Cheese Allergy – Is it the protein in the milk or the Histamines?
An allergy to cheese can be difficult to identify. Bit it may be necessary to avoid the dairy product if they do not wish to avoid allergy symptoms. As with all allergies the severity does vary from each different person, anything from mild nausea to anaphylactic shock.
One person could have mild allergic reactions while other people have a severe allergic reaction due to cheese.
With a real cheese allergy, the individuals body reacts to a protein or a number proteins contained in milk, mostly likely whey and casein. These proteins are perceived to be dangerous to your immune system which releases immunoglobulin E (an antibody) called to fight them off. Histamine is released, during this conflict, which causes the allergy symptoms.
In some cases, what appears to be a cheese allergy is really a sensitivity to the histamines naturally found in aged cheeses like parmesan, camembert, brie, gruyere, cheddar and Roquefort.
Normally, when you eat foods that contain histamine, an enzyme called Diamine oxidase helps break it down so it not noticed.
But for people with low levels of the enzyme who eat aged cheese, the histamines cause the same reactions that an allergic person would have were he to produce the histamine himself during the battle against milk proteins.
One of the most common symptoms of histamine intolerance is a rash.
- In an allergic response, an allergen will stimulate the release of antibodies.
When histamine is released from the mast cells it may cause the following symptoms:
- Watery eyes that are itchy, burning
- Runny Nose that may be itchy, or excessive sneezing
- Hives, itchy skin, or may develop rashes
- Headaches & Congested Sinuses
- Wheezing Lungs
- Diarrhea and/or Stomach cramps
One of the more comment allergic symptoms from cheese are skin rashes.
These skin rashes tend to pink in nature and feel warm.
Most skin rashes from cheese allergies are mild however in some cases people have shown signs of hives and swelling. In those cases people should consult a doctor immediately.
Another major allergy symptom of cheese if an upset stomach. People who are allergic to cheese will tell you that it is not very pleasant.
Nausea sets which leads to vomiting. In addition, the cheese allergic person will also have diarrhea because the cheese is not being digested properly.
Some severe cases vomiting and diarrhea occur to long periods of time and causes dehydration in those special cases proper medical treatment should be sought out immediately.
Sometimes in drastic situations cheese allergies also causes massive swelling which can be quite dangerous if the swelling restricts airways, making it impossible for the person effected by the allergy to breathe.
Sometimes an allergic person will be constipated due to cheese. This can be very uncomfortable, however, most over-the-counter medicines do fix this problem, but nonetheless it is a symptom of cheese allergies. The worst kind of allergic symptoms from cheese is Anaphylaxsis.
Anaphylaxsis is when there is severe head swelling especially around the mouth and throat regions. If proper medical treatment is not called immediately the person can go into anaphylactic shock, which can be deadly.
There are ways to prevent cheese allergy attacks
The one easy one is if you are allergic to cheese stay away from it. Second, be aware of the ingredients in different foods always ask if there is dairy in food you did not prepare. Better safe then sorry.
Lastly, if you are prone to cheese allergy make sure to carry around an epinephrine pen it can be life or death. Remember to stay alert and focused about what you eat.