Dairy Allergy Symptoms And How You Can Overcome Them
Dairy allergy, which is often referred to as milk allergy, is a form of allergic reaction produced on individuals due to one or more component present in the milk produced from a cow. Aside from dairy allergy, there are many other forms of allergies that develop from intake of dairy products. The three major components present in a cow’s milk that are identified as the main triggers for the development of dairy allergy in an individual are the following: casein protein, lactose sugar, and whey protein.
Casein and whey protein are noted as the ones most likely to produce allergic reactions while lactose sugar often cause intolerance for those adults that intake cow’s milk. Despite the fact that dairy or milk allergy is common among infants, some people also acquire this type of allergy later on in life.
Symptoms and Manifestations
With several known types of allergies, being able to clearly identify which is dairy allergy is important to provide the right form of treatment. And with other allergies, it can be exhibited through various symptoms and physical manifestations depending on the individual’s immunity response.
Moreover, the symptoms of dairy allergy is evident in different parts of the body, such as the skin, respiratory or digestive system. For the symptoms on your skin, this form of allergy can result to eczema, hives, allergic shiners or characterized by black eyes, acquisition of itchy red rashes, and swelling of your lips, mouth, tongue, face, or throat. The respiratory symptoms of dairy allergy includes shortness of breath, uncharacteristic excess coughing, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, among others. Lastly, the digestive symptoms of this allergy are the most common and it could result to an individual suffering from diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea, and vomiting.
Dairy Allergy vs Lactose Intolerance
Most people have this false misconception that dairy allergy is the same with lactose intolerance. However, these two are totally different from one another. Sensitivity to specific types of food does not necessarily result to formation of allergies, but it can be due to food intolerance. Allergies caused by dairy products such as cow’s milk affect your immune system and reactions are due to an immune response. Meanwhile, lactose intolerance occurs due to the lack of enzyme lactose that is responsible for breaking down food in your small intestine.
Clear differentiation of each condition is important since they are caused by two different physiological events such that they each require different types of treatment.
Treatment Options For Dairy Allergies
There are several different methods and options for treating dairy allergies. However, these approach for treatment can be categorized under two major forms of medicine: traditional and natural.
The traditional approach to treating allergies caused by dairy products utilize the power of modern medicine to put a stop or reverse the effects of the allergy. Histamine is released in the body upon the formation of allergic response that eventually leads to fluid leakage. Therefore, antihistamine medication is often prescribed to prevent the condition from worsening. In some cases, the allergen is desensitized by injecting a small dosage of the allergen to facilitate in the formation of natural antibody.
There is also a natural and most recommended approach to treating dairy and other forms of allergies. A hormone known as Cortisol will help stop the development of allergic reactions. So you need to strengthen your adrenal gland while also trying to reduce exposure to the allergens that is causing all these sensitive reactions. You can use natural herbs such as licorice root and ginseng, or make significant lifestyle changes such as reducing amount of stress in your life and your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.
Food Guide To Overcome Dairy Allergy
Now that the difference between dairy allergy and lactose intolerance has been established, it is important to know what foods are potential triggers for this condition so you can prevent this from happening. Even the slightest amount of milk protein from cow can trigger allergic reactions for those with dairy allergies. Those who are at risks must therefore take time to read food labels carefully to ensure that none of the following food or food components are present:
- Ice milk
- Ice cream
- Sherbet that has yogurt and milk ingredients
- Acidophilus milk
- Margarine or butter
- Baked food with milk ingredients
- Cream sauces or soups
- Breakfast mixes and cereals with dried milk ingredients
- Mashed potatoes
- Dairy-Free Diet
Switching to this type of diet is important if you want to prevent the possibility of developing dairy or milk allergies. It could mean that you have to eliminate dairy foods and their derivatives off your diet since they are known to produce the milk proteins that cause allergy.
For this diet to be effective, make sure you have adequate amount of calcium, soy products, fish, and green vegetables. Moreover, you need to avoid all forms of dairy milk, cheese, cream, and other potential sources of milk protein, even in small amounts.
How To Get Enough Calcium?
Milk is one of the best sources of calcium, particularly cow’s milk. So, people with dairy allergies are in a dilemma on how they are able to suffice for the prescribed calcium intake for the body. Gladly though, the Vegan Diet offers suitable alternatives that are safe enough for those with allergies on milk and other daily products while ensuring the daily requirement intake of calcium is supplied.
First and foremost, you need to determine at which age group you belong because it will enable you to identify how much calcium your body needs per day. For ages 19-50, 1000mg of calcium per day should be enough. For those aged 51 and above, 1200mg is what you need. For this diet scheme, tofu makes an excellent replacement for all dairy products that could trigger allergic reaction while providing for the recommended level of calcium needed by the body. Other alternative sources of calcium for those with dairy allergies include calcium-fortified soy milk, soybeans, and other vegetables like Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, broccoli, collards, kale, etc.
Dealing With Dairy Allergy in Infants and Children
Since infants and children are advised to regularly intake milk as part of their diet and to improve bone health, the issue of dairy allergy formation create a special concern for parents. After all, depriving your kid of milk would entail that you are also depriving them of their main source of nutrients such as calcium.
For moms who breastfeed their young infants, you also need to look at your own diet to ensure that it does not consist of antibodies from the cow’s milk that you can pass onto your child. Moreover, it is not enough that you adapt lactose-free dairy products since lactose is not the one triggering the allergic reactions but the protein from cow’s milk.