Cow’s milk allergy is an allergy to milk protein babies have when they are either fed with cow’s milk directly or if the breastfeeding mother consumes cow’s milk.
This causes symptoms in the baby before being weaned, or if the baby consumes cow’s milk protein, containing products during or after weaning. The allergy usually appears in the first year of a baby’s life, most babies outgrow it after the first year of life.
What is Milk allergy?
When your baby is allergic to milk, his or her immune system which fights against infection overreacts to the protein contained in the milk. The baby’s body treats this milk protein as harmful invaders and starts working to fight against it. This leads to an allergic reaction in the body and the body then releases chemicals like histamine.
Milk protein allergy can occur in adults as well but are more common in children.
Signs and Symptoms of milk allergy-
Children who have milk allergy will show symptoms soon after consuming milk. They show the following symptoms –
- Troubled breathing
- Throat tightness
- Stomach upset
- Itchy, watery, or swollen eyes
- A drop in blood pressure causing lightheadedness or loss of consciousness.
Allergic reactions to milk may vary from child to child. Few babies may show mild symptoms to severe life-threatening symptoms.
Children also can have an intolerance to milk in which they might show symptoms such as loose stools, blood in the stool, refusal to eat, or irritability or colic appear hours to days later.
A milk allergy should not be confused with lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is when the body has trouble digesting the lactose in the milk.
On consuming milk if your child seems to have an intolerance or an allergy, it is always best to consult a pediatrician.
What to do when your baby has a milk allergy?
Follow the food allergy action plan your doctor gave you if your child has an allergic reaction to milk. If your child shows serious symptoms, give an oral antihistamine at home and take your child to the nearest emergency room.
Although whatever you do, be very particular to first consult with your child specialist.