Milk is a food that is found in many children’s diets, from formula milk to cheese to cakes. Animal milk that is commonly consumed by children is cow’s milk.
But the fact is that many children are unable to consume cow’s milk because of allergies or lactose intolerance.
The following Thevolume.net summarizes information about milk allergy vs lactose intolerance in children that is important for parents to know:
Milk allergy vs lactose intolerance, what’s the difference?
The words ‘allergy’ and ‘intolerance’ are often used interchangeably. However, the two have very different meanings.
Although both cause pain and discomfort, lactose intolerance is not a life-threatening condition. Meanwhile, milk allergy, on the other hand, because allergies to proteins in milk can cause anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening reaction.
What is a milk allergy?
A milk allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies one or more of the proteins in milk as harmful. As a result, the body launches an attack that releases chemicals that cause an allergic reaction.
Reactions to milk are usually mild to moderate. But in severe conditions, namely anaphylaxis, the life of the sufferer can be threatened. Anaphylaxis can occur in one to two percent of cases.
What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which a person’s levels of the enzyme lactase are low. The lactase enzyme is responsible for breaking down lactose carbohydrates in milk. If levels of the enzyme lactase are low, sufferers may experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating and diarrhea.
Symptoms of milk allergy in children
Symptoms of a milk allergy usually appear within minutes of consumption. The severity varies, but the most common is showing symptoms on the skin and digestive system.
Symptoms on the skin, such as itching and rash. While gastrointestinal symptoms may include nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
Approximately 20-30 percent of cases show symptoms of the respiratory system, including shortness of breath, chest and throat tightness, coughing, and wheezing.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that usually occurs quickly and involves two or more body systems, such as the skin and the cardiovascular system. The most serious symptoms of anaphylaxis are difficulty breathing and a drop in blood pressure, which can cause a child to become pale, dizzy, and even faint. If your child has a severe reaction, immediately rush the child to the ER.
Is there a cure for milk allergy?
Although there is no cure for milk allergy, studies have shown that oral immunotherapy for milk improves the body’s tolerability. However, this treatment is not a standard treatment and may require high costs and commitment.
Oral immunotherapy involves increasing the dose of the allergen to build tolerance so that the child can consume milk without causing a reaction. However, this procedure carries the risk of causing severe reactions and is not recommended for routine clinical practice. Oral immunotherapy should always be performed under the supervision of an allergist.
Those are the things that are important for you to know about milk allergy vs lactose intolerance.