It is important to note that any individual can develop dairy allergy at any age, but it is usually diagnosed among children below three years old. Dairy allergy is different from lactose intolerance. Take note that adults can have both dairy allergy and lactose intolerance which is one reason why some confuse the two conditions.
Lactose intolerance can cause digestive problems and becomes more common and severe as one starts to age. As for dairy allergy, the symptoms tend to vary and can increase in severity with age as well. When it comes to adults, it is best to undergo proper testing in order to determine the exact cause of allergies. By enrolling in a first aid course, you are ready to handle an allergic reaction properly.
What are the causes?
An allergic response to dairy products is due to the immune response of the body to the proteins that are present in cow’s milk. The body produces antibodies to the protein and histamines that are released into the bloodstream. The symptoms that manifest once the histamines are released can occur within a few minutes after eating dairy products. The common symptoms include coughing, watery eyes, and sneezing as well as sinus congestion. Additional symptoms that can manifest hours after include bloating, diarrhea, nausea, headache, confusion and even disorientation. Confusion and breathing problems are considered as serious allergic reactions to the milk protein.
In most cases, the body can suffer from various gastrointestinal symptoms if the individual has dairy allergy. Cramps, nausea and bloating are linked with both dairy allergy and lactose intolerance. Take note that diarrhea is one of the common symptoms. An allergy to dairy can also lead to alternating episodes of constipation and diarrhea which can be triggered by stress on the digestive system.
What are the other symptoms?
Many individuals do not connect dairy allergy with skin and respiratory problems. The release of histamine and antibodies can trigger itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing, coughing, hives and skin rashes. The coughing, hives, wheezing as well as swelling in the mouth or throat are considered serious reactions. If the individual experiences these reactions, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
The ideal way in order to reduce the symptoms for an allergic response to dairy products is to avoid foods that contain dairy. The basic dairy foods to watch out for include cheese, milk, butter and yogurt since these contain milk proteins which trigger the allergic reaction in highly sensitive individuals. High concentrations of milk protein are usually present in commercialized foods which contain milk protein in powdered form such as whey. Other milk additives that are concentrated include sodium caseinate and casein. Additionally, the individual should read the food labels carefully to avoid those that contain dairy to prevent triggering an allergic response.