Milk Allergy Statistics:
Cow's milk allergy (CMA) is the most common food allergy in young children, but is uncommon in adults. This food allergy presents with a wide range of clinical syndromes due to immunologic responses to cow's milk proteins that can be immunoglobulin E (IgE)- and/or non-IgE-mediated. Studies in several countries around the world show a prevalence of milk allergy in children in the first year of life of around 2% to 5%. Many children lose their hypersensitivity to milk by age 3, but some children remain allergic for a lifetime.
Milk Allergy Symptoms:
Sensitivity to cow’s milk varies from individual to individual. These symptoms may occur: within minutes or up to one hour after having a small amount of cow’s milk. Symptoms may include hives (urticaria), eczema, face swelling, vomiting, diarrhoea, noisy breathing or wheeze. Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) may cause floppiness in babies. Several hours after having moderate amounts of cow's milk. After a day or up to several days after having normal amounts of cow's milk. Symptoms can include eczema, vomiting, diarrhoea or asthma.
Milk Allergy Management and Treatment:
To prevent a reaction, strict avoidance of cow’s milk and cow’s milk products is vital. Always read ingredient labels to identify cow’s milk ingredients. It is recommended that formula-fed infants who are allergic to milk use an extensively hydrolyzed, casein-based formula. This type of formula contains protein that has been extensively broken down so it is different than milk protein and not as likely to cause an allergic reaction. Examples of casein-hydrolysate formulas are Alimentum and Nutramigen. If the child is not allergic to soy, his or her doctor may recommend a soy-based formula.