What Is The Protein In Milk That Causes Allergy

What To Avoid If You Have A Cow’s Milk Allergy

The First Steps to Diagnosing Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA)

Food allergy research has shown that the only way to prevent milk allergy is to avoid the foods that cause allergic reactions. If you are allergic to milk, there are two types of milk protein you need to avoid:

  • Casein: present in the solid curds of curdled milk
  • Whey: present in the liquid part of curdled milk

You can be allergic to one or both milk proteins. To avoid allergic reactions, you need to eliminate milk and milk products from your diet. A true milk-free diet can be challenging because milk proteins are present in other dairy products besides milk, such as yogurt, butterfat, vegetable oil, ice cream, gelato, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, etc. It can also be present in processed foods. Most people who are allergic to cow’s milk commonly also have reactions to buffalo, sheep, and goat’s milk. Allergic reactions to non-dairy milk like soy milk and rice milk are less common.

If you suffer from milk allergic disorders, read food labels carefully and check with the server or chef before ordering meals in restaurants . Look for whey, casein, and ingredients with the prefix lact. You should know that non-dairy milk products like processed food, processed meats, baked goods, candies, artificial cheese or artificial butter flavor, hydrolysates, and protein powders can contain milk protein.

What Are The Symptoms Of Early Childhood Cow’s Milk Allergy

While CMA symptoms can be scary and cause alarm, once the cow milk is removed from the diet, babies otherwise continue to grow and thrive they gain weight and continue to reach their developmental milestones. If the baby does not look well, is losing weight, looking pale or lethargic, becoming dehydrated, something else could be going on. The baby might need further assessment by a physician and other investigations.

CMA can present as early as a week old and generally first occur within the first six months of life. However, in most babies it will resolve by one year of age.

The classic CMA presentation is blood in the poop. It can be associated with increased frequency of poops, looser consistency of poops and/or mucus in the poop. The blood is generally flecks or streaks. The blood is mixed with the poops and is a red colour . The other common cause of blood in the poop at this age is constipation, with small tears at the anus from hard poop. However, with CMA, the poop is most often soft or looser rather than hard.

Some babies present with symptoms of reflux/regurgitation. This includes spit up and sometimes vomiting. They may also have feeding refusal . In addition, some babies may experience increased gas, pain when pooping , and experience abdominal pain .

How Can I Prevent Milk Allergy Reactions From Cross

Cross-contact occurs when a food allergen comes in contact with food or an item not intended to contain that allergen. There are several precautions you should take to avoid food mix-ups and accidental cross-contact.

If you have both safe and unsafe versions of similar items in your home, take steps to make sure they are easily marked. If the containers look the same, create a system for your family to prevent accidents. It may be helpful to use colored stickers or to store the food with the allergen on a different shelf.

When youre cooking, use separate utensils and kitchenware. For example, dont use the same knife to cut cows milk cheese as you use to cut a sandwich made without milk ingredients. You can find more tips on how to prevent allergic reactions in our article: 12 Tips for Avoiding Cross-Contact of Food Allergens

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Can I Change To Goats Milk Instead

Goats milk has proteins which are very similar to the cows milk protein and so changing to goat milk is very unlikely to help in a baby with CMPA. Approximately 50% of babies with CMPA will also have an allergy to soya as well, since the soya protein is very similar to the cows milk protein. Therefore exclusion of soya may well be required.

Who Gets A Milk Allergy

Dairy Protein Intolerance Symptoms In Adults

In this article, milk refers specifically to cows milk and not to other types of milk such as soymilk, rice milk, goats milk, etc., unless otherwise specified.

Milk is one of the most common food allergens. An allergen is a food that causes an allergic reaction, such as hives, swelling, and trouble breathing. Although a milk allergy occurs most often in young children, it can appear at any age. The allergic reaction can be triggered by milk-containing foods that had been previously eaten without any problems.

A milk allergy can develop in both formula-fed and breastfed infants. Some infants have a type of cows milk allergy commonly referred to as cows milk protein allergy, which causes blood in the stool. Other infants have an allergic reaction that includes immediate symptoms, such as hives and vomiting. In both cases, many infants will outgrow the symptoms during childhood.

A milk allergy is not the same thing as lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in many dairy products. This leads to bloating and diarrhea after eating or drinking lactose-containing foods. Lactose intolerance is uncommon in infants and young children and is more common in adults.

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What Is Milk Allergy

Milk allergy, as the term suggests, is an allergic reaction or response of the body to certain proteins present in milk. Those with milk allergy are often allergic to milk and milk products. This allergy is one of the most common types of food allergies in kids .

While cows milk is the most common trigger of a milk allergy, even the milk from buffalo, goats, sheep, and other mammals can cause an allergic response. The alpha S1-casein protein that is present in cows milk is most often the cause of milk allergies.

The common symptoms associated with a milk allergy are discussed below.

Signs That You Are Allergic To Whey Protein

The types of whey protein available are produced in three different forms, isolate, concentrate, and hydrolysate.

These have their different amounts of protein they contain and could relatively be connected to the allergies you could have.

For instance, whey concentrate could cause digestive problems for those who are lactose intolerant.

Whey protein isolates contain less lactose, and thus are easier for those with lactose intolerance to consume without suffering allergic reactions.

Whey protein concentrate is what remains when liquid whey is dried. It contains more amount of lactose, often about 50 percent.

However, the bad side of this, especially for those who are lactose intolerant is that when the undigested sugars get to the intestine, they undergo bacterial fermentation, producing gas that can cause nausea, cramps, and bloating.

If your body finds reacts just after taking whey, then you could be allergic to Whey protein intake. Below are some of the signs that you might notice. These signs could be external or internal.

External Signs

Immediately you come into contact with whey and start developing some form of reactions, it means you are highly.

The following are the signs and systems you could observe.

  • Your skin may get irritated and you may get a rash.
  • Your lips or tongue may swell up.
  • You could have runny nose or mucus.
  • It could cause you to start vomiting or throwing up.
  • It could cause fatigue to also set in.

Internal Issues

  • Sneezing and coughing

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When To See A Doctor

Parents who do not know whether their child has lactose intolerance or milk allergy should ask their doctors. They should consult with their doctors immediately if their child has symptoms of an allergic reaction, including itching, hives, and abdominal pain. Additionally, they should seek immediate treatment if a person presents with symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as:

  • difficulty breathing
  • hives all over the body
  • swelling of face, tongue, and throat

People with a dairy allergy diagnosis should speak with their doctors about preparing an action plan if severe allergic reactions occur. Doctors may also take this time to demonstrate how to use injectable epinephrine.

How Common Is Cows Milk Allergy

Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy Symptoms | Enfamil Canada

Cows milk allergy is the most common type of food allergy in infants, affecting between 2% and 5% of babies and young children1. It usually develops before one year of age, and most children will grow out of it by age 5, when they might reintroduce cows milk into their diet1. It is not clear why some children develop food allergies such as cows milk allergy, or why some grow out of their condition whilst some remain allergic however, rates of food allergy are increasing globally, particularly in young children4.

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Examples Of Methods Of Analysis

Cow’s milk contains a number of different proteins. Caseins and the whey proteins lactoglobulin and lactalbumin are present in highest concentrations. Allergic individuals may react to one or several of these milk proteins. In addition, other proteins in cow’s milk have been associated with allergic reactions. The caseins are the dominating proteins in milk and constitute about 80 percent of the proteins. The caseins are heat stable and thus suitable for the analysis of milk/milk proteins in food. The whey proteins are the residual proteins in milk after removal of the caseins, i.e. about 20 percent of the proteins in milk.

Lactoglobulin is one of the proteins in the whey fraction. Lactoglobulin is not as heat stable as the caseins but can be used as a complement for the analysis of milk in food products. The caseins are a better indicator for the presence of milk/milk proteins in compound food products unless only the whey fraction was included in the product to be analyzed.

Sensitive commercial ELISA test kits are available for the analysis of casein or lactoglobulin. The limit of quantification varies somewhat between different test kits and depends also upon the matrix. The limit of quantification for casein is as low as 0.5 mg/kg in certain matrixes.

Accredited methods should be used in official control. The Swedish Food Agency is accredited for analysis of casein in food.

Allergenicity Of Milk Proteins

Submitted: November 25th, 2011Reviewed: August 4th, 2012Published: September 12th, 2012

DOI: 10.5772/52086

There are two ways to cite this chapter:

There are two ways to cite this chapter:

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Overall attention for this chapters

  • Food Science Institute of the National Research Council , Avellino, Italy
  • Rosa Pizzano

  • Food Science Institute of the National Research Council , Avellino, Italy
  • Gianluca Picariello

  • Food Science Institute of the National Research Council , Avellino, Italy
  • Gabriella Pinto

  • Department of Food Science, University of Naples Federico II, Portici , Italy
  • Department of Food Science, University of Naples Federico II, Portici , Italy
  • Lina Chianese

  • Department of Food Science, University of Naples Federico II, Portici , Italy
  • Francesco Addeo

  • Department of Food Science, University of Naples Federico II, Portici , Italy
  • *Address all correspondence to:

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    How Can You Be Prepared If You Have A Milk Allergy

    • Always know what you are eating and drinking.
    • Always check the label ingredients before you use/consume a product, even if the food was safe the last time you ate it. Manufacturers can change recipes and a milk-containing food may be added to the recipe.
    • Teach children who have milk allergy not to accept food from classmates or friends.
    • When dining out, ask detailed questions about ingredients and how the food was prepared. You want to make sure there is no problem with cross-contact.
    • Wear a medical alert bracelet with information about your allergy or carry an alert card with you. Also, add your food allergy to your cell phones medical emergency setting or app.
    • Talk with your doctor about how to prepare for a reaction. Your doctor will prescribe self-injectable epinephrine to carry with you at all times in case you have a severe reaction.

    Cmpa Vs Lactose Intolerance

    Milk Allergy in Infants


    CMPA is a food allergy caused by a baby’s immune system reacting to proteins in cow’s milk. Some babies may develop CMPA after eating or drinking products containing cows milk protein, which can cause an immune reaction resulting in allergic symptoms. There are a few different factors that can help explain why your baby may have CMPA . However, the reasons for developing CMPA are different for every baby, and there is no need to avoid cows milk in your babys diet unless your baby is diagnosed with CMPA.

    There are different mechanisms behind CMPA, based on how a baby’s immune system reacts to cow’s milk proteins: IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated . IgE-mediated symptoms of CMPA can occur within minutes of digesting cows milk protein, and normally result in rash , swelling of the lips and eyelids, vomiting and wheezing. Symptoms of non-IgE-mediated CMPA usually occur after a couple of hours of digesting cows milk protein and usually result in gut and skin-related symptoms. Depending on the observed symptoms and the underlying mechanism, your doctor may decide to perform different diagnostic tests.

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    What Is The Best Medicine For Milk Allergy

    There is no medicine that can prevent an allergic reaction. The only way to prevent a serious allergic reaction is to avoid milk and milk products.

    However, if you or your child accidentally consumes milk and has a mild allergic reaction, an antihistamine may help to reduce allergic symptoms.

    If you have a history of a severe allergy to milk or your child is at risk of severe reactions from milk, ask your doctor about carrying an emergency epinephrine pen. If your child drinks milk and has a severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis, you may need to use this device . Also, ask your doctor about wearing a medical alert bracelet/necklace that mentions your food allergy.

    While a mild reaction can typically be treated at home, a severe reaction may require you to seek emergency medical care in the emergency room immediately.

    Points De Repre Du Rdacteur

    • Lallergie aux protéines du lait peur survenir durant lallaitement au biberon ou durant lallaitement maternel, habituellement avant lâge dun an. Les manifestations initiales peuvent être cutanées , mais elles peuvent aussi être dordre respiratoire, digestif ou nutritionnel. Certains nourrissons présentent dabord des pleurs irréductibles et refusent toute nourriture.

    • Lhistorique permet de soupçonner une allergie aux protéines du lait. Les investigations possibles incluent la provocation alimentaire, le prick-test, la mesure du taux sérique des anticorps IgE spécifiques et lépidermoréaction.

    • Le traitement cherchera principalement àéviter lallergène tout en maintenant un régime nourrissant et équilibré, pour le nourrisson comme pour la mère lallaitement au sein peut être poursuivi si la mère évite les allergènes. Le poids du bébé doit être étroitement surveillé.

    • Lallergie aux protéines du lait peut être traitée avec succès en soins primaires avec le soutien dune diététicienne les autres spécialistes ne devraient être consultés quen cas dallergie sévère ou déchec du traitement standard et quand des tests dallergie spécifiques sont indiqués.

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    Signs And Symptoms Of Milk Allergies

    If your child is allergic to milk protein, it may cause symptoms in multiple areas of the body, including:

    Skin: hives and may include mild to severe swellingLungs: difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezingEyes: itching, tearing or rednessThroat: tightness, trouble breathing or inhalingStomach: repeated vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and cramping, or diarrheaNose: congestion, copious clear discharge, sneezing or itchingNeurologic: change in behavior or mood, dizzinessDrop in Blood Pressure: This is the most dangerous symptom of a severe allergic reaction

    If your child experiences any of these symptoms after consuming milk or dairy, call your pediatrician and arrange to have your child tested by a pediatric allergist.

    If a child has any two systems involved from the above list, this means they may be experiencing anaphylaxis.

    If your child has symptoms of anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately.

    Types Of Cows Milk Allergy

    Allergy Tests to Diagnose Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA)

    There are two types of cows milk allergy depending on how the immune system reacts. Symptoms that are immediate are caused by the immunoglobulin E antibody . Typically these allergic symptoms happen within minutes of consuming cows milk or up to two hours afterwards. This type of reaction is described as IgE mediated food allergy.

    The other type of milk allergy happens when symptoms are delayed and are caused by a different part of the immune system reacting in a different way. This type of reaction is described as Non-IgE mediated food allergy and is the most common type. The symptoms typically develop from two hours after consumption but can take up to 72 hours. If cows milk continues to be consumed in the diet, the immune system will continue to produce such symptoms over days or even weeks.

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    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Milk Allergy

    Milk allergy symptoms can be mild or severe. Consuming milk can cause anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction for some people with milk allergies.

    The allergic reaction typically occurs within hours of consuming milk. Symptoms can include hives, itching, swelling, wheezing, coughing, drop in blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, colic in babies, watery eyes, and runny nose.

    Milk Allergy Or Lactose Intolerance

    Milk or dairy allergies and lactose intolerance are not related.

    People with a milk or dairy allergy experience symptoms because their immune system reacts as though milk and other dairy products are a dangerous invader. This reaction can cause hives, an upset stomach, vomiting, bloody stools and even anaphylactic shock a life-threatening allergic response.

    Individuals who are lactose intolerant cannot digest the sugar in milk because they have a deficiency of lactase, an enzyme produced by cells in the lining of the small intestine. Lactase is required to metabolize lactose. The lack of this enzyme which sometimes can just be temporary, due to infection causes symptoms such as abdominal gas, diarrhea or abdominal cramps.

    If you suffer digestive problems after eating or drinking dairy products, try tracking your diet and noting how your body reacts to the items you consume. You may also try temporarily cutting dairy products milk, cheese and yogurt, for example from your diet and see if your symptoms improve. Report the results to your allergist, who can do testing typically, skin testing to confirm a diagnosis.

    This page was reviewed for accuracy 3/21/2019.

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