What are the symptoms of a milk allergy in adults
Lactose intolerance and cow's milk allergy often get mixed up. Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack of an enzyme that helps you to digest the sugar in milk. Cow’s milk allergy, on the other hand, is an adverse immune reaction to proteins found in milk. They are completely unrelated conditions except that they share a common cause – cow’s milk and dairy products.
After returning from the Beagle expedition in 1836, Charles Darwin wrote: "I own had a bad spell.
Vomiting every day for eleven days, and some days after every meal."
Darwin struggled for more than 40 years with endless bouts of vomiting, stomach cramps, headaches, severe tiredness, skin problems, and depression. Researchers now ponder that he had lactose intolerance, and his case is a excellent example of how easily it can be missed or misdiagnosed.
What is lactose?
Lactose is the sugar in mammal's milk.
In order to release its energy, it must be broken below into its constituent simple sugars – glucose and galactose – so they can be absorbed. This task falls to an enzyme called lactase, produced by cells lining our little intestines
If your body doesn't produce this enzyme, then lactose travels to the large intestine where it is fermented by gut bacteria, producing hydrogen and a range of potential toxins.
Not excellent for kids
Regardless of these problems, it's simply not a excellent thought to give cow's milk to children at every as it contains virtually no iron but does contain potent inhibitors, reducing the body's ability to absorb iron from other foods in the diet.
The high protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and chloride content of cow's milk present what is called a 'high renal solute load'.
Unabsorbed solutes from the diet must be excreted by the kidneys and this can put a strain on immature kidneys, forcing them to draw water from the body thus increasing the risk of dehydration. This is why most health bodies tell that cow's milk should not be given to children under 12 months of age.
Cow's milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children, affecting between two and 7.5 percent of infants under one, although some grow out of it by the age of five.
Symptoms include an itchy rash or swelling, stomach ache, vomiting, colic, diarrhea or constipation, and a runny nose. Symptoms can appear almost immediately or up to 72 hours after consuming cow's milk protein.
This makes it hard to diagnose.
A large problem affecting infants can be gastrointestinal bleeding resulting from cow's milk allergy. Blood loss often occurs in such little quantities that it goes unnoticed but over time can cause iron-deficiency anemia.
Scientists propose that blood loss associated with cow's milk consumption during infancy may affect 40 percent of otherwise healthy infants.
Exactly how cow's milk causes blood loss from the intestines is unclear but it's generally agreed that it is probably an adverse immune (allergic) reaction.
However, because healthy infants lose some blood anyway and cow's milk-induced bleeding is clinically silent and shows no other symptoms, it's hard to tell how numerous more infants than the widely accepted figure of less than 10 percent may actually be allergic to cow's milk.
Lactase and weaning
Everyone naturally produces lactase when they are babies – without it we couldn't drink our mother's milk.
However, every mammals and the vast majority of people stop producing it soon after weaning – for us, around the age of two. This is the normal state for most people – around 70 percent of the world's population, in fact.
In Northern Central Europe, lactose intolerance affects between two and 20 percent of people, rising to 40 percent in Mediterranean countries – most common in Italy where it affects 56-70 percent in some regions.
Highest rates are seen in Africa, where it affects 65-75 percent of people, and Asia, where more than 90 percent of people are lactose intolerant.
Avoiding cow's milk
The only dependable treatment for cow's milk allergy is to avoid every cow's milk and dairy products, including milk, milk powder, milky drinks, cheese, butter, margarine, yogurt, cream, and ice-cream.
Products with hidden milk content should also be avoided – glance out for: casein, caseinates, hydrolyzed casein, skimmed milk, skimmed milk powder, milk solids, non-fat milk, whey, and milk solids.
People with cow's milk allergy face a similar problem as those avoiding lactose – milk-based ingredients can be hard to avoid as they are commonly used in the production of so numerous foods. It can seem a daunting prospect, having to read the ingredients labels, but most supermarkets now produce product 'free-from' lists, and numerous own their own-label range.
There are even iPhone apps available now to assist you identify ingredients by scanning the product bar code. Soya ice creams, spreads and yogurts, and dairy-free cheeses are just some 'free-from' examples.
Although a lot of food allergies start in childhood, you can develop them as an adult, too. Cow's milk allergy in adults is relatively rare, but symptoms tend to be much more severe than in children when they do happen, with reactions being triggered by amounts as low as 0.3 milligrams of cow's milk protein.
The most severe type of allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) may involve difficulty in breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and ultimately heart failure and death.
Occasionally, cow's milk allergy can cause severe symptoms that come on suddenly, such as swelling in the mouth or throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. In such cases, immediate medical assist must be sought.
So why are some people capable to digest lactose after weaning and others not?
'Lactase persistence' originates from a genetic mutation that occurred among a little number of European and African pastoral tribes within the final 5,000-10,000 years – in evolutionary terms, this is extremely recent history.
It provided a selective advantage to populations using dairy products, enabling them to live endless enough to own children.
The average life expectancy was probably little more than 25 years, but this meant the ability to digest lactose could be passed on to subsequent generations.
Descendants of these people are still capable to consume cow's milk without suffering the symptoms of lactose intolerance. It doesn't mean, however, that it's excellent for them.
The treatment for lactose intolerance is straightforward: avoid lactose. It means cutting out every cow's milk, and other dairy foods and checking labels as lactose is added to numerous unlikely foods, including bread, breakfast cereals, salad cream, mayonnaise, biscuits, chocolate, cake, crisps, instant soup and some processed meats, such as sliced ham.
The expression 'lactose' will not necessarily be listed on food labels so glance out for things love dried milk or whey powder.
Lactose is also used as a filler in numerous types of medication and while this may not trigger symptoms in most people with lactose intolerance, it can cause problems in some. Check with your doctor and request lactose-free tablets.
Cow's milk allergy
Cow's milk allergy is extremely diverse to lactose intolerance. An allergic reaction is when the body's immune system launches an inappropriate response to substances mistakenly perceived as a threat.
Common triggers include latex, detergent, dust, pollen or certain proteins in food.
In cow's milk, it is the protein casein that causes most problems, but whey protein can also trigger a reaction in some people.
General symptoms include inflammation, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and so on, giving rise to the classic allergies – asthma, eczema, hay fever, and urticaria (skin rash or hives).
Because cow's milk allergy is linked to numerous conditions – including asthma and eczema – it's always useful to consider it when treating them.
What is lactose intolerance?
This is 'lactose intolerance', and most symptoms result from the production of gases and toxins by these gut bacteria. Symptoms include a bloated and painful stomach, wind, diarrhea, and, on some occasions, nausea and vomiting.
Other symptoms can include muscle and joint pain, headaches, dizziness, lethargy, difficulty with short-term memory, mouth ulcers, allergies, irregular heartbeat, sore throat, increased need to pass urine, acne, and depression.
Even more worrying is that the toxins produced by bacteria may frolic a key role in diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and some cancers.
The calcium myth
It's a myth that people who avoid dairy miss out on calcium – there are numerous excellent non-dairy sources, including green leafy vegetables (spinach is a relatively poor source as it contains oxalate which binds calcium), dried fruits, nuts and seeds, calcium-set tofu and calcium-fortified soy milk.
Remember, 70 percent of the world's population don't do dairy – so you're not alone.
Dairy consumption in the UK is in decline as the market for plant-based milks, vegan cheese, yogurt, and other alternatives is booming. Whether you are lactose intolerant, allergic to cow's milk protein, or simply desire to cut out dairy for health reasons, the animals or the environment, there's never been a better time to go dairy-free.
Going vegan has never been easier, there are vegan foods labeled as such in every major supermarket.
Discover out how simple it is on Viva!'s website here
Milk allergy is caused when the immune system (IS), which is there to protect us from bacteria and infections, mistakenly marks one or more of the 25 proteins found in milk to be harmful. Therefore it initiates a response to fight against the milk protein/s. The IS through specialised cells releases toxins, and it is these toxins that make persons with milk allergy to suffer the symptoms associated with food allergy. Milk is ranked among the top offenders for food allergies!
In fact, numerous doctors, scientists, and health specialists recommend going dairy free as an initial test when a food allergy is suspected.
Some people who react to milk may either own Coeliac disease or Non Coeliac Gluten Intolerance. This is because these people also develop lactose intolerance. Please read our dedicated sheet for this.
Milk allergy and lactose intolerance
Milk allergy is often muddled with lactose intolerance. It is extremely significant to understand the differences because it is only this way that you can assist avoid the symptoms. When a person reacts to milk, the first assumption is that it is an allergy. However, things are the opposite, because while only around 2% of adults suffer from milk allergy the quantity of people who own lactose intolerance are 50% or more!
Lactose intolerance is caused by insufficient quantity of enzymes to break below lactose, the sugar found in milk. For more details on lactose intolerance read here.
The table under shows the differences between lactose intolerance and milk allergy. Some symptoms may be common for both.
|Lactose Intolerance & Milk Allergy Comparison|
|Cause||not enough enzymes to breakdown the sugars consumed in foods||immune system thinks certain proteins in foods are of those of harmful bacteria|
|Age||starts later in childhood but most common in adults, may be temporarily present in the form of colic in babies.||starts generally from early infancy and more common in children who overgrow it, triggered in later adult life in some who never had it in childhood.|
affects the digestive system only, mainly:
usually immediate and affecting more that one part of the body-
digestion: nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhoea
The symptoms of a milk protein allergy drop into 3 types of reactions:
- Hives — red, itchy bumps on skin
- Oedema — swelling of the skin, sometimes of the eyes and lips
- Eczema — a dry and bumpy rash
Stomach and Intestinal Reactions:
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Diarrhoea (usually extremely runny)
Nose, Throat and Lung Reactions:
- Runny Nose
- Watery and/or Itchy eyes
- Shortness of Breath
Managing food allergy
Currently the only 100% successful treatment for milk allergies is entire avoidance of milk proteins.
Infants who develop milk allergy, generally outgrow the condition. However, if the infants are breast-fed, the lactating mothers are given an elimination diet. If symptoms are not relieved or if the infants are bottle-fed, milk substitute formulas are used to provide the baby with a finish source of nutrition. Milk substitutes include soy milk, rice milk, and hypoallergenic formulas based on hydrolysed protein or free amino acids.
Please note soy milk is hyperallergenic i.e. it is simple for the immune system to ponder it is harmful.
As explained above food allergy is triggered by proteins and the immune system mistakenly thinks they are harmful proteins. Proteins are broken below by enzymes when digested, and lack of proper breakdown may be the cause for the proteins to become allergens. Hence, as explained in Better Nutrition Journal and several medical papers enzyme therapy can assist eliminate or minimise symptoms.
Read Enzymes to the Save. Commercially available enzymes that break below proteins are available on the market and a extremely effective product is availably in the ‘products’ section here. Prolactazyme Forte does a brilliant occupation in most cases and can be used by children and adults alike.
Top of Sheet
A food intolerance is difficulty digesting certain foods and having an unpleasant physical reaction to them.
It causes symptoms, such as bloating and tummy pain, which generally happen a few hours after eating the food.
The number of people who believe they own a food intolerance has risen dramatically over recent years, but it’s hard to know how numerous people are truly affected. Numerous people assume they own a food intolerance when the true cause of their symptoms is something else.
What are the symptoms of food intolerance?
In general, people who own a food intolerance tend to experience:
These symptoms generally happen a few hours after eating the food.
It can be hard to know whether you own a food intolerance as these are general symptoms that are typical of numerous other conditions.