Important Things To Know About Milk Allergies

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Milk allergies occur because the immune system
mistakenly sees milk protein as something that is
dangerous for the body and tries to fight it off. It
starts as an allergic reaction causing a child to be
fussy and irritable along with an upset stomach and
other symptoms.

Breastfeeding lowers the risk of the child developing
a milk allergy. In many cases however, the allergy is
said to be genetic. Normally, by the time a child
reaches the age of three to five years old, the
allergy goes away all on its own.

People who have milk allergies should really pay good
attention to what they are eating because a lot of
foods nowadays are made up of milk and other milk
products. A milk allergy is different from lactose
intolerance and without extra caution, a milk allergy
may turn into a severe illness due to direct contact
with foods that cause it.

Milk Allergy And The Immune System

A person who has a milk allergy reacts to the proteins
in the milk. The substance known as Curd which forms
the chunks that can be observed in sour milk contains
80% of the milk�s proteins while Whey which is the
watery part holds 20% of the milk�s content.

If a person who has allergic reactions to milk eats
food that contain milk products, the immune system
will fight the milk proteins because it mistakenly
sees them as invaders thus harmful to the body. The
immune system protects the body from these milk
proteins by creating antibodies known as
immunoglobulin that trigger the release of chemicals
into the body such as histamine.

The release of these chemicals affect the different
parts of the body such as the gastrointestinal tract,
the skin, the respiratory system and the
cardiovascular system which then causes the allergy
symptoms like nausea, headache, wheezing, itchy hives
and stomachache.

The Common Symptoms

Just like any other food allergy reactions, the
symptoms occur within ten minutes to a couple of hours
after eating the food that caused the allergy. The
symptoms may sometimes last for less than a day
affecting any of these three body systems: the skin,
the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory tract.

Milk allergy manifests in the skin in a form of red
rashes, redness and swelling in the areas of the mouth
or eczema. The gastrointestinal tract on the other
hand is affected in the form of belly cramps, nausea,
vomiting and diarrhea. The respiratory tract has
symptoms ranging from itchy and watery eyes, runny
nose and sneezing to asthma attacks coupled with
wheezing and coughing.

A severe reaction known as anaphylaxis may also occur
to some patients. It causes the swelling of the mouth
as well as the throat and airways that lead to the
lungs leading to the inability of the patient to
breathe. There is also a dangerous drop in the blood
pressure which cause the dizziness and passing out and
sometimes immediately lead to shock.

Going To The Doctor

Once your doctor suspects that you might be having a
milk allergy, you will be referred to a specialist
that is equipped to better treat your allergic
reactions. The allergy specialist will then ask you
some questions that may cover information about how
often these reactions occur and the time that it
usually takes before the allergy manifests itself in
your system. He or she will also ask you if there are
members of your family who has the same case of
allergic reactions that you have.

An allergy specialist performs a skin test on you and
this test will involve a placing of liquid extracts of
milk protein on the patient�s forearm or back. The
skin will be pricked a bit and the allergist waits if
there would appear reddish spot forms thus indicating
the allergic reaction.

Posted by Andrew
on Sep 30 2010. Filed under Allergies.
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