Cows' milk protein allergy
Posted 19/01/2012 11:55:00 | Filed under Our Experts
At Allergy UK we receive lots of calls from worried parents who think that their baby might be allergic to cows’ milk. This can, of course, be a very worrying time for parents. That’s why it’s so important to know what to do and how to get the best advice.
Cows’ milk protein allergy is one of the most common allergies in young babies, but thankfully, many children grow out of this as they get older.
Food allergies occur when the body’s immune system becomes confused, and reacts to what for most people are harmless proteins in foods, such as cows’ milk. It is the release of the chemical histamine during this reaction that causes the typical symptoms that we recognise as allergy. These include a red itchy rash around baby’s mouth, hives (rash) on the body, runny nose, and vomiting or diarrhoea. Sometimes symptoms come on much more slowly, which can make them more difficult to spot. These are known as delayed allergies and may cause chronic symptoms such as eczema, reflux, colic, poor growth, diarrhoea or constipation.
From my experience working on the Allergy UK helpline for many years, I know that parents need support through this difficult time. Trying to establish whether or not their baby has cows’ milk protein allergy, and finding out what they can do to manage it, can be a frightening time for parents, particularly when baby is very unwell. At Allergy UK we can give parents advice on how to get help from their GP or healthcare professional, what to expect if they are sent to an allergy clinic, types of alternative milks that are available, and what food products they are likely to find cows’ milk proteins in.
We are pleased to have teamed up with Aptaclub to help parents get the best support and understand their baby’s cows’ milk protein allergy. Download our online leaflet for information on what to expect from your GP or healthcare professional and tips to help you make the most of your appointments, or take part in our survey to share your experiences of having a baby with cows’ milk protein allergy and be in with a chance to win one of 30 £30 vouchers from Mamas & Papas.
Did you relate to her story? If so, please add your comments below.