Everything You Need to Know About Milk Allergy
When a person is discovered to be allergic to milk, the best way to avoid the symptoms is to replace milk with a substitute. Water or fruit juice can represent a milk surrogate in most of the recipes. As milk allergy is provoked by certain proteins, it is very important to know that not only milk contains these substances. It has been discovered that certain products that contain tuna fish include in their composition a milk protein that is named casein. Hence, tuna fish is one of the foods that can determine milk allergy. In addition, meats and butter also contain this protein. In conclusion, people who are allergic to milk must check the ingredient labels. This is very important, because many foods contain milk or products obtained from milk that can lead to an allergic reaction.
Milk allergy does not appear only when consuming products based on milk. In some cases, just making contact with such products triggers the reaction. Though, when products that contain milk are consumed by people who are allergic to milk, the body believes that the milk proteins are dangerous substances. As a reaction, a group of chemical substances is released by the antibodies in order to counterattack the milk proteins. One of the substances is named histamine.
As most of the types of allergies, milk allergy is characterized by inflammation of the skin, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract. The symptoms become obvious within a few minutes or a few hours after consuming milk or products made from milk. Although these symptoms are not dangerous and do not persist more than a day, it is better to prevent them than to experience them. Furthermore, in seldom cases a very severe reaction named anaphylaxis can be observed. The blood pressure decreases significantly and respiration is performed with difficulty. Because of the low blood pressure, people risk to pass out.
There is a great difference between milk allergy and intolerance to lactose. While the first one appears as a reaction of the immune system, the latter is only determined by an improper digestive system that is unable to create a certain enzyme. The role of this enzyme is to dissolve the sugar in milk. Goat milk does not represent a viable alternative neither to people who suffer from milk allergy, nor to those who do not tolerate lactose. The proteins found in goat milk are comparable to the ones found in cow's milk. Hence, the allergic reaction appears in this case, too.
The diagnosis and the treatment of milk allergy do not differ from the ones of any other type of allergy. The diagnosis consists of blood and skin tests, as well as a food challenge. The treatment is usually based on epinephrine, which is a substance that relieves the symptoms. However, the best way to prevent the symptoms is to consume products that do not contain milk.