Close Send this page to a friend

Your link and message have been sent!

Close Send this page to a friend
* required
Oops! You forgot to fill in some required information.
Loading...

Back to Lactose Intolerance and Milk Allergy

Milk Allergies

Milk allergies are rare in adults and should not be confused with lactose intolerance. Milk allergies involve immunological reactions, while lactose intolerance involves digestive factors. Milk allergies and lactose intolerance are therefore not similar conditions and should be treated differently.

Fewer than 1% of adults and 3% of children have a clinically proven milk allergy, and children tend to outgrow a milk allergy by the age of 3. These adults and children must eliminate milk products from their diets while making sure they get all of the nutrients found in milk through other foods or supplementation.

Symptoms

There are a wide range of milk allergy symptoms that can involve the gastrointestinal tract, the respiratory tract and the skin.1, 2

  • Gastrointestinal tract symptoms may present as abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea and account for about 50% of milk allergy symptoms;
  • Respiratory tract symptoms can include nasal congestion, coughing and sneezing and typically account for about 20% to 30% of symptoms;
  • Skin complaints, such as rash, eczema and hives represent about 30% milk allergy symptoms
  • Infantile colic – prolonged episodes of irritability, fussiness and crying – is often attributed to an allergy to cow's milk protein. However, evidence fails to support that an allergy to cow's milk is the cause of colic. The exact cause of colic remains unknown.
  • Other symptoms such as colic, ear infections, migraines and behavioural problems are sometimes associated with milk allergies, but this relationship has not yet been substantiated.

Children and milk allergies

As milk is a major source of 16 essential nutrients, it is best to reintroduce milk into children's diets as early as possible.

Infantile colic, or prolonged episodes of irritability, fussiness and crying, is often attributed to a cow's milk protein allergy. However, evidence fails to support that an allergy to cow's milk is the cause of colic. The exact cause of colic remains unknown.

References

  1. Brigino E and Bahna SL. 1995. Clinical Features of Food Allergy in Infants. Clin Rev in Allergy and Immunology 13:329-345
  2. Schrander JJP et al. 1993. Cow's milk protein intolerance in infants under 1 year of age: A prospective study. Eur J Pediatr 152: 640-644

Keywords: milk allergy , health studies


  • Educational Material Educational Material Educational Material
    Educational Material

    Need educational resources for your practice? Download copies online, or order print versions free of charge.

    Make a request
  • /newsletter
    NutriNews®

    Every month, articles of interest are featured in our NutriNews Bulletin. Sign up today to stay up to date on the latest scientific evidence and research.

    Sign up