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For years, we have always called raw milk unhealthy and pasteurized milk healthy. Research shows that this belief is not entirely correct since the process of pasteurization gets rid of some essential elements that our bodies need to keep us away from allergies.
Milk is a good source of protein, but to some people, it is a source of discomfort or even pain. Though rare, being allergic to milk happens. Today, we will help you know if you are allergic to pasteurized milk through the following discussion.
What is milk allergy?
A milk allergy occurs when you get a reaction from consuming milk proteins. If you have a milk allergy, your immune system can attack the proteins from the milk and make your body react negatively. The symptoms of milk allergy are more severe than those from lactose intolerance. You may experience immediate symptoms from a milk allergy.
This allergy is common among children due to a weak digestive system. As a child grows up, their digestive system continues to mature such that they don't react to milk anymore. Though cow milk is the most known cause, studies reveal that taking milk from goats, sheep or buffalos can also lead to a reaction.
Many are the times when we confuse milk allergy with lactose intolerance. Though this two may seem related, they are not equals. Lactose intolerance has a lot to do with digestion problems rather than the immune system. In this case, your body does not produce the required enzyme to convert lactose into a form that your body can use.
A lactose intolerant person gets symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, and acne if they consume milk. The symptoms of lactose intolerance make you uncomfortable. They may not be severe to threaten your life. The treatment of these two conditions is also different.
What causes milk allergy?
Like other food allergies, milk allergy comes from the malfunctioning of an immune system. According to your body, milk products are harmful. This makes it stimulate antibodies known as immunoglobulin which release chemicals in the soft tissues causing the reaction.
The proteins found in milk which cause allergies are casein and whey. Casein is the solid part of milk when it curdles while whey is the liquid part. Either or both of these two substances cause milk allergies.
It may be difficult to identify the exact cause of your reaction; therefore, you would be safe by avoiding both whey and casein. Some people also develop milk allergies from genetics. Children who suffer from skin inflammation can get milk allergy.
The ten signs that show you could be allergic to pasteurized milk
Some people get both early and late signs depending on the amount of milk protein they consume. The symptoms are as follows.
You may notice hives on your skin which appear in the form of clusters. They come in different sizes and shapes and can get very itchy. Though they may be harmless, they are uncomfortable. Some people also develop eczema that causes inflammation of the surface. It makes your skin sensitive to triggers such as temperature changes or certain foods. Others get a red skin that appears to be pale.
Coughing or wheezing
Studies reveal that there is an association between milk and breathing complications. If you have a milk allergy, you may start producing a wheezing sound from your chest or start coughing. Trouble breathing and chest pains are also symptoms you should watch out for.
This is a severe condition that makes the airwaves narrow and blocks the breathing system. Other than milk, it can also be caused by consuming nuts. People who experience this may feel itchy and get a swollen throat. The condition also affects your blood pressure. This is an emergency that requires shots of adrenaline.
Some people vomit while others experience nausea due to an unsettled digestive system. This is usually common in most children allergic to milk.
Abdominal pains and stomach cramps may also come from taking milk. Watch out for sharp pains and grumbling noises from your abdomen.
This may be a severe symptom that can develop a few hours after consuming milk. If it is severe, you should check in with your doctor and remain hydrated.
A runny nose and itchy eyes
Flu-like symptoms including a runny nose and itchy eyes may also come from taking saturated milk
Most infants allergic to milk produce a bloody stool.
Babies allergic to milk can also show signs of colic. They have a long crying spell and fuss a lot. You may also notice mucus on your baby's stool. This may be caused by taking a formula that contains a lot of milk proteins. Changing the baby's formula can reduce this effect.
How can you cope with a milk allergy?
Confirm product labels
Not all labels that read “dairy free” lack milk proteins. Most manufacturers who use this label only get rid of the lactose content but maintain milk proteins. Such products are suitable for people who are lactose intolerant and not for those who are allergic to milk.
The products also contain hormones and antibiotics that may trigger a reaction to milk protein. To avoid getting trapped, go through the components in your products as you rule out those containing things like casein, whey or lactulose.
Stay away from dairy products
You can control milk allergy if you forget about products such as ice cream, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and sour milk.
Replace them with healthy substitutes
You can still get healthy nutrients that do not cause reactions from other foods. For instance, try nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds, and coconuts. Get calcium from greens and fatty acids from seeds.
Maintain a self-injector
You can use this in case you take something that contains milk proteins without your knowledge. Self-injectors contain epinephrine that is a treatment to reduce the symptom of milk allergy.
Milk allergy can be uncomfortable, but you can still enjoy other foods that give you the same nutrients as milk. You have to be keen on what you purchase and what you eat from restaurants. Consult a doctor if you experience the symptoms we have outlined.