What Every Parent Should Know About Cow Milk Intolerance

Cow milk intolerance can occur in infants and young children. It is something that many grow out of, but does make feeding difficult. As a parent, it is in you and your child's best interest to learn more about cow milk intolerance.

Why Does Cow Milk Intolerance Occur?

The simple reason for any food allergy is the immune system getting confused over the item in your body. It thinks the ingredient is harmful and fights against it. More histamine is released, leading to swelling, itching, and burning.

Cow milk intolerance occurs when the body struggles to deal with the proteins in the milk. If ignored, the stomach and intestines can be damaged. The problem is some cow milk intolerance signs are delayed and it make take you time to figure out what the problem is. With delayed intolerance, it can take a week after drinking for the signs to appear, according to GI Kids.

Around 2-3% of infants will suffer from milk intolerance or allergy, according to Kids Health, but most will outgrow it between the ages of three and five years.

Are Breastfed Babies Affected?

The intolerance is only to those in cow milk. However, a purely breastfed baby may show symptoms and signs. The milk or dairy products made from cow's milk that you consume can end up in your breast milk. Limit the amount of dairy and milk that you consume to keep the symptoms to a minimum. You can cut dairy out completely and get your calcium from other sources.

Those that supplement formula and breastmilk will experience some symptoms, including swelling, hives, and diarrhea. Some loose stools may contain blood, and colic is more common.

Some of the more rapid symptoms include rashes and wheezing. If a baby goes floppy or unresponsive, emergency services should be contacted. Anaphylaxis may occur, but is more common with other allergies.

What Can You Do?

If breastfeeding, you know that you can change your diet. If you are formula feeding, the first step is to consider your feeding options. Can you switch to breastfeeding? If the milk supply hasn't completely dried up, it isn't too late to make the switch.

When this isn't an option, you will need to switch to a non-cow's milk formula. There are various soy products, but check labels for any chance of contamination. You should only use approved formulas and not try to create your own at home. Specially made formulas go through a process to make sure they are safe for all children and your baby gets the nutrients they need.

For a medical clinic, contact a company such as Summit View Clinic.

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