Milk Allergy Infant – After having taken her first bottle or milk product, my baby is in a bad way. It seems that he has an allergy to cow’s milk, but I would like to have more information. Is there a solution to address the problem? Is there milk without lactose for babies?
What type of allergy to cow’s protein does my baby have?
Cow’s milk can cause an allergy due to milk proteins (which causes a defensive reaction of the immune system or even intolerance) or an intolerance to milk sugar (called lactose intolerance or allergy to lactose in babies and that is explained by an insufficient secretion of lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose, in the intestine).
The allergy to cow’s milk proteins or APLV has doubled in the last ten years (the causes are multiple and, according to specialists, the list is still quite confusing). It represents 13% of childhood food allergies and affects about 3% of infants under two years of age. In more than 80% of cases, this type of allergy disappears towards the age of one or two years, when a regime of total exclusion is imposed. For 20% of affected children, the allergy will be final. If your little one has an allergy, the following information will be very useful.
How to recognize the allergy to cow’s milk in babies? It is not easy, since the signs are varied and coincide exactly with those of other pathologies.
The three major types of cow’s milk protein allergy symptoms are:
- Cutaneous: urticaria, eczema, redness or pallor of the face, edema.
- Digestive: regurgitation, vomiting, constipation, chronic diarrhea (in infants), abdominal pain (in young children).
- Respiratory (in 20-30% of cases): wheezing cough, asthma, breathing difficulties.
The signs of lactose intolerance are acute and irritating diarrhea, distension, cramping, gas and vomiting.
To confirm the suspicions of the doctor or pediatrician, it is necessary that a specialist make the child a complete allergy analysis. Through skin tests (immediate reactions) and / or patch tests or provocation tests, the specialist will check the manifestations that occur during digestion and cross the data with those of a blood sample.
There are allergy cases in my family; How important is this data?
A parent or sibling may be allergic to cow’s milk and the child may not be. That said, a prevalence of food allergies is seen in families that already have other types of allergies.
What food should we follow?
The diagnosis is already confirmed: the child has an allergy to cow’s milk proteins (APLV). Now you will ask yourself how you can feed yourself correctly. Surely your doctor or pediatrician will give you very useful advice, but just in case here we give you some clue:
- In the first place, your infant milk will be a protein hydrolyzate, a substitute for the milk that the baby would take (and that has nothing to do with hypoallergenic milk). This milk without lactose for babies is adapted and is just as rich as your baby’s previous milk and will help you grow as well. If you breastfeed, you must eliminate dairy products from your diet, since part of the proteins in cow’s milk passes into breast milk.
- Second, you must learn to decipher the labels of current consumer foods to locate any minimal trace of cow’s milk protein. The best-known names are milk powder, casein, caseinate, lactoglobulin, lactalbumin, whey … (list not complete). Watch with an eye!
And soy milk? In principle its consumption is not advised in babies, but better consult it with your pediatrician.
Although the allergy to cow’s milk will complicate the feeding of your baby, your allergist or pediatrician will accompany you throughout your nutritional development.
Breast-feeding against allergy The antibodies contained in breast milk represent the best prevention against food allergies. For its protective effect to act fully, breastfeeding should ideally last a minimum of four to six months.