Cow’s Milk Allergy: When It’s Not Just Fussy Feeding

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Does your baby get sick after feeding? Are they having a hard time tolerating your
breast milk or formula? If so, they may have a cow’s milk allergy. A cow’s milk allergy is an allergy that
develops early on in your baby’s life. In fact, symptoms may occur as soon as your
baby starts drinking formula or breast milk. However, don’t confuse this allergy with
lactose intolerance. They’re not the same thing. A cow’s milk allergy is different than lactose
intolerance because it occurs when your body’s defense system, or immune system, doesn’t
recognize the protein in cow’s milk. In response, your body starts to attack the
protein when you eat it. It’s important for this immune system reaction
to be properly diagnosed early on because it can be harmful to your baby. In this video, I will teach you about signs
of a cow’s milk allergy, when to see a doctor, and recommended treatment options. First off, you may notice symptoms of a cow’s
milk allergy as soon as your baby drinks formula or breast milk. On the other hand, it’s very possible that
symptoms may be delayed several hours or days. Common signs of a cow’s milk allergy include
an upset stomach (with spit-ups), vomiting, and normal or bloody diarrhea. Also, your baby may experience skin problems
(like rashes, red spots, or swollen and itchy eyes) or breathing problems (like coughing,
wheezing, increased phlegm, hoarse cry, or throat tightness). If your child has any of these symptoms, make
an appointment with your pediatrician right away! Especially since their symptoms can worsen
every time your baby is exposed to this protein. To confirm their diagnosis, your doctor may
order stool and blood tests. They may also refer you to an allergist for
more testing and to confirm if your baby has other allergies. If your baby drinks formula, your doctor will
recommend a very easily digestible formula for the first year of life, also called a
hypoallergenic formula. These formulas have milk proteins that are
completely broken down. As a result, your baby’s immune system will
not react to them. Also, cow’s milk allergy symptoms are less
common in breastfed infants. But, unfortunately, some babies still do react. If you are breastfeeding, the cow’s milk
protein you eat can reach your baby through your breast milk. As a result, you’ll need to eliminate all
cow’s milk protein from your diet. This includes milk, cheese, yogurt, and any
food products that are made with cow’s milk. Fortunately, you can find cow’s milk products
by reviewing the ingredients list on your food labels. Other types of milk (like rice, almond, goat,
or coconut milk) may be appropriate for older children, but are still not safe for children
less than 1 years old. Overall, some children grow out of their milk
allergy while others have to avoid cow’s milk for their entire life! If your child is diagnosed with this allergy,
it’s important to work closely with your doctor and registered dietitian to make sure
your child is meeting all of their nutrition needs without cow’s milk and to determine
a safe feeding plan that works for you and your family.

3 thoughts on “Cow’s Milk Allergy: When It’s Not Just Fussy Feeding

  1. Breast milk contains fats, carbohydrates (eg, lactose), and maternal diet-derived proteins (eg, whey, casein) from milk and soy. This patient has milk- or soy-protein-induced proctocolitis (eg, milk-protein allergy), a condition exclusive to infants. A non-IgE-mediated immunologic response to proteins in formula or breast milk causes rectal and colonic inflammation. The clinical presentation includes eczema, regurgitation or vomiting, and/or painless bloody stools.

    The diagnosis is clinical and confirmed when bleeding ceases in response to dietary modifications. Due to substantial cross-reactivity, both dairy and soy should be avoided. Therefore, the mother of a breastfed infant can continue to breastfeed after eliminating all dairy and soy from her diet. Formula-fed infants should be switched to a hydrolyzed formula (ie, containing predigested proteins). Visible bleeding should resolve within 3 days, but complete resolution of occult blood may take up to 2 weeks. Parents should be reassured that the prognosis is excellent and that almost all affected infants can tolerate dairy and soy products by age 1 year.

  2. I had breast milk allergy and was lactose intolerant – I drinked almond milk for at least nine years and I’m free of allergy and I’m not lactose intolerant anymore

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