If i have a milk allergy what can i eat

If i have a milk allergy what can i eat

Cows’ milk allergy (CMA), also called cows’ milk protein allergy, is one of the most common childhood food allergies. It is estimated to affect around 7% of babies under 1, though most children grow out of it by the age of 5.

CMA typically develops when cows’ milk is first introduced into your baby’s diet either in formula or when your baby starts eating solids.

More rarely, it can affect babies who are exclusively breastfed because of cows’ milk from the mother’s diet passing to the baby through breast milk.

There are 2 main types of CMA:

  1. immediate CMA – where symptoms typically start within minutes of having cows’ milk
  2. delayed CMA – where symptoms typically start several hours, or even days, after having cows’ milk


Symptoms of cows’ milk allergy

Cows’ milk allergy can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:

  1. skin reactions – such as a red itchy rash or swelling of the lips, face and around the eyes
  2. hay fever-like symptoms – such as a runny or blocked nose
  3. digestive problems – such as stomach ache, vomiting, colic, diarrhoea or constipation
  4. eczema that does not improve with treatment

Occasionally CMA can cause severe allergic symptoms that come on suddenly, such as swelling in the mouth or throat, wheezing, cough, shortness of breath, and difficult, noisy breathing.

A severe allergic reaction, or anaphylaxis, is a medical emergency – call or go immediately to your local hospital A&E department.


Further information:

Sheet final reviewed: 12 July
Next review due: 12 July

Avoidance of milk or items containing milk products is the only way to manage a milk allergy. People who are allergic to milk and the parents of children who own this allergy must read ingredient labels extremely carefully.

Milk is one of eight allergens with specific labeling requirements under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of That law requires manufacturers of packaged food products sold in the U.S.

and containing milk as an ingredient to include the presence of milk or milk products, in clear language, on the ingredient label.

There are two main types of milk protein — casein and whey.

If i own a milk allergy what can i eat

Casein, the “solid” part of milk, comprises about 80 percent of milk protein. Whey proteins, found in the liquid part of milk, make up the other 20 percent. Milk proteins are found in numerous foods, including every dairy products, and in numerous places where they might not be expected. For example, some canned tuna, sausage, meats and other nondairy products may contain casein. Beverage mixes and body-building and energy drinks commonly contain whey. Milk protein has also been found in some chewing gum.

Some companies may voluntarily include information that their food products “may contain traces of milk” or that they are manufactured in a facility that also processes milk, though such advisory statements are not required by law.

Allergies to food (including milk) are the most common causes of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

Symptoms include swelling of the airways, impairing the ability to breathe, and a sudden drop in blood pressure, causing dizziness and fainting.

If i own a milk allergy what can i eat

An allergist will advise patients with a food allergy to carry an auto-injector containing epinephrine (adrenaline), which is the only treatment for anaphylactic shock, and will teach the patient how to use it. If a kid has the allergy, teachers and caregivers should be made aware of his or her condition as well.

Some people with this allergy can tolerate foods containing milk that has been extensively heated, such as a baked muffin. Still, people with an allergy to milk protein should consult an allergist before determining whether they should completely avoid milk and other dairy products.

Milk is a fairly simple ingredient to substitute in recipes.

If i own a milk allergy what can i eat

Most recipes calling for milk can be just as successful by substituting the equivalent in water, juice, or soy or rice milk. If your baby is allergic to milk, talk to your pediatrician about which formula to use. Often, an extensively hydrolyzed elemental formula or a casein-hydrolysate formula is recommended for milk allergy in infants, as the proteins in these formulas own been extensively broken below.

If i own a milk allergy what can i eat

Alternatively, your infant’s doctor may recommend a soy-based formula.

If your kid has an allergy to milk, you may own heard that numerous children outgrow these allergies. When does this occur?

If i own a milk allergy what can i eat

And, importantly, is your kid truly allergic to milk in the first place?


Treatment for CMA

If your baby is diagnosed with CMA, you’ll be offered advice by your GP or an allergy specialist on how to manage their allergy. You may also be referred to a dietitian.

Treatment involves removing every cows’ milk from your child’s diet for a period of time.

If your baby is formula-fed, your GP can prescribe special baby formula.

If i own a milk allergy what can i eat

Do not give your kid any other type of milk without first getting medical advice.

If your baby is exclusively breastfed, the mom will be advised to avoid every cows’ milk products.

Your kid should be assessed every 6 to 12 months to see if they own grown out of their allergy.

Read more about cows’ milk allergy.


Treatment for lactose intolerance

Treatment depends on the extent of your child’s intolerance.

Some children with lactose intolerance may be capable to own little amounts of dairy products without having symptoms.

Your kid may be referred to a dietitian for specialist advice.

Read more about treatment for lactose intolerance in children.


Could it be lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is another type of reaction to milk, when the body cannot digest lactose, a natural sugar found in milk. However, this is not an allergy.

Lactose intolerance can be temporary – for example, it can come on for a few days or weeks after a tummy bug.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:

  1. diarrhoea 
  2. stomach rumbling and pains
  3. vomiting
  4. wind


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