What does a milk allergy look like in infants

Within 30 minutes of a mom eating a meal, tiny bits of proteins make it every the way from her stomach to her breast…and can hang out in there for hours. As mentioned, the most common food allergies babies drop prey to are cow’s milk and soy, and much less common are eggs, nuts, citrus, wheat and shellfish. (The exact same things that cause allergies in large people.) Your doctor may recommend you go a week without consuming these foods (AKA an “elimination diet”…AKA chicken and water…ugh!) to see if the symptoms improve, which generally takes days to notice. And then, if things do get better, your health care provider will likely own you do a food challenge, to see if the symptoms come back, which generally happens in just days.

If you own concerns about your baby possibly having allergies (from fussing to huge spit ups to stringy, red tinged mucous in the poop), make certain you discuss that with your doctor or nurse practitioner.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition.

It is only meant as general information. If you own any medical questions and concerns about your kid or yourself, please contact your health provider.

Cow’s milk allergy

Cow’s milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies in young children. It generally disappears by the time they reach school age. It occurs when your child’s immune system reacts to the protein in milk.

Symptoms and diagnosis

Reactions to milk can happen within minutes or not for several days.

Rapid reactions include:

  1. diarrhoea
  2. noisy breathing or wheezing
  3. swelling of the lips, face or eyes
  4. a swollen tongue
  5. stomach pain
  6. hives (urticaria)
  7. vomiting
  8. a hoarse voice
  9. a swollen or tight throat
  10. change in consciousness or floppiness in babies or young children

Delayed reactions include:

  1. blood or mucus in stools
  2. an increase in eczema
  3. vomiting and/or diarrhoea hours after having milk

It is extremely significant to see a doctor if your kid has the symptoms of milk allergy.

The condition is diagnosed using the history of symptoms or can sometimes be confirmed with an allergy test.


If your kid is allergic to milk, you need to completely remove dairy products from their diet. Follow your doctor’s or allergy specialist’s advice and read food labels carefully. You may also need to avoid milk from other animals, such as goats, as well as coconut milk products. Watch out for other words used to describe milk on food labels, such as butter, buttermilk, cream, curd, ghee, milk, cheese, dairy, milk solids, whey, yoghurt, casein and caseinates.

If your baby is formula-fed, you can use soy protein formula (unless they are also allergic to soy), extensively hydrolysed formula (EHF) or amino acid-based formula (AAF). Do not use formula made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, sheep milk, HA, A2 milk or lactose-free.

If your kid is over the age of one, they can be given soy milk, calcium-enriched rice, and oat or nut milks. It is significant to make certain they are getting enough calcium.

You may be advised to carry an Epipen adrenaline autoinjector if your kid is allergic to milk. Severe allergic reactions can sometimes lead to anaphylaxis, which is serious and can even be fatal.

An adrenaline autoinjector can be used to give first aid in the event of anaphylaxis.

Milk Allergy Symptoms in Babies

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system as it tries to protect us from foreign proteins. In older kids and adults, the fight between your body and tell, cat dander or pollen, takes put “up high,” causing a runny nose or sneezing. But with infants, the allergy battleground is in the intestines. Here are the most common symptoms of milk allergies in infants.

  1. Hives
  2. Eczema (itchy red rash inside knees, elbows, neck) Scaly skin rash
  3. Vomiting
  4. Slimy diarrhea or blood in stools
  5. Signs of abdominal pain (crying and grunting)
  6. A lot of spitting up
  7. Coughing or wheezing
  8. Watery eyes, runny nose or stuffy nose
  9. Swelling (especially of the lips, tongue or throat)

Where to seek more help

Don’t attempt to deal with milk intolerance yourself.

You can get assist from:

Avoidance of milk or items containing milk products is the only way to manage a milk allergy. People who are allergic to milk and the parents of children who own this allergy must read ingredient labels extremely carefully.

Milk is one of eight allergens with specific labeling requirements under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of That law requires manufacturers of packaged food products sold in the U.S. and containing milk as an ingredient to include the presence of milk or milk products, in clear language, on the ingredient label.

There are two main types of milk protein — casein and whey.

Casein, the “solid” part of milk, comprises about 80 percent of milk protein. Whey proteins, found in the liquid part of milk, make up the other 20 percent. Milk proteins are found in numerous foods, including every dairy products, and in numerous places where they might not be expected. For example, some canned tuna, sausage, meats and other nondairy products may contain casein. Beverage mixes and body-building and energy drinks commonly contain whey. Milk protein has also been found in some chewing gum.

Some companies may voluntarily include information that their food products “may contain traces of milk” or that they are manufactured in a facility that also processes milk, though such advisory statements are not required by law.

Allergies to food (including milk) are the most common causes of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

Symptoms include swelling of the airways, impairing the ability to breathe, and a sudden drop in blood pressure, causing dizziness and fainting. An allergist will advise patients with a food allergy to carry an auto-injector containing epinephrine (adrenaline), which is the only treatment for anaphylactic shock, and will teach the patient how to use it. If a kid has the allergy, teachers and caregivers should be made aware of his or her condition as well.

Some people with this allergy can tolerate foods containing milk that has been extensively heated, such as a baked muffin.

What does a milk allergy glance love in infants

Still, people with an allergy to milk protein should consult an allergist before determining whether they should completely avoid milk and other dairy products.

Milk is a fairly simple ingredient to substitute in recipes. Most recipes calling for milk can be just as successful by substituting the equivalent in water, juice, or soy or rice milk. If your baby is allergic to milk, talk to your pediatrician about which formula to use. Often, an extensively hydrolyzed elemental formula or a casein-hydrolysate formula is recommended for milk allergy in infants, as the proteins in these formulas own been extensively broken below.

Alternatively, your infant’s doctor may recommend a soy-based formula.

The incidence and prevalence of food allergies are believed to be increasing in several countries [1, 2, 15]. However, the comparison of data from diverse studies is hard because criteria to diagnose food allergies, as well as the definitions of groups, vary substantially between studies. Therefore, rates vary from 35% when parental reports are used as criteria to define food allergies, to 1% when proper double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges (DBPCFC) are used [5, 6].

A study was conducted in the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom in order to establish the rates of objectively-assessed food allergies in the 1st year of life and to compare this with the rate of parental reports.

What does a milk allergy glance love in infants

A cohort of infants was recruited between September and August Symptoms of food allergies were reported by parents (%) at 3 months, 83 parents (%) at 6 months, 49 parents (%) at 9 months, and 65 parents (%) at 12 months of age [4]. The cumulative incidence of reported parental perceived food hypersensitivities was % (/; 95% CI, % to %) by 12 months of age. Of these, only 14% and 6% were diagnosed with food allergies by means of open food challenges and DBPCFC, respectively.

Thus, in this cohort, the incidence of food allergies by the age of 12 months was % (25/; 95% CI, % to %) on the basis of open food challenge and % (12/; 95% CI, % to %) on the basis of DBPCFC.

However, the actual occurrence of food allergies may be underestimated because challenge tests may be performed after the development of tolerance. This is a limitation for the method considered the gold standard for epidemiologic studies concerning food allergies. Therefore, the suggestion that the incidence of food allergies in the 1st year of life ranges from 2% to 3% and symptoms compatible with food allergies found in 5% to 15% of infants may be reasonable and shut to reality [1].

As distinct from other studies, we evaluated the prevalence and incidence of symptoms suggestive of cow’s milk allergy according to data collected in the offices of pediatric gastroenterologists. The prevalence of suspected cow’s milk allergy was % in every consultations, and the incidence of new cases was %. The pediatric gastroenterologists agreed with the diagnostic hypothesis made by the referring pediatrician in % of the consultations.

Although the diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy was not established by a milk challenge, patients were started on a cow’s milk-free diet, which is the initial approach for this disorder.

What does a milk allergy glance love in infants

Almost one-half of the patients had already received a prescription to eliminate cow’s milk protein from their diets when they were seen for the first time by their pediatricians. However, numerous infants were being fed inappropriate substitutes, such as soy-based baby formulas, extracts with soybean proteins, goat’s milk, or even lactose-free cow’s milk formula. Only % of the infants received extensively hydrolyzed or amino acid-based formulas, considered adequate substitutes recommended for infants with cow’s milk allergy according to the European Society for Pediatric Allergology and Clinical Immunology (ESPACI), the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), and the American Academy of Pediatrics [7, 16].

Approximately one-half of the infants in the study were younger than 6 months of age.

In this age group, gastrointestinal manifestations occurred at a greater frequency than in the group of infants older than 6 months of age. As expected, digestive symptoms were the most common (%), including regurgitation and vomiting, colic, diarrhea, and blood in stools. A variety of gastrointestinal allergic disorders typically affect in infants and children. Infants with allergic colitis present little amounts of blood mixed with mucus in their stools.

Cow’s milk-sensitive enteropathy may present with malabsorption leading to diarrhea and failure to thrive. The most serious form of gastrointestinal food allergy in infants is food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome which has a symptom complicated of profuse vomiting and diarrhoea, and potentially a sepsis-like clinical picture [17]

Cutaneous and respiratory symptoms were less frequent, possibly due to the fact that patients were referred to pediatric gastroenterologists.

Although the predominant type of clinical manifestation may depend on the type of specialty care where the study patients are enrolled, there is a consensus that gastrointestinal or cutaneous symptoms are the predominant forms of presentation of cow’s milk allergy.

A review of the literature did not yield studies with similar designs for comparisons. In a group of infants with cow’s milk allergy studied in the s, the most common symptoms were atopic dermatitis in 43% of the cases, vomiting and regurgitation in 38%, colic in 31%, wheezing in 9%, irritability and anorexia in 22%, and constipation in 6% of the cases [18].

The most remarkable difference from our data is that we observed a greater frequency of allergic colitis and less atopic dermatitis. This current trend is supported by a study conducted in London reporting a reduction in cases of cow’s milk allergy associated with intestinal malabsorption due to infectious gastroenteritis [19].

The mean z-score deviations, particularly for weight-for-age and height-for-age, propose that failure to thrive or malnutrition may happen as a consequence of cow’s milk allergy. The analysis of weight and height showed greater deficits (< standard deviations) than expected (%) according to the CDC-NCHS reference values (): specifically, % of weight-for-age, % of weight-for-height, and % of height-for-age z-scores (Table 3).

The World Health Organization has recently issued new weight and height reference charts for infants who were exclusively breastfed [20]. These values were not used in our study because our patients were not breastfed, and this may assist compare our data with other studies in the literature. A study reporting on a group of 26 Brazilian children demonstrated that 23% had a deficit in weight-for-age, % had a deficit in weight-for-height, and % had a deficit in height-for-age when the same diagnostic criteria and reference values were used. These patients were also shown to be receiving a diet with a lower energy intake and calcium content when compared with controls in the same age group and socioeconomic conditions.

A nutritionally-inadequate elimination diet may lead to or aggravate anthropometric deficits of infants with symptoms suggestive of cow’s milk allergy according to the few studies that investigated this issue [9–12]. Our results own shown that height-for-age deficit was the most predominant indicator of nutritional impairment in contrast with the expected predominance of weight-for-age deficit. Similar findings were reported in children with constipation secondary to cow’s milk allergy, who presented a mean height-for-age deficit ( ± ) more pronounced than the weight-for-age deficit ( ± ) [21].

It may be possible that due to chronic inflammation secondary to milk allergy, linear growth may be impaired as it is observed in chronic liver disorders [22].

In this study, approximately half of the patients referred to the paediatric gastroenterologists were already switched to a substitute baby diet. However, only 16% of patients were receiving extensively hydrolyzed formulas or amino acid-based formulas. The duration of the substitute diet and the efficacy of treatment were variable. Therefore, the nutritional deficit observed in patients at the time of inclusion in the study may be attributable either to the use of inappropriate milk substitutes or to the insufficient duration of treatment for nutritional recovery.

Cow’s milk allergy in infants is generally non-IgE mediated, and the diagnostic hypothesis should be raised using clinical symptoms and, if available, functional and morphological markers of gastrointestinal function.

Since there are no effective laboratory methods for the diagnosis of this disorder, an elimination diet without allergenic proteins remains the first essential step to make a diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy. Clinical follow-up to assess the response to treatment (elimination diet) is an essential step in the management of these patients [23]. After an initial phase of clinical and nutritional recovery, food challenges, when recommended, may provide a definitive diagnosis.

Lactose intolerance and cow's milk allergy often get mixed up.

Lactose intolerance is caused by a lack of an enzyme that helps you to digest the sugar in milk. Cow&#x;s milk allergy, on the other hand, is an adverse immune reaction to proteins found in milk. They are completely unrelated conditions except that they share a common cause &#x; cow&#x;s milk and dairy products.

After returning from the Beagle expedition in , Charles Darwin wrote: "I own had a bad spell. Vomiting every day for eleven days, and some days after every meal."

Darwin struggled for more than 40 years with endless bouts of vomiting, stomach cramps, headaches, severe tiredness, skin problems, and depression.

Researchers now ponder that he had lactose intolerance, and his case is a excellent example of how easily it can be missed or misdiagnosed.

Cow's milk allergy

Cow's milk allergy is extremely diverse to lactose intolerance. An allergic reaction is when the body's immune system launches an inappropriate response to substances mistakenly perceived as a threat.

Common triggers include latex, detergent, dust, pollen or certain proteins in food. In cow's milk, it is the protein casein that causes most problems, but whey protein can also trigger a reaction in some people.

General symptoms include inflammation, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and so on, giving rise to the classic allergies &#x; asthma, eczema, hay fever, and urticaria (skin rash or hives).

Because cow's milk allergy is linked to numerous conditions &#x; including asthma and eczema &#x; it's always useful to consider it when treating them.

Common allergy

Cow's milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children, affecting between two and percent of infants under one, although some grow out of it by the age of five.

Symptoms include an itchy rash or swelling, stomach ache, vomiting, colic, diarrhea or constipation, and a runny nose.

Symptoms can appear almost immediately or up to 72 hours after consuming cow's milk protein. This makes it hard to diagnose.

A large problem affecting infants can be gastrointestinal bleeding resulting from cow's milk allergy. Blood loss often occurs in such little quantities that it goes unnoticed but over time can cause iron-deficiency anemia.

Scientists propose that blood loss associated with cow's milk consumption during infancy may affect 40 percent of otherwise healthy infants.

Exactly how cow's milk causes blood loss from the intestines is unclear but it's generally agreed that it is probably an adverse immune (allergic) reaction.

However, because healthy infants lose some blood anyway and cow's milk-induced bleeding is clinically silent and shows no other symptoms, it's hard to tell how numerous more infants than the widely accepted figure of less than 10 percent may actually be allergic to cow's milk.

What is lactose intolerance?

This is 'lactose intolerance', and most symptoms result from the production of gases and toxins by these gut bacteria.

Symptoms include a bloated and painful stomach, wind, diarrhea, and, on some occasions, nausea and vomiting.

Other symptoms can include muscle and joint pain, headaches, dizziness, lethargy, difficulty with short-term memory, mouth ulcers, allergies, irregular heartbeat, sore throat, increased need to pass urine, acne, and depression.

Even more worrying is that the toxins produced by bacteria may frolic a key role in diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and some cancers.

Not excellent for kids

Regardless of these problems, it's simply not a excellent thought to give cow's milk to children at every as it contains virtually no iron but does contain potent inhibitors, reducing the body's ability to absorb iron from other foods in the diet.

The high protein, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and chloride content of cow's milk present what is called a 'high renal solute load'.

Unabsorbed solutes from the diet must be excreted by the kidneys and this can put a strain on immature kidneys, forcing them to draw water from the body thus increasing the risk of dehydration. This is why most health bodies tell that cow's milk should not be given to children under 12 months of age.

Lactase and weaning

Everyone naturally produces lactase when they are babies &#x; without it we couldn't drink our mother's milk.

However, every mammals and the vast majority of people stop producing it soon after weaning &#x; for us, around the age of two. This is the normal state for most people &#x; around 70 percent of the world's population, in fact.

In Northern Central Europe, lactose intolerance affects between two and 20 percent of people, rising to 40 percent in Mediterranean countries &#x; most common in Italy where it affects percent in some regions.

Highest rates are seen in Africa, where it affects percent of people, and Asia, where more than 90 percent of people are lactose intolerant.

Lactase persistence

So why are some people capable to digest lactose after weaning and others not?

'Lactase persistence' originates from a genetic mutation that occurred among a little number of European and African pastoral tribes within the final 5,, years &#x; in evolutionary terms, this is extremely recent history.

It provided a selective advantage to populations using dairy products, enabling them to live endless enough to own children. The average life expectancy was probably little more than 25 years, but this meant the ability to digest lactose could be passed on to subsequent generations.

Descendants of these people are still capable to consume cow's milk without suffering the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

What does a milk allergy glance love in infants

It doesn't mean, however, that it's excellent for them.

What is lactose?

Lactose is the sugar in mammal's milk. In order to release its energy, it must be broken below into its constituent simple sugars &#x; glucose and galactose &#x; so they can be absorbed. This task falls to an enzyme called lactase, produced by cells lining our little intestines

If your body doesn't produce this enzyme, then lactose travels to the large intestine where it is fermented by gut bacteria, producing hydrogen and a range of potential toxins.

Developing allergies

Although a lot of food allergies start in childhood, you can develop them as an adult, too.

Cow's milk allergy in adults is relatively rare, but symptoms tend to be much more severe than in children when they do happen, with reactions being triggered by amounts as low as milligrams of cow's milk protein.

The most severe type of allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) may involve difficulty in breathing, a drop in blood pressure, and ultimately heart failure and death.

Occasionally, cow's milk allergy can cause severe symptoms that come on suddenly, such as swelling in the mouth or throat, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.

In such cases, immediate medical assist must be sought.

Avoiding cow's milk

The only dependable treatment for cow's milk allergy is to avoid every cow's milk and dairy products, including milk, milk powder, milky drinks, cheese, butter, margarine, yogurt, cream, and ice-cream.

Products with hidden milk content should also be avoided &#x; glance out for: casein, caseinates, hydrolyzed casein, skimmed milk, skimmed milk powder, milk solids, non-fat milk, whey, and milk solids.

People with cow's milk allergy face a similar problem as those avoiding lactose &#x; milk-based ingredients can be hard to avoid as they are commonly used in the production of so numerous foods.

It can seem a daunting prospect, having to read the ingredients labels, but most supermarkets now produce product 'free-from' lists, and numerous own their own-label range.

There are even iPhone apps available now to assist you identify ingredients by scanning the product bar code. Soya ice creams, spreads and yogurts, and dairy-free cheeses are just some 'free-from' examples.

Ditching lactose

The treatment for lactose intolerance is straightforward: avoid lactose.

It means cutting out every cow's milk, and other dairy foods and checking labels as lactose is added to numerous unlikely foods, including bread, breakfast cereals, salad cream, mayonnaise, biscuits, chocolate, cake, crisps, instant soup and some processed meats, such as sliced ham.

The expression 'lactose' will not necessarily be listed on food labels so glance out for things love dried milk or whey powder.

Lactose is also used as a filler in numerous types of medication and while this may not trigger symptoms in most people with lactose intolerance, it can cause problems in some. Check with your doctor and request lactose-free tablets.

The calcium myth

It's a myth that people who avoid dairy miss out on calcium &#x; there are numerous excellent non-dairy sources, including green leafy vegetables (spinach is a relatively poor source as it contains oxalate which binds calcium), dried fruits, nuts and seeds, calcium-set tofu and calcium-fortified soy milk.

Remember, 70 percent of the world's population don't do dairy &#x; so you're not alone.

Dairy consumption in the UK is in decline as the market for plant-based milks, vegan cheese, yogurt, and other alternatives is booming. Whether you are lactose intolerant, allergic to cow's milk protein, or simply desire to cut out dairy for health reasons, the animals or the environment, there's never been a better time to go dairy-free.

Going vegan has never been easier, there are vegan foods labeled as such in every major supermarket.

Discover out how simple it is on Viva!'s website here 

Milk Allergy in Infants

If your baby seems additional fussy, gassy, barfy, snorty or rashy you may wonder, “Can babies be allergic to breastmilk?” The answer? No, the natural breastmilk proteins are so mild that they just don’t provoke allergies in babies.

What does a milk allergy glance love in infants

However, here’s the large BUT. Babies can be allergic to foods that you eat…tiny bits of which can sneak into your milk!

How do we know infants don’t get breastmilk allergies? In , Swedish scientists proved that even colicky babies are totally fine with their mom’s milk, however, they can be allergic to proteins that pass through the mom’s intestines into her bloodstream and then into her milk.

And, those foreign invaders can sometimes create major hassles. About 10% of colic caused by a baby food allergy—most often the common allergenic foods, love dairy, soy, citrus, eggs, nuts, etc.—or food sensitivity—like caffeine in coffee, chocolate, ice tea, cola, Chinese herbs or decongestant medicine. (Most colic has nothing to do with the intestines.

It’s actually an imbalance of too much chaos and too much peaceful and too little rhythmic stimulation. That’s why fussy babies can often be soothed by the 5 S’s.)

What is milk intolerance and milk allergy?

Around 1 in 10 young children has a reaction when they drink cow’s milk. This could be because they own a lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. Milk allergy is more common than lactose intolerance in children under 5.

Lactose intolerance is a problem with the digestive system – it means your kid doesn’t own the enzyme needed to digest lactose, which is the sugar in milk.

Milk allergy, however, is a problem with the immune system — the body reacts to the protein in milk.

An allergy generally involves other parts of the body as well as the stomach, and may cause symptoms such as a skin rash or swelling of the face.

Your doctor can confirm whether your kid is lactose-intolerant or has a milk allergy by doing some medical tests. Don’t use unproven tests such as Vega, kinesiology, Alcat or allergy elimination tests for children. A milk intolerance is unlikely to be the cause of mucus or coughing.

Many young children grow out of their intolerance or allergy. But don’t start giving them cow’s milk until your doctor tells you it’s safe to do so.

Breastfeeding a baby who can’t tolerate milk

If your baby is lactose-intolerant, you don’t need to change your diet. It doesn’t matter how much dairy you consume, the quantity of lactose in your milk will be the same.

However, if your baby is diagnosed with milk allergy, you will need to remove every dairy from your own diet too. You will need calcium and vitamin D supplements every day. Your doctor or allergy specialist will advise you.

Lactose intolerance

Symptoms and diagnosis

The symptoms of lactose intolerance in babies and children are:

All of these symptoms are common in babies and don’t necessarily mean they own lactose intolerance. But if your kid has diarrhoea and isn’t putting on weight, see your doctor.

What does a milk allergy glance love in infants

Don’t stop breastfeeding unless your doctor tells you to.

Tests include a breath test to measure the hydrogen in your child’s breath, or cutting out dairy to see if their symptoms improve. This is known as an elimination diet.


Lactose is the sugar found in the milk produced by every mammals, including humans. Sometimes people don’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase in their gut to break below the lactose.

Very few babies own true lactose intolerance, a rare genetic condition where they’re born without any lactase enzymes at every. (This is called primary lactose intolerance). However, numerous people develop lactose intolerance later in life, after the age of 5.

It is more common in Aboriginal Australians and people from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and some Mediterranean countries.

Babies and young children can become intolerant to milk if the lining of their gut is damaged by an illness such as gastroenteritis, or an allergy or intolerance to another food. This is called secondary lactose intolerance and will go away once the gut heals.


If the lactose intolerance is caused by a tummy upset, hold on breastfeeding. If your baby is formula fed, talk to your doctor or kid and family health nurse before switching to low-lactose or lactose-free formula.

What does a milk allergy glance love in infants

Older children will need to cut below on, but not eliminate, dairy foods from their diet. They can still own some cheeses, yogurt, calcium-fortified soy products, lactose-free milk, butter and cream. Your doctor or a dietitian will advise you on the best diet for your kid.