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Milk Allergy: The Facts

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Milk allergy results from a hypersensitivity of the immune system to the proteins in cow's milk. Symptoms can occur within minutes or hours of contact with milk and can range from mild to severe. For a severe allergy, contact with cow's milk protein must be completely eliminated. Fortunately, most children eventually "outgrow" this allergy, but in severe cases it may persist. Note that lactose intolerance is a completely different condition; see COMPARE! chart for specifics.
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Content Preview
15737_Allergy_EN 9/20/05 8:36 PM Page 1
BREAST IS BEST
COMPARE !
FICTION and FACT
Plan to breast-feed since it may lessen the chance or delay
MILK ALLERGY
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
the onset of a milk allergy. The nursing mother with a
FICTION:
milk allergic infant may find it necessary to limit her own
cause
cause
No other animal drinks the milk of another species.
consumption of milk products.
abnormal reaction of the immune
not enough of the enzyme lactase needed by the
A milk allergy is proof that to do so is out of
system to milk proteins
digestive system to breakdown all the milk sugar lactose
Milk
harmony with nature.
Milk
WHEN BREAST-FEEDING
age
age
FACT:
IS NOT AN OPTION
usually starts in early infancy, rarely after 12 months of age
very rare in the first two years of life
A milk allergy results from a hypersensitivity of the immune
Be cautious. At this time there is no perfect milk
system to the proteins in cow's milk possibly caused by a genetic
diagnosis
diagnosis
Allergy:
substitute on the market ideal for everyone allergic to
Allergy:
predisposition. Studies show that 2 to 3% of infants are milk
by a qualified medical practitioner based on a detailed
by a qualified medical practitioner based on a detailed
allergic and most outgrow it within a couple of years.
milk protein. Milk allergic children can become allergic to
history and... possible tests:
history and ... possible test:
If drinking milk was really "out of harmony with nature" one
soy and goat’s milk protein. The least allergenic substi-
• skin prick test • blood tests--total IgE or RAST
• breath hydrogen excretion after a lactose
• food challenge, open or double-blind (not done where there is
challenge
would expect the allergy incidence to be much greater. It would
tutes seem to be formulas called "casein hydrolysates"--
a history of anaphylaxis)
hold true for other allergens as well, such as peanuts, soy,legumes
Nutramigen, Pregestimil, Alimentum--made from
The Facts
and tree nuts.
Facts pre-digested protein. Expect help from your doctor to symptoms
symptoms
FICTION:
find a formula suitable for your baby.
can be immediate or delayed, affect
affect digestion only :
digestion:
• diarrhea
Milk causes asthma.
Milk allergy results from a hypersensitivity of the immune
• nausea • vomiting • diarrhea • stomach cramps
• vomiting
SOLID FOOD
FACT:
system to the proteins in cow's milk. Symptoms can occur
skin:
• abdominal bloating
• hives • eczema • swelling
There is no evidence that dairy products can cause asthma.
within minutes or hours of contact with milk and can
WHAT AND WHEN?
airways:
• stomach cramps
A person with a milk allergy may develop asthma but there is no
range from mild to severe. For a severe allergy, contact
Take your time introducing solid food. When the baby is
• runny nose • nasal congestion • wheezing • coughing
• gas
cause and effect relationship between the two. Note, an allergic
with cow's milk protein must be completely eliminated.
6 months old begin with iron-enriched, single grain infant
anaphylaxis:
reaction to milk may trigger wheezing, especially in infants.
Fortunately, most children eventually "outgrow" this allergy,
cereals like rice or barley. Slowly add pureed single
rare, acute, sometimes overwhelming reaction
but in severe cases it may persist. Note that lactose intole-
vegetables, except corn, at the rate of one a week starting
of the immune system. Can be life-threatening
FICTION:
rance is a completely different condition; see COMPARE!
with a small spoonful. Move on to pureed fruit, excluding
Milk causes a number of problems like constipation, ear infec-
chart for specifics.
citrus, introducing each in the same manner as vegetables.
tions and mucus secretion.
treatment
treatment
Then pureed meat, start with chicken, turkey and lamb,
• eliminate foods containing milk protein,
• symptoms are generally dose-dependent, small amounts of lactose
FACT:
Allergy/Asthma Information Association
the least likely to cause an allergic reaction. After the
a very small quantity of milk protein may bring on symptoms
containing foods (ex. 125 mL milk) are often well tolerated
Constipation is not related to what we eat but rather to what we
AAIA National Office
• breast-feed, if possible for as long as possible (mother may
• hard cheese and yogourt are well tolerated
meats, when the baby is at least 12 months, you can try
P.O. Box 100, Toronto, Ontario M9W 5K9
have to moderate her own intake of milk products)
• use commercially available lactase (ex. Lactaid drops or pills)
don't eat. More foods with fibre (whole grain breads and cereals;
cooked egg yolk which is less allergenic than the white.
Tel.: (416) 679-9521 Fax: (416) 679-9524
• use hypoallergenic infant formulas (test for tolerance)
when eating lactose containing foods
dried beans, peas and lentils; fruit and vegetables), more liquids
and more exercise are good habits to adopt.
Toll free: 1-800-611-7011 E-mail: national@aaia.ca
w w w. a a i a . c a
Ear infections are caused by germs.
DON'T KEEP IT A SECRET
CHECK LABELS CAREFULLY!
The feeling of secreting a thick mucus may be linked to not
Regional Offices
Tell everyone who may have contact with your child
Refer to this pamphlet while you shop. All prepared food must carry a label listing the ingredients.
drinking enough of all liquids, including milk (if not allergic).
AAIA B.C./Yukon
about the allergy. A letter from your doctor
When in doubt about any food ingredient call the manufacturer. Kosher stores and bakeries are sources for
1.5 to 2 litres of liquid a day is a good rule of thumb.
4730 Redridge Road, Kelowna, British Columbia V1W 3A6
many milk-free foods. The word "parve" or “pareve” on a label means that the food contains neither meat nor milk.
Tel.: (250) 764-7507 Fax: (250) 764-7587
explaining the diagnosis may be
Toll free: 1-877-500-2242 E-mail: bc@aaia.ca
helpful in convincing skeptics of
some food ingredients that indicate or may
some foods that contain or may
AAIA Prairies/NWT/Nunavut
its seriousness. Carry prescribed
indicate* the presence of milk protein:
contain* milk protein:
16531-114 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta T5X 3V6
Tel./Fax: (780) 456-6651 E-mail: prairies@aaia.ca
medicines with you at all times
• ammonium caseinate
• high protein flour*
• milk ingredients
• baked goods* (cake,
• custard
• milk (whole, 2%,
FIND A DIETITIAN
bread, cookies,
1%, skim,
AAIA Ontario
and provide your child with a
• artificial butter
• hydrolyzed casein
• milk protein
• deli meats*
Concerned that your child is getting all the nutrients necessary
flavour
• hydrolyzed milk
• milk solids
crackers, donuts,
• egg substitutes*
condensed,
P.O. Box 2371, St. Mary’s, Ontario N4X 1A2
MedicAlert bracelet. Have your
• butter solids/fat
protein
for normal, healthy growth? A call to the nutrition department
• modified milk ingredients
waffles, pancakes...)
• frozen yogourt
evaporated,
Tel.: (519) 284-4222 Fax: (519) 284-0384
at the local children's hospital, the local health unit, the provincial
Toll free: 1-888-250-2298 E-mail: ontario@aaia.ca
allergist periodically reassess your
• calcium caseinate
• lactalbumin
• natural flavouring*
• butter
• gravy*
powdered, lactose
• caramel colour*
• lactalbumin
• buttermilk
reduced)
association or college of dietitians will help you find a qualified
AAIA Quebec
child. Be reassured that
• potassium caseinate
• ghee
• caramel flavouring*
phosphate
• rennet casein
• candy*
• Half & Half
• pizza
nutrition professional. You can also contact Dietitians of Canada
172 Andover Road, Beaconsfield, Quebec H9W 2Z8
elimination of foods containing
• casein
• lactoferrin
• Simplesse
• pudding
(fat replacer)
• cheese
• hot dogs*
Tel.: (514) 694-0679 Fax: (514) 694-9814
on line at www.dietitians.ca
• salad dressing*
E-mail: quebec@aaia.ca
milk protein may help bring the
• caseinate
• lactoglobulin
• sodium caseinate
• chocolate*
• ice cream
Toll free: 1-866-694-0679
• delactosed whey
• lactose
• solids
• cream
• sausages*
allergy to a quick end.
• kefir
• demineralized whey
• lactulose
• sour cream solids
• cream soup
• margarine*
• seasonings*
AAIA Atlantic
• dried milk
• magnesium caseinate
• sour milk solids
• curds
• sherbet
36 Morrisson St., Fredericton, New Brunswick E3A 4M3
• dry milk solids
• milk derivative
• whey
• sour cream
Tel./Fax: (506) 459-4475 Toll free: 1-866-761-6600
E-mail: atlantic@aaia.ca
• flavouring*
• milk fat
• whey protein concentrate
• yogourt

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