Children with serious tummy troubles? Is it milk allergy?
Kid: "Ouch, my tummy hurts, mommy!"
Mom: "Now what have you eaten after breakfast?"
Kid: “Nothing mom, just had the milk you gave me. Having a lot of tummy aches these days..."
What really could be the reason for such frequent stomach pains? Is my child developing milk allergy? How do I find out?
Yes, it could be milk allergy if your child is having recurrent and serious tummy troubles after taking milk.
What is Milk Allergy?
An abnormal response by the body's immune system to milk and milk products is known as milk allergy. It is one of the commonest food allergies seen in children.
Cow's milk most frequently is the cause for milk allergy, though, at times, children can develop an allergic reaction to goats, sheep and buffalos’ milk too.
Why does Milk Allergy Occur?
Milk allergy occurs due to malfunctioning of the immune system. Certain proteins in milk are identified as harmful by the body’s immune system and antibodies are formed to combat it.
Every time the child takes in the allergic product, in this case, milk, the antibodies recognize them and signal the immune system to release certain chemicals and enzymes that lead to an array of allergy symptoms.
The major proteins that are responsible for milk allergy are casein (found in milk solid) and whey (found in liquid solid). These proteins become hard to avoid as they are found in certain processed foods too.
What symptoms does a Milk Allergy cause?
Milk allergy symptoms can develop within a few minutes to a few hours after the intake of milk or milk products. The commonest symptoms can range from formation of hives, itching around mouth, angioedema (swelling around lips, tongue, throat), to shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps or severe colic in babies, running nose, and watery eyes.
These symptoms are usually self-limiting, but in some cases can lead to severe complications.
In severe cases of allergy, the symptoms can lead to anaphylaxis - a life-threatening condition that presents with shortness of breath, a drop in the blood pressure, facial flushing requiring immediate hospitalization.
Milk allergy can be diagnosed by either a skin test that checks for an allergic reaction to specific milk protein on the skin or by a blood test to determine the allergy levels in the body.
Can Milk Allergy be treated?
The most effective way to combat milk allergy is to avoid milk and milk products.
Certain processed foods are better tolerated by some children though it may prove harmful in the long run. Though effective, avoiding milk is easier said than done as milk is a common ingredient in most foods.
While the conventional allopathic medications can help manage the allergy symptoms by the administration of antihistamines (anti-allergic medications), that provide temporary relief homeopathic medications help treat allergy effectively.
Homeopathic medications go to the root cause of the problem (in this case, the deranged immune reaction) and help restore it to normalcy. Once the immune reaction is back to normal the allergy episodes reduce in intensity and frequency initially and gradually disappear altogether thereby restoring the health of the child. And all this without any side-effects!
"So the next time your little one complains of a tummy ache after taking a glass of milk, worry no more!
Its time you give homeopathy a try!"