Milk Allergies

Newborn babies, because they have a premature immune system, can have allergies to many things. Also because some components, the newborn baby may be allergic to breast milk as to formula milk that we buy in supermarkets.

People who are allergic to cow’s milk react to one or more of the proteins present in milk. The curd, the substance that forms the solid part of the cut milk, contains 80% of the milk proteins, including several called caseins. The watery part of the milk, contains the remaining 20%. A person may be allergic to the proteins in one or both parts of the milk, but the serum is responsible for most problems.

Milk protein allergy usually occurs for the first time when newborn babies receive a formula made from cow’s milk or when, through breast milk, they are exposed to the cow’s milk taken by the mother. Between 2% and 3% of newborn babies and young children are affected by allergy to milk.

People often confuse milk allergy with lactose intolerance, but they are different problems. What are some of the differences?

• Milk allergy is a reaction of the immune system to the proteins present in milk and dairy products; In contrast, lactose intolerance is caused by the body’s inability to break down lactose, which is milk sugar.

• Signs and symptoms of a milk allergy often appear during lactation, while lactose intolerance is uncommon in the first few years of life.

• Milk allergy can affect the digestive system as well as other systems in the body, such as the skin and respiratory tract; Lactose intolerance affects digestion only, causing bloating, or bowel movements that are not consistent after drinking milk or ingesting dairy products.

• In rare cases, newborn baby allergy to milk can be life threatening; Lactose intolerance is not life-threatening and people with this intolerance can often consume small amounts of milk without any symptoms.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms of newborn baby allergy to milk can occur in a matter of minutes (called an immediate response) or several hours after ingesting something that contains milk proteins (late response). Symptoms may range from runny nose (rinorrhea), urticaria (skin rashes that cause itching), facial swelling (angioedema), cough, wheezing, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea and eczema (scaly rash with itching), in some cases hypo, Irritation in character, gas, gall in the diaper area or armpits.

Some newborn baby allergy to milk affected by the immediate reaction may have a sudden and potentially serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis which affects several body systems (for example: skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system). 

Non-dairy products may contain casein. You should avoid processed food. Check labels to tell if they bring traces of milk and avoid these foods.

Cow’s milk contains more than 40 proteins and they can all act as antigens in humans. The main allergens are beta-lactam globulin, casein, alpha lactobumin and seroalbumin. The first is a protein that does not exist in the human species and is found in breast milk in minimal amounts (mcg) due to the dairy intake of the mother. These small amounts are responsible for the increased number of sensitizations to this protein.

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