Throughout the years, cow’s milk has been responsible for triggering an allergic reaction among many individuals all over the world. Once an individual is allergic to cow’s milk, it is also possible that he/she is also allergic to sheep, soy, and goat and buffalo milk as well.
The symptoms of milk allergy are similar to the symptoms of any other type of food allergy. The only difference with milk allergy is that babies are highly susceptible and can develop at any time. As for the adults, they might develop a sudden allergy to milk as babies are born with one. Since there are many foods at the present in the market that contain milk or its allergenic protein casein, milk allergy and the symptoms can be difficult to manage.
Symptoms of milk allergy
Right after the consumption of milk, the individual can develop symptoms such as vomiting, hives and wheezing. Take note that the symptoms that will take a longer time to manifest include abdominal cramping, loose stools, coughing, watery eyes, runny nose and itchy rashes around the mouth.
In rare cases, an individual with milk allergy can experience a severe reaction that eventually leads to anaphylaxis. This is considered as a life-threatening condition that can lead to the narrowing of the airways and disrupt normal breathing. Immediate emergency care is required which involves an injection of epinephrine in order to counteract the symptoms until medical care can be provided.
What are the causes?
Understandably, just like in other types of allergies, a malfunction of the immune system is the main cause of food allergies. The protein present in milk which is casein is identified by the immune system as a threat to the body, thus triggering the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in order to neutralize the protein.
What are the risk factors?
Milk allergy is quite common among children and will eventually go away in most cases by the time the child reaches three years old. The other risk factors include a family history of food allergies, known allergies and if atopic dermatitis is present.
Always bear in mind that there is no cure for allergies. On the other hand, it is possible to prevent a reaction by avoiding products that contain milk components that the individual is allergic to but accidents can happen. If an allergic reaction occurs, you can provide over-the-counter antihistamines to minimize the symptoms. In case of anaphylaxis, this would require a shot of epinephrine. The doctor prescribes an EpiPen to individuals who are prone to severe allergic reactions. Use one if the initial symptoms of an allergic reaction manifest. Administer a shot into the thigh of the individual to counteract the symptoms.