Milk allergy: what is it and when does it occur
Children the first years of life are very vulnerable, not only externally, but also internally - their body is still being formed, grows stronger, "learns to live." And, for example, the digestive system in infants is immature and very vulnerable: the intestinal biocenosis has not yet been formed, there are few digestive enzymes and they are still “weak”. That is why babies are especially often food allergy - the immune system regards certain substances that enter the gastrointestinal tract as “alien” and begins to fight them. Runny nose, urticaria, swelling and other symptoms of food allergies are just a consequence of this overly active immune response.
Milk is one of the most frequent “culprits” of an allergic debut in a child. At the same time, artisans are particularly affected. After all, the proteins of mother's milk are recognized by the child's body as "their own", native (the mechanism laid down by nature itself). Therefore, when breastfeeding, allergies can occur only if the mother’s diet contains foods that are unsuitable for the baby. But mixtures often include casein, which the child's body can perceive as foreign. And, of course, an allergy can occur when new foods are introduced into the baby’s diet - dairy and sour milk.
Statistically, an allergy to milk most often first makes itself known in the first or second year of a child’s life. The further course of the disease largely depends on how competent and effective the treatment was. In most cases, by the age of three to five years, children safely “outgrow” an allergy to milk. However, ignoring the symptoms can lead to the development of other types of allergies, because the body forms a kind of habit of “explosive” reaction.
Allergy symptoms for milk protein
Allergy to milk manifests itself in children in the same way as other varieties of food allergies. The most common and characteristic symptoms include:
- a variety of digestive disorders (bloated tummy, weak stools or constipation, in infants - frequent regurgitation, in older children - the presence of fragments of undigested foods in the feces);
- skin manifestations that are classic for allergies (urticaria, dermatitis, eczema, scabs);
- respiratory failure (sneezing, rhinitis, noisy, uneven or difficult breathing, cough, in some cases asthmatic manifestations are possible).
In babies first-w cerned, the life of an allergy to milk protein is usually manifested by skin reactions, which may be accompanied by a runny nose. For older children, respiratory symptoms are more characteristic. At the same time, digestive upset can be either obvious or slightly noticeable at any age.
Note that milk allergies are often confused with lactose intolerance. Of course, in both cases, we are talking about a painful reaction to the same product, but these are different diseases that manifest themselves in different ways. With lactose intolerance, a child does not produce a sufficient amount of an enzyme that breaks down milk sugar (lactose), and undigested milk residues become an excellent breeding ground for bacteria that multiply in the stomach. In this case, the child's stomach usually hurts and swells, there may be gas, and stool disorders are almost guaranteed. However, there are never manifestations of the respiratory system with lactose intolerance.
How to treat milk allergy
The treatment of allergies should be approached comprehensively - in this case, the chance that the immune system will learn to respond to stimuli "correctly" is highest. Therefore, the attack on the disease should be carried out in several directions at once:
- the exclusion of products containing allergens from the child’s diet;
- the use of antihistamines recommended by the pediatrician, which can relieve symptoms and alleviate the condition of the baby (at the same time, antihistamines are not always used only as a “quick response tool” to an attack - sometimes the doctor prescribes a course), in some cases the doctor also prescribes immunomodulators;
- intake of sorbents that can remove allergens from the body, mouth thereby not only symptoms, but also the root cause of the disease.
Most often, doctors recommend Polysorb » is a very effective and at the same time safe, over-the-counter product with virtually no contraindications. It can be safely given to children of any age (from birth).
Among modern sorbents, Polysorb is considered the leader. The drug, getting into the gastrointestinal tract, gently envelops allergens, blocking their action - and removes them from the body, acting very quickly - the effect of the application is felt already 1-4 minutes after entering the intestine. This speed of action is understandable, because the drug is taken in the form of a suspension, and the stomach does not need to spend time gradually dissolving and “grinding” the product - it immediately starts to work in full force.
At the same time, the highest adsorption activity, The instant effect of the application and the absolute harmlessness for the child are not the only advantages of this drug.
Children are often capricious and picky, and sometimes it’s not easy to persuade them to drink the medicine. But Polysorb is a powder with a completely neutral taste, which is diluted in a liquid before use. At the same time, you can breed it not only with water, but also with breast milk, fruit drinks, compote, juice or any other drink that is familiar and beloved by your child. And persuading a child to drink such a medicine is much simpler.
"Polysorb" is used both in case of an acute allergic reaction to milk, helping to quickly stop an attack and get rid of unpleasant symptoms, and in courses lasting up to two weeks - for prevention and body cleansing. Dosage is either recommended by a doctor or calculated according to the instructions taking into account the weight of the child.
Diet for milk allergies
Even the most advanced medicines and the best doctors they will not be able to cope with the disease if the child’s immune system has to constantly “repel attacks”. Therefore, the key to successful treatment is any food allergies - the exclusion of harmful to the child products.
In the case of milk allergies, the list of allowed and prohibited products may vary depending on what kind of protein the child responds to. Unambiguously, all types of cow's milk (including dried, skimmed or non-lactose), whey, cheese and butter, as well as milk-containing products (for example, ice cream, chocolates or cream confectionery) should be excluded from the diet. The child’s response to “hypoallergenic” goat, sheep or camel milk, as well as dairy products, may depend on the type of allergy and its severity. In some cases, all types of dairy and sour-milk products of animal origin (including meat !!) are banned, and only soy, oat or almond milk is allowed.
When In this case, when choosing products, parents of a child with milk allergy should especially read the composition of the product indicated on the packaging in small print. The fact is that casein, the most aggressive of milk proteins, is a popular food supplement that can be found in many foods.