What are the Symptoms of Milk Allergy?

What are the Symptoms of Milk Allergy?

Milk allergy is an immune system response to proteins found in milk, primarily casein and whey. Symptoms can occur shortly after consuming milk or milk products. Here are the common symptoms associated with a milk allergy:

  1. Skin Reactions:
    • Hives (urticaria), redness, or itching on the skin.
    • Eczema (atopic dermatitis) or a worsening of existing eczema.
    • Swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, face, or around the eyes (angioedema).
  2. Respiratory Symptoms:
    • Runny or stuffy nose (rhinitis).
    • Sneezing, nasal congestion, or postnasal drip.
    • Wheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing, resembling asthma.
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing.
  3. Digestive Issues:
    • Nausea or vomiting.
    • Diarrhea.
    • Abdominal cramps or pain.
    • Bloating or gas.
    • Blood in the stool, particularly in infants.
  4. Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS):
    • Itchy mouth, throat, or ears after consuming milk or milk products.
    • Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat.
  5. Gastrointestinal Symptoms:
    • Gastrointestinal bleeding (rare).
    • In severe cases, an allergic reaction can cause a condition called eosinophilic esophagitis, leading to difficulty swallowing or food getting stuck in the throat.
  6. Anaphylaxis:
    • Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, a rapid drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and severe swelling of the throat, lips, or tongue.

Milk allergy symptoms can vary in severity from mild to severe. In some cases, exposure to even a small amount of milk or milk proteins can trigger a severe allergic reaction.

It’s important to differentiate between a milk allergy and lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk, leading to digestive symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, and gas. It does not involve the immune system and is not life-threatening.

If you suspect a milk allergy, it’s essential to seek a thorough evaluation and diagnosis from a healthcare professional. They can perform tests to confirm the allergy and guide you on managing the condition, which often involves avoiding milk and milk products and having an anaphylaxis action plan in case of severe reactions.

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