Thursday, March 25, 2010

Milk Allergy, Lactose Intolerance and Possible Cures

This is a guest post from Ashley M. Jones.  Thanks Ashley for sharing your insights!!!
Milk Allergy, Lactose Intolerance and Possible Cures
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over three million children in the USA suffer from food allergies, and with milk allergy being the most common kind of food allergy, you can imagine the number of children who are plagued by it. Most people who are not familiar with milk allergies tend to confuse them with lactose intolerance – the two are very different in that:
·      Lactose intolerance is a condition where you cannot digest lactose (found in dairy) because your body does not produce the enzyme lactase while milk allergy refers to the adverse effects of your immune system to casein, a protein found in milk and other dairy products.
·      Lactose intolerance causes discomfort in the form of cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea and dizziness while a milk allergy causes more serious symptoms like skin rash, nasal congestion, bloody stools, and even anaphylactic shock.
·      A milk allergy is life-threatening while lactose intolerance is not.
·      Milk allergies develop in childhood while lactose intolerance develops when you’re an adult.
·      Children grow out of milk allergies, but adults with lactose intolerance find that it becomes worse as time goes by because the amount of lactase produced by the body decreases as we grow older.
Whether you’re allergic to milk or suffer from lactose intolerance, you must ensure that you don’t touch dairy products at all. Besides this, it’s best you stay away from other products that contain casein and lactose, like dairy creamers and whiteners, cereals, processed meats, mayonnaise, breath mints, potato crisps, protein bars and powders, salad dressings, baby formula, dessert toppings, and even in a few OTC drugs, cosmetics, creams, soaps, and vitamin and other nutritional supplements.
There is good news on the horizon for parents and children who suffer from milk allergy – the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the Duke University are jointly conducting a study that could find a cure for milk allergy. The technique, which is known as sublingual immune therapy (SLIT), involves placing a tiny amount of milk protein under the tongue of children who suffer from milk allergies. The amount is increased every day, and over a period of time, the children are supposed to become immune to the allergen. SLIT differs from oral immunotherapy (where small amounts of milk are ingested) in that the milk protein is placed under the tongue rather than ingested – apparently, this makes a difference in the way children react to the protein. According to the study, the children who took part were able to tolerate milk protein considerably well in just three short months. 

This guest post is contributed by Ashley M. Jones, who writes on the topic of pharmacy tech certification . She welcomes your comments at her email id:


popMC-Pat's girl said...

I've recently been put onto a strict no dairy diet for my infant son who is having complications due to my intake of cow's milk/dairy. Do you happen to know if lactic acid is something to avoid (I have been thus far since I don't know), also what about calcium disodium edta (they say it's a preservative), should things with that be avoided as well?

popMC-Pat's girl said...

i have recently been put onto a no dairy diet for my infant son who's having complications due to my intake of cow's milk/dairy. I was wondering, do you know if lactic acid is something to avoid as well? (i have been thus far), and what about calcium disodium (an ingredient on a lot of things and says it's a preservative). thanks so much

Juventa said...

As far as I know, Lactic Acid is completely safe and dairy-free (according to the FAAN network). I have never heard of calcium disodium edta as having any milk protein in it, however, if you want to be sure, you can always contact the manufacturing company for the product containing calcium disodium edta and ask them. Good luck going dairy-free! You can do it:) (Please note at the bottom common item's that sound like that contain dairy, like Lactic Acid, but DO NOT:))

Here is as complete a list as I have of food items containing dairy products from my cookbook:

Dairy Ingredients and Hidden Dairy Products:
Artificial butter flavor, Butter, Butter fat, Buttermilk,
Butter oil, Casein, Caseinates (ammonia, calcium,
magnesium, potassium, sodium), Cheese, Cottage
cheese, Cream, Curds, Custard, Ghee, Goat’s milk, Half & half, Hydrolysates (casein, milk protein, protein, whey, whey protein), Kefir, Koumiss, Lactalbumin, Lactalbumin phosphate, Lactoglobulin, Lactose, Lactulose, Milk (condensed, derivative, powder, dry, evaporated, low fat, malted, non fat, protein, skim, solids, whole), Milkfat, Nougat, Paneer, Pudding, Rennet casein, Sour Cream, Sour cream solids, Sour milk solids, Whey (in any form including delactosed, demineralized, protein concentrate, sweet), Yogurt.

Ingredients that MAY contain milk protein (but not the manufacturer):
Chocolate, Flavorings (natural or artificial), High protein flour, Hot Dogs, Luncheon Meat, Margarine, Simplesse, Sausage, Starter Distillate, Caramel Color.

Also, if a severe allergy is present, you may want to avoid “deli” meats, because the slicers frequently are used to cut both meat and cheese products. Also, some deli meats contain dairy products. (ingredient information taken in part from:

This list is as thorough as I have, however, ingredients change all the time so always double check ingredients and labels. Some items that may seem to contain dairy, but DO NOT are: Lactic Acid (in most cases, double check labeling), Sodium Lactate, Calcium Lactate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, and Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate. (The FAAN network approved these ingredients as dairy-free. Again, it is always best to double check as processes change.)

erivar26 said...

Wow, I always knew my son wasn't allergic to lactose because when put on lactose free formula as a baby, he would still get blood in his stools. Now, that he is 4 he is on soy milk, but I always find myself having to explain his allergy to milk's protein, I guess it's so much easier to say he is allergic to milk. I guess i am going to start paying more attention to all the different types of milk ingredients on all the products, sometimes we are pretty sure he hasn't eaten anything that contains milk and he will still get eczema, which is so frustraiting. So thanks so much for opening my eyes, and making more aware!!