Milk allergies are usually related to cow’s milk, though usually any childhood milk allergies are gone by age three. However, sometimes these can last a lifetime and begin in early childhood. In fact, the allergic reaction to milk usually happens within minutes or might not occur for up to four hours, lasting up to a full day. More severe reactions can result in a shock reaction which requires emergency care. Regardless of the reaction time, a milk allergy does not necessarily have to be as a result of drinking milk as it can come from any type of milk product or food. In some cases, the reaction does not occur until there has been a substantial build up over time of the milk proteins. It can happen through varied forms, including drinking and eating, but also skin contact with a milk product, something that has been in contact with a milk product or someone who has had a milk product and still has remnants on their skin or lips.
Milk Allergy Symptoms
Symptoms of milk allergies range from mild to severe reactions to milk proteins, not the lactose itself. Thus, a milk allergy should not be confused with lactose intolerance. In fact, the symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, hives and rashes. Children might develop environmental type allergies and asthmas. Others may get eczema which can start between ages six months to three months with asthma developing prior to age five. Some will grow out of it and others will not. Immediate types of reactions can include almost instantaneous symptoms. Anaphylaxis reactions, the most severe and potentially life-threatening responses to milk products can include cramping, breathing problems, wheezing, gagging, choking, coughing, itchy and water eyes, and sneezing, and usually includes multiple serious symptoms that can result in toxic shock and eventual death if not treated with emergency care right away.
Avoiding Milk Allergy Reactions
It is possible to avoid milk products and avoid reactions and some people can have limited amounts that do not involve serious dietary restrictions. However, even if sufferers read labels on food products and stay away from milk products as best as they can when eating out might not be able to avoid secondary contact with milk products that are labelled differently and might appear in not as easily recognizable foods. Therefore, to properly avoid milk allergy reactions, getting formal allergy testing done and a dietician’s advice is important.