What is a milk allergy in infants

Within 30 minutes of a mom eating a meal, tiny bits of proteins make it every the way from her stomach to her breast…and can hang out in there for hours. As mentioned, the most common food allergies babies drop prey to are cow’s milk and soy, and much less common are eggs, nuts, citrus, wheat and shellfish. (The exact same things that cause allergies in large people.) Your doctor may recommend you go a week without consuming these foods (AKA an “elimination diet”…AKA chicken and water…ugh!) to see if the symptoms improve, which generally takes 3-7 days to notice.

And then, if things do get better, your health care provider will likely own you do a food challenge, to see if the symptoms come back, which generally happens in just 1-2 days.

If you own concerns about your baby possibly having allergies (from fussing to huge spit ups to stringy, red tinged mucous in the poop), make certain you discuss that with your doctor or nurse practitioner.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you own any medical questions and concerns about your kid or yourself, please contact your health provider.

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What is a milk allergy in infants

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What is a milk allergy in infants

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What is a milk allergy in infants

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Lactose is a type of sugar found naturally in the milk of most mammals.

Lactose intolerance is a condition characterized by symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea, which are caused by lactose malabsorption.

In humans, an enzyme known as lactase is responsible for breaking below lactose for digestion. This is particularly significant in infants, who need lactase to digest breast milk.

However, as children grow older, they generally produce less and less lactase.

By adulthood, up to 70% of people no longer produce enough lactase to properly digest the lactose in milk, leading to symptoms when they consume dairy.

This is particularly common for people of non-European descent.

Some people may also develop lactose intolerance after surgery or due to gastrointestinal diseases such as viral or bacterial infections.

Here are the 5 most common signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance.



Milk Allergy in Infants

If your baby seems additional fussy, gassy, barfy, snorty or rashy you may wonder, “Can babies be allergic to breastmilk?” The answer? No, the natural breastmilk proteins are so mild that they just don’t provoke allergies in babies. However, here’s the large BUT. Babies can be allergic to foods that you eat…tiny bits of which can sneak into your milk!

How do we know infants don’t get breastmilk allergies?

In 1983, Swedish scientists proved that even colicky babies are totally fine with their mom’s milk, however, they can be allergic to proteins that pass through the mom’s intestines into her bloodstream and then into her milk.

And, those foreign invaders can sometimes create major hassles. About 10% of colic caused by a baby food allergy—most often the common allergenic foods, love dairy, soy, citrus, eggs, nuts, etc.—or food sensitivity—like caffeine in coffee, chocolate, ice tea, cola, Chinese herbs or decongestant medicine. (Most colic has nothing to do with the intestines. It’s actually an imbalance of too much chaos and too much peaceful and too little rhythmic stimulation.

That’s why fussy babies can often be soothed by the 5 S’s.)


2.

What is a milk allergy in infants

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is defined as increased stool frequency, liquidity or volume. Officially, passing more than 7 ounces (200 grams) of stool in a 24-hour period is classified as diarrhea ().

Lactose intolerance causes diarrhea by increasing the volume of water in the colon, which increases the volume and liquid content of the stool.

What is a milk allergy in infants

It is more common in babies and young children than in adults (1, 7).

In the colon, microflora ferment lactose to short-chain fatty acids and gases. Most, but not every, of these acids are absorbed back into the colon. The leftover acids and lactose increase the quantity of water that the body releases into the colon (1, ).

Generally, more than 1.6 ounces (45 grams) of carbohydrates must be present in the colon to cause diarrhea. For lactose, this is the equivalent of drinking 3–4 cups (about 750 ml to 1 liter) of milk, assuming none of the lactose is digested before reaching the colon ().

However, not every carbohydrates that cause diarrhea come from lactose. In fact, 2–20% of any carbohydrates consumed will reach the colon undigested in healthy people ().

Finally, there are numerous other causes of diarrhea apart from lactose intolerance. These include diet, other kinds of malabsorption, medications, infections and inflammatory bowel diseases ().

Summary Lactose intolerance can cause diarrhea, or an increase in the frequency, liquidity or volume of stool. It occurs when undigested lactose ferments in the colon, producing short-chain fatty acids that increase the quantity of water in the gut.


3.

Increased Gas

The fermentation of lactose in the colon increases the production of the gases hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide (1, 8).

In fact, in people with lactose intolerance, the colon microflora become extremely excellent at fermenting lactose into acids and gases. This results in more lactose being fermented in the colon, which further increases flatulence ().

The quantity of gas produced can differ enormously from person to person due to differences in the efficiency of the microflora, as well as the rate of gas reabsorption by the colon ().

Interestingly, gases produced from lactose fermentation own no odor. In fact, the odor of flatulence comes from the breakdown of proteins in the gut, not carbohydrates ().

Summary The fermentation of lactose in the colon can lead to increased flatulence, and the extent to which this occurs can vary significantly from person to person. The gas produced from the fermentation of lactose is odorless.


Milk Allergy Symptoms in Babies

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system as it tries to protect us from foreign proteins. In older kids and adults, the fight between your body and tell, cat dander or pollen, takes put “up high,” causing a runny nose or sneezing.

But with infants, the allergy battleground is in the intestines. Here are the most common symptoms of milk allergies in infants.

  1. Vomiting
  2. Signs of abdominal pain (crying and grunting)
  3. A lot of spitting up
  4. Hives
  5. Slimy diarrhea or blood in stools
  6. Eczema (itchy red rash inside knees, elbows, neck) Scaly skin rash
  7. Coughing or wheezing
  8. Watery eyes, runny nose or stuffy nose
  9. Swelling (especially of the lips, tongue or throat)


1. Stomach Pain and Bloating

Stomach pain and bloating are common symptoms of lactose intolerance in both children and adults.

When the body is unable to break below lactose, it passes through the gut until it reaches the colon (1).

Carbohydrates such as lactose cannot be absorbed by the cells lining the colon, but they can be fermented and broken below by the naturally occurring bacteria that live there, known as the microflora ().

This fermentation causes the release of short-chain fatty acids, as well as the gases hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide (1).

The resulting increase in acids and gases can lead to stomach pain and cramps.

The pain is generally located around the navel and in the lower half of the tummy.

The sensation of bloating is caused by an increase of water and gas in the colon, which causes the gut wall to stretch, also known as distention ().

Interestingly, the quantity of bloating and pain is not related to the quantity of lactose ingested, but to the sensitivity of the individual to feelings of distention.

Therefore, the frequency and severity of symptoms can vary significantly between individuals (, ).

Finally, the bloating, distension and pain may result in nausea or even vomiting in some people. This is rare but has been observed in some cases, including in children (, ).

It’s significant to note that stomach pain and bloating are common symptoms that could result from other causes, such as overeating, other kinds of malabsorption, infections, medications and other illnesses.

Summary Stomach pain and bloating are common with lactose intolerance. They are caused when bacteria in the colon ferment lactose that the body has left undigested, resulting in excess gas and water. Pain is most often situated around the navel and lower tummy.


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What is a milk allergy in infants