Hypersensitivity or allergy is the irregular immunologic reaction where the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody is produced by our body’s immune system. It is a condition where the body does not produce enough lactase to breakdown lactose present in the dairy products. Dairy allergy affects children until the age of 3 but then can continue until adulthood. Most of us referred dairy allergy as lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance usually affects the digestive system. A person is unable to tolerate milk’s protein.
For adults, one of the dairy allergy symptoms is the respiratory symptoms. Respiratory symptoms of allergy include wheezing and coughing. Rarely, this can become an anaphylactic reaction. The airway become narrowed which leads to breathing extremely difficult. For this type of allergic reaction, emergency treatment is needed.
Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea with or without blood, and abdominal cramping are digestive symptoms for adult caused by dairy allergy. These kinds of symptoms may take longer time to appear.
Another symptom for adult is the facial symptoms. These may also take longer time to appear. Symptoms include watery eyes, runny nose, and development of rash around the mouth after consumption of milk. Rash is itchy most of the time.
For toddlers who are allergic to dairy, they will react to toddler’s milk formula, cow’s milk, yogurt, cheese, butter, and ice cream. One of the dairy allergy symptoms for toddlers is experiencing hives and swelling within minutes to an hour after drinking or eating products with dairy. Hives are red, itchy, warm, and raise bumps that appear on the body but will typically disappear a few hours after the toddler stopped taking the food. There might be swelling on the lips, eyelids, tongue, throat, hand and feet called Angioedema. Swollen throat or tongue can block the airways. Immediate medical attention is needed.
A toddler may also experience vomiting, diarrhea and general paleness. Physicians would normally advise parents to continue observe their children for more complications or reactions from loss of fluid. These dairy allergy symptoms may return several days after exposure to dairy products.
Toddlers with dairy allergy may develop eczema within a day to several days after taking in dairy products. This starts out as red itchy rash on the face, inner forearm and scalp, behind the knees and opposite the elbows. The skin becomes scaly, brownish, thick, dry, and progressively itchy when the toddler scratches the rash. Eczema may probably be developed to toddlers with family history of allergies.
Asthma or respiratory symptoms in toddlers may also be caused by dairy allergy. Noisy breathing, panting or wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, breathing at more than 20 to 30 breaths per minute, and chest tightness are signs of asthma attacks of toddlers.
Dairy allergy symptoms can be different for adult and toddlers. Dairy allergic toddlers may need a special hypoallergenic infant formula. But since there is no cure yet for dairy allergy, you can manage your allergy by avoiding all dairy products. You need to consult a physician immediately if you or your toddler experience one of these symptoms.
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