It is a well-known fact that milk has many important minerals and nutrients. Breast milk can protect babies from many common diseases. However, milk can also cause such unpleasant reactions as lactose intolerance and milk allergy. Both lactose intolerance and milk allergy can show their symptoms at different stages of your life. But even though these two reactions have much in common, they are not the same. The main difference between them is that in the case of lactose intolerance, your body will simply have some slight problems with milk absorption. And in the case of milk allergy, your immune system will respond to some components of milk or milk products in the most negative way.
The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance are very similar to the symptoms of milk allergy. In both cases you can have such symptoms as intestinal gas, bloating and cramps, as well as diarrhea. Lactose intolerance is a natural reaction and you can’t do anything to prevent it. In fact, you can live for many years not even knowing you have this reaction. Some people can consume small or even moderate amount of milk without any symptoms of lactose intolerance. But at the same time, if they consume too much milk or milk products, they may have serious problems resulting from lactose intolerance.
When it comes to milk allergy, the symptoms are more evident and they can show almost immediately. Even when you do not know the common symptoms of milk allergy, you will know for sure that something is wrong with your body. When your immune system reacts to the components of milk or milk products, you will have a very obvious response from it. This response can result in such symptoms as redness, swelling, and great discomfort in your stomach. Note that any allergy can lead to such unpleasant consequences as anaphylactic shock. The biggest risk of anaphylactic shock is that you can die from it. The good news is that milk allergy is never that severe.
More Common Milk Allergy Symptoms
People who are suffering from severe milk allergy may develop reddish bumps, hives and patches. These patches appear across the body. The appearance of the hives is similar to the rashes but they are entirely different. The hives only take a few minutes to appear. Hives appear in the body to indicate that excess histamine is produced as a result of milk allergy in the body. Skin discoloration is another symptom. When the disease reaches a chronic condition, skin discoloration grows into disease like eczema. They are also capable of producing rashes in lips and mouth.
Intolerance vs. Allergy
Milk allergy and milk intolerance are the two diseases that often confuse people. In fact these two diseases are entirely different. Like the two diseases, the treatment for them is also completely different. The milk tolerance is usually mild and it is a disease that is caused by the incapability to digest lactose. The disease does not cause serious injuries and the reaction only affects the digestive track. The milk tolerance is the disease that can be easily treated using lactose free milk products or digestive enzymes. Milk allergy is the reaction that is not caused by the lactose in the milk but because of the proteins in them. In some cases, tests may be carried out to ensure whether the symptoms are of milk allergy or some other disease.
Mucus production is another symptom of milk allergy that is not dangerous but causes a huge amount of irritation for the sufferers. The disease worsens mainly with runny nose, scuffing and sneezing. The disease also has the capability to cause occlusion of the nasal passages. This is a symptom that often confuses people and they interpret it as cold. The increased rate of mucus production causes bowel movements.
Anaphylaxis is a symptom that is known as a life threatening one, but this is only seen in some rare cases. This symptom of milk allergy needs immediate treatment, otherwise the patient’s life will be in danger. Rapid heart beat, confusion, weakness, hives and low blood pressure are the basic symptoms of anaphylactic shock. Without treatment, this symptom of milk allergy causes block in the lungs and the patients cannot breathe.
Milk allergy can result in many unpleasant symptoms. However, it can be treated the same way as all other types of allergy. One of the most popular methods of treating milk allergy is known as immunotherapy. This method is based on the reintroduction of some particular substance to your body with the main goal to desensitize all dangerous substances. As for example, if you are allergic to milk, some small amounts of milk can be injected to your blood streams. These amounts will not cause any allergic reaction, but they will help your immune system to become stronger. The amount of the substance injected to your blood stream must be increased over time so that it would be easier for your body to react normally to milk or any milk products. Other known methods of milk allergy treatment may include such approach as avoiding the milk products or milk altogether. You can replace milk products and milk with other healthy products, such as goat milk, soy beans, powdered milk, etc.
When it comes to treating milk allergy, the most important thing to remember is to seek the help of a physician once you spot some or any of the milk allergy symptoms mentioned above. It is never recommended to perform any treatments or consume any medication without seeking professional help, since it might result in worsening the disease. This is especially important when you have to take care of an infant.
Since some symptoms of the milk allergy can be dangerous for the lives of the patients, it is highly recommended to seek medical assistance. Especially in cases of anaphylaxis, since this symptom can cause further complications and even death. This symptom is quite common when the patient have consumed foods containing milk.