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:
A true milk allergy differs from milk protein intolerance or lactose intolerance. Unlike a milk allergy, intolerance doesn't involve the immune system. Milk intolerance causes different symptoms and requires different treatment from a true milk allergy. Common signs and symptoms of milk protein intolerance or lactose intolerance include digestive problems, such as bloating, gas or diarrhea, after consuming milk or products containing milk.
Milk Allergy Management and Treatment:
Milk is a fairly easy 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 infant 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 have been extensively broken down. Alternatively, your infant’s doctor may recommend a soy-based formula.