Dairy, Oh’Dairy

When people find out we are a gluten and dairy free house they are very quick to have pity on our gluten sensitivity issues. However, I’m all about honesty here and the truth is gluten alternatives are not bad {some are quite yummy}. Dairy on the other hand is far more difficult to sub out; how do you make cheese taste like cheese when it’s made with flour and cellulose? You don’t. Dairy is also far more complex {I think} to understand. Did you know we are the only animal to ingest another animals milk? We don’t see goats nurse off of cows or vice versa now do we? 

Milk allergies; occur when the immune system mistakenly sees the protein in milk as an enemy and as something it should fight off. Milk allergies can cause irritability, bloating, discomfort, rashes, and respiratory  problems. Many children but not all will outgrow their milk allergy between 3-5 years of age. 

Is a milk allergy the same as being lactose intolerant? No, lactose intolerance is typically seen in adults and older children only. It is the inability to digest the sugar lactose that is present in milk. Where as most young children are in fact reacting to the proteins {whey and/or casein}. 

With dairy it is not uncommon to have a slower onset before seeing a reaction {7-12 days} from consumption. This making dairy very difficult to pin point as a problem at times. Although, please note some children react immediately. Some symptoms but not all include; loose stools {k.bears colored poop}, gagging, unexplained vomiting, congestion, eczema type rash, wheezing and in severe cases even anaphylaxis can occur. 
If you suspect that your infant or child is allergic to milk, as with anything I advise calling your doctor.  Testing/diagnosing for dairy reactions; There’s no single lab test to accurately diagnose a milk allergy at this time. Therefore, your doctor might order several tests to make a diagnosis. He/she will use a process of elimination in order to rule out any other health problems as well. A stool test, blood work up, and an allergy skin test may all be administered. If your child is showing signs of a milk allergy response you maybe advised to avoid it altogether.
*Remember dairy stays in our systems for quite sometime eliminating dairy for a few days will not likely show any change/improvement. 
Photo credit; Dr.Akirah