If you eat ice cream and experience some abdominal pain or diarrhea, you may be allergic to dairy or possibly have lactose intolerance. It is important to know the difference.
The range of dairy products are more extensive than milk and cheese.
If you are lactose intolerant, you will not have respiratory symptoms.
Typically there are not any serious side effects. Someone who is intolerant does not have an issue with the protein in dairy which is what a dairy allergy is. A dairy allergy, which is typically to cow’s milk and diagnosed as an infant, the body’s immune system senses the dairy protein as an enemy and sets up antibodies to fight against it. The signs of milk allergy can happen right away or after a few hours. Typically children outgrow dairy allergy by the age of 3.
The dairy allergy symptoms
Range from mild to severe with wheezing, hives, vomiting and abdominal pain. Colic in babies is sometimes attributed to a dairy or milk allergy.
There are two proteins in dairy to watch out for. One is in the casein or solid part of the milk (the curd) and the other is the whey which is the liquid part. It is possible that someone with dairy allergy symptoms is only allergic to one or the other but a doctor will recommend eliminating both from the diet.
Sources of dairy products are numerous and include the obvious milk, cheese and ice cream. Dairy product is also found in gelato, yogurt, butter, and all milks including skim.
Even candy that has chocolate or caramel has dairy products in it. One needs to watch all labels and even those that say ‘non-dairy’ or ‘milk free’ have to be scrutinized closer. Artificial cheese and artificial butter also will have the dairy protein.
When trying to ascertain the the root cause of the dairy allery symptoms in children it can be difficult but those that have dairy allergy symptoms are likely have some sort of family history of allergies and it does not have to be a dairy allergy.
They could have eczema (skin allergy condition) or hay fever or asthma. Usually, a dairy or milk allergy is the first allergy to develop. Many new mothers want to breastfeed their babies for a myriad of reasons and keeping the child from developing allergies is another good reason also.
Interestingly, those with dairy allergies (to cow’s milk) will also likely be allergic to buffalo, goat and sheep milk.
Some will also be allergic to soy milk which really limits the choices for calcium for babies. Calcium supplements are typically used in apple juice until the child outgrows the allergy.
Milk intolerance symptoms
– usually mild but in severe cases dairy allergy symptoms, particularly milk allergy symptoms adults can be very severe.
A doctor can diagnose the allergy by skin tests and blood tests. The blood tests will examine blood to see if antibodies are present when a dairy protein is introduced. The skin test will be reactive when minute particles of dairy protein are introduced through tiny needle pricks.
If someone has severe dairy allergies, they should carry an Epi-Pen with them at all times so they can give themselves a shot if needed.