If you give cow's milk to your baby and then he experiences redness or itching, it may be that he has an allergy to cow's milk. Allergies that arise after consuming cow's milk is indeed a rare thing, only occurs in 2 to 7 percent of babies. This happens due to the baby's immune system which reacts with the protein present in cow's milk. Most babies who have cow's milk allergy, usually can overcome this after they pass the age of 4 years, and only a few whose allergies last into adulthood.
Is cow's milk allergy the same as lactose intolerance?
Unlike lactose intolerance that does not involve the immune system, cow's milk allergy actually occurs due to the reaction of the child's immune system with proteins contained in cow's milk. The types of protein that most often cause allergies are whey and casein. Allergic babies can be allergic to one or both of these proteins. The reactions that occur usually occur within minutes or hours after consuming milk. Children can be allergic to any milk, because in a variety of milk there is protein in it, but the most common is an allergy caused by cow's milk.
What happens to my child if I have a cow's milk allergy?
Symptoms and signs that appear can occur in some severity, depending on each child. But usually the symptoms that immediately appear shortly after the child drinks milk are vomiting, making a 'ngik' sound, itching accompanied by swelling and redness. While the following are the symptoms and signs that may appear several hours after the child consumes milk, namely:
- Diarrhea and may contain blood
- Stomach cramps
- Watery eyes
- The skin becomes rash and itchy, often in the area around the mouth
- Colic or abdominal pain
If the symptoms that appear are very severe, then the child can experience anaphylaxis, which is a situation where the child is difficult to breathe due to allergic responses that occur to clog and block the respiratory tract. Anaphylaxis is a very serious event and requires special treatment such as injecting epinephrine drugs into children.
Generally, allergies will occur only until the child is 4 years old. However, if symptoms still appear when the child is more than 4 years, maybe the allergy will occur until he was a teenager. But after that usually the symptoms of allergies will disappear by itself. It is very rare to find cow's milk allergy in adults. Even so, children who used to have had milk allergies, have the risk of having allergies to other things, can even cause asthma when they grow up.
Why can a child be allergic to milk?
As explained earlier, allergies occur due to reactions to the immune system. When babies consume milk that causes allergies, the body's immune system will mark or respond to proteins that enter the body as harmful substances. The body will directly produce immunoglobulin E (IgE), an antibody that functions to deal with allergies that occur in the body. When the baby consumes milk several times, the IgE has recognized the protein that is considered dangerous so that it signals the body to release histamine and various other chemicals that can cause itching, redness of the skin, and various symptoms that have been mentioned previously.
Is my child at risk of having cow's milk allergy?
Some risk factors that can increase the risk of milk allergy in children are:
Allergy to other things . Many children who are allergic to milk are also allergic to substances or other objects. However, it is usually the allergies that cause allergies to other substances to appear.
Atopic eczema, which is chronic or chronic skin disorders, in the form of itching and redness on various parts of the body. Children who have atopic dermatitis are more likely to have food allergies, including milk.
Family history . Children who have family members who have a history of allergies to a type of food, have a greater chance of being allergic to milk
Age . Milk allergy often occurs in children. As they grow, the child's digestive system will develop and mature, so that eventually they can adapt to the protein in milk.
Does the allergy to milk will cause complications in the health of children?
Children who have an allergy to milk, have the opportunity to experience several health problems, such as:
- Allergies to other types of food, such as eggs, soybeans, beans, or even meat.
- Hay fever or allergic to pollen and dust, just like other allergies, this allergy occurs due to interference with the child's immune system.
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Reviewed: June 20, 2019 | Last Edited: June 20, 2019
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