Are you allergic to milk? Here's your guide to safe allergy treatment
Milk allergy is one of the most common allergies in children. It often occurs in infants and young children. About one in 50 children under the age of one suffer from milk allergy. It has been observed that children who are fed on cow’s milk based infant formula are at more risk of suffering from milk allergy. Breastfeeding therefore seems to protect infants from developing it. The other risk factors include having a family history of allergies like asthma & eczema.
Milk allergy, if not managed well or treated can cause a condition called anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction that leads to narrowing of the airways and blockage of breathing.
What causes an allergic response?
Food allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to a particular protein found in the milk. The job of your body’s immune system is to identify and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses that can make you sick. However, in people suffering from milk allergy, the immune system mistakenly targets a harmless milk protein, as it considers it as a threat to your health. It therefore attacks it, causing an allergic reaction.
How do you know you are suffering from milk allergy?
When allergic reaction occurs it results in symptoms like:
- Hives (swollen, pale red bumps or plaques on the skin)
- Coughing or shortness of breath
- Itching or tingling feeling around the lips
- Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat.
Symptoms like diarrhea, which may contain blood, abdominal cramps, runny nose and watery eyes, are also seen in some children.
Symptoms occur within just 5 minutes to about two hours after consumption of milk. So can milk allergy be treated? Yes, it can be treated.
Allergy treatment & self-management
Homeopathy treats all types of food allergies, including milk allergy effectively. The aim of homeopathic treatment for allergies is not only to treat food allergy but to address its underlying cause. It views food allergies as an expression of a disturbance in the patient’s healing system and therefore the treatment works by optimising the overcharged immune system.
Here’s your safety guide for managing milk allergies better.
3 key self-management tips for milk allergy
- Breast feed your child as long as you can: In children who suffer from milk allergy, breast-feeding and the use of hypoallergenic formula can help prevent allergic reactions. Breast-feeding for as long as possible is recommended, especially if you think your child is at higher risk of developing milk allergy. The risk factors include having a family history of food allergies or other allergies like asthma & eczema.
- Follow a dairy-free diet/avoid the obvious triggers: Avoiding dairy products and any other products that may contain milk protein is definitely one of the best ways of keeping away an allergic reaction. If you are an adult and allergic to milk proteins, make a list of such products that you should not eat and let your family, friends and even restaurants’ chef know about your allergy and the triggers. This will make sure that you do not eat food containing these allergens when you go out to eat. Also, looking at a list of dairy products can be helpful if you’re not sure what to avoid. Read food labels carefully so that you do not eat even packaged food containing allergens.
- Have a good substitute to match nutrients level of milk: When your child avoids foods containing milk or milk products, he may be losing essential nutrients from his diet. You will therefore need to choose foods wisely to replace these lost nutrients. Your practitioner might recommend you to give your child dietary supplements. You can also give her milk alternatives if your child is over one year old. Some good milk alternatives are:
- Soy milk
- Fortified rice milk
- Fortified grain or seed milks (oat milk, flax milk)
- Fortified nut milks (almond or cashew milk)
- Fortified coconut milk.
It is imperative to treat allergies, as not managing them might create complications that might also be fatal. So, manage your milk allergies better and treat them with natural & safe homeopathic treatment.