Latest posts by Lyndsay Edwards (see all)
- SALE 0-3 Years Recipe eBook – Dairy, Soya, Wheat, Gluten & Egg Free - June 1, 2017
- Dairy Free Easter Eggs At Asda - March 4, 2017
- 20 Dairy Free Biscuits Not In The Free From Aisle At Asda - January 30, 2017
Is it cow’s milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance?
Cow’s milk protein allergy and lactose intolerance are not the same!
Cow’s milk is made up of proteins such as casein and whey, sugar (lactose) and fat.
The cow’s milk protein allergic reaction happens because the immune system mistakes the proteins in cow’s milk to be a threat, when in fact they should be harmless. It then releases chemicals such as histamines and others, it’s these chemicals that trigger the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Symptoms of Cow’s milk protein allergy can vary in each individual.
Some of the signs and symptoms, include:
- Flatulence (wind)
- Bloated tummy
- Tummy aches and cramps
- Tummy rumbling
- Feeling sick/vomiting
- Skin reactions including eczema
- Colic, abdominal pain
- Hay fever like symptoms
- Breathing difficulties/wheezing
- Unusual stools
- Failing to thrive
Cow’s milk protein allergy is managed by completely eliminating cow’s milk protein from your baby’s diet, as even a small amount of cow’s milk protein could potentially trigger an allergic reaction.
Lactose intolerance is triggered by the lactose sugar in cow’s milk. In people with lactose intolerance, the digestive system can’t fully digest this milk sugar because it doesn’t make enough of the lactase enzyme. So instead of being digested and absorbed, the lactose stays in the gut and feeds the gut bacteria, which release acids and gases that cause the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
The main symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- Flatulence (wind)
- Bloated stomach
- Stomach cramps and pains
- Stomach rumbling
Initially, lactose intolerance may be managed by completely eliminating cow’s milk protein from the diet too. However, an entirely dairy free diet is rarely needed in the long term. Most people with lactose intolerance are able to digest some lactose, as they still have a low level of the enzyme, lactase. This means that some dairy products can be carefully reintroduced into the diet but how much will depend on the individual, so it’s important to follow the guidance of a dietitian when doing this. Some babies will benefit from having a lactose-free infant formula.
It’s important that you don’t make any changes to your child’s diet without the supervision of a healthcare professional. Be sure to speak to your doctor if you’re concerned that your infant might have cow’s milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance.
If you think that your baby might be showing the signs and symptoms of cow’s milk protein allergy or lactose intolerance, make an appointment to see your doctor. While you are waiting to see the doctor, start keeping a diary of your baby’s symptoms, write everything down including whether they flare up during or after feeds or at certain times of the day. It’s then a good idea to note down this information over 1-2 weeks. It’s also essential to indicate which foods your baby’s consuming – whether it’s breast milk, formula or solids. Then take this diary to your doctor to help you discuss your concerns together and help to reach a diagnosis.
Recently I have received a lot of questions on our Facebook page and I think it would be great if we can share our questions about cow’s milk protein allergy and support each other on this journey so, I have created a group on Facebook so we all have somewhere we can discuss and support each other in regards to living with cow’s milk protein allergy. Please take the time to read the group description. It is a closed group so, only members can see posts and reply to posts.
Some of the information above was taken from www.isitcowsmilkallergy.co.uk – This is a great website, full of lots of useful information. The website ‘is it cow’s milk allergy’ also has a free downloadable symptom diary.
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and receive FREE printable allergy cards
* indicates required
We hate spam and will never pass on your email address to anyone else.
Hand these allergy cards to the chef in restaurants so they can make sure your meal is allergy free.
Find out more about soya here: Soya Explained
Disclaimer: This website is for entertainment purposes only, you should always seek professional medical advice regarding any allergies. Always check with food manufacturers before consuming any food products, that they are allergy safe. Living with cow’s milk protein allergy is simply the sharing of a personal experience and is not qualified to give advice.
Disclaimer: This website contains affiliate links, by using these links at no extra cost to you I may receive a small fee which helps with the running cost of Living With Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy Blog.