Milk allergy is an unusual immune system reaction to milk and milk-containing products. It’s one of the most prevalent childhood food allergies. Milk allergies are most commonly caused by cow’s milk, although other milk-like sheep, goats, and buffalo can cause it too. An allergic response is pretty standard when you or your kid drinks milk. Wheezing, vomiting, hives, and digestive issues are all milk allergy signs and symptoms, ranging from moderate to severe. Anaphylaxis, an intense, life-threatening response, can also be caused by a milk allergy. After peanuts and tree nuts, milk is the third most common food to induce anaphylaxis.
The primary therapy for milk allergy is to avoid milk and milk products. Most youngsters outgrow their milk intolerance. However, those who do not grow out of it may need to forgo milk products indefinitely.
Foods that Contain Milk Protein
Milk protein is in all dairy products and certain other foods. You should avoid casein and whey proteins if you’re allergic to milk (rather than lactose intolerance). Even if a meal is labelled “milk-free” or “non-dairy,” it might include milk proteins that cause allergies, so check the label carefully.
Lactose-free milk is an excellent alternative to regular milk for lactose intolerant individuals. However, it is still a dairy product, so it may not suit everyone. Lactose intolerance, not a milk allergy, is the target audience for this milk. Lactose, unlike proteins, is a sugar. The milk sugar gets eliminated from lactose-free milk, but milk protein remains. Lactose-free milk may produce an allergic reaction in those with a dairy allergy, causing symptoms such as digestive discomfort, rashes, and vomiting. As per a study, Lactose-free dairy products are growing more popular, providing good chances for lactose-intolerant persons to benefit from a diverse range of nutritious and delicious milk-based products.
You may include dips or creamy sauces prepared with milk, yoghurt, or sour creams, such as ranch or blue cheese. Although it is sometimes evident that salad dressings with flavours like ranch or caesar contain milk components, it is not always so when choosing vinaigrette salad dressings. Cheese is used in several vinaigrettes to improve the taste or texture. When buying salad dressing, check the labels carefully because the name and description may not necessarily indicate that it contains dairy.
While goat’s milk and other animal-based milk, such as sheep’s milk, do not have the same milk proteins as cow’s milk, they may produce an allergic reaction. Persons with cow’s milk allergies should avoid other animal-based milk. Inquire with your doctor about the safety of sheep and goat milk. However, the answer is no for most people with a milk allergy.
Many kinds of margarine contain dairy components such as casein and whey, making them not dairy-free. Wide vegan butter varieties are available, ensuring you obtain a plant-based product without the risk of dairy contamination. However, some producers substitute milk for water or add animal-derived substances like lactose, whey, or casein.
Many vegetarian “meat” products use casein or whey protein isolates to give extra protein and function as an emulsifying and stabilising agent. These items are often branded as “vegan” or “casein-free” if they are dairy-free. You may also seek Pareve vegetarian meat replacements, which do not include meat or dairy components. Also, it’s pretty simple to make your own seitan meat items.
Sweets and Candies that May Contain Milk
Fruit, water, and sugar make this popular ice cream replacement, although it may also contain egg whites, milk, or gelatin. Unfortunately, many sherbet products offered in supermarkets have milk fat or cream. If you’re looking for something similar, try sorbet, produced with fruit, water, and sugar. Sorbet is a frozen fruit dish with shaved fruit. Although it shares some characteristics with sherbet, such as taste, the main distinction is that sherbet incorporates either heavy cream or other milk components to make it more ice cream-like. You should, however, always double-check the ingredients.
Some people think of this delicious spread as a chocolaty delicacy that may be spread on toast, while others think of it as any other nut butter. Don’t be misled: Nutella is more similar to a chocolate bar than nut butter. The following ingredients are available on the brand’s website: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, skim milk, chocolate, soy lecithin as an emulsifier, and vanillin (an artificial flavour). So it’s the skim milk (or, more precisely, skim milk powder) that renders it inappropriate for eating by persons with milk allergies.
Nougat is a candy common in American candy bars such as 3 Musketeers and Snickers. It typically has honey, sugar, almonds, egg whites, and occasionally milk powder. However, the ingredients can vary. Always read the label or inquire about the components.
You might be surprised to learn that not all chewing gum is dairy-free. Some brands employ Recaldent, a proprietary substance derived from milk (particularly casein, or milk protein) and amorphous calcium phosphate, in several of their gums. This casein phosphopeptide complex is supposed to aid in the rebuilding and strengthening dental enamel. Read the label carefully.
Lactose is a carrier for artificial sweeteners in tablets or packets. Because the sweetener is so tiny, something else is required to bulk up the powder. It is usually not an issue for lactose-intolerant individuals until you use many packets. However, artificial sweeteners in various packaged goods and beverages and chewing gum may contain additional milk or casein-derived chemicals, resulting in a double whammy.
Meat and Deli Products that May Contain Milk
Lactose, casein, and caseinates are popular as emulsifiers or taste enhancers in processed and deli meats. While reading labels for most of these goods is necessary to determine if they are dairy-free or not, search for meats branded “Kosher” since they will be dairy-free.
After beef, water, and corn starch, many popular hot dog brands that promote “all beef” wieners incorporate modified milk components as the fourth ingredient. Milk proteins work as a filler or extender in hot dogs. As a result, the maker may utilise less meat in total. Because manufacturers of hot dogs (and other meat products) are not obligated to declare allergies, it’s critical to read the ingredients list carefully.
Processed meats such as sliced ham, turkey, and prosciutto, like hot dogs, may contain milk proteins. These meats may contain dairy as a filler component for the same reasons as hot dogs. Always read labels while avoiding a meal, especially if you’re avoiding it for medical reasons.
Milk components are standard in tuna salad or mixed tuna sandwiches. Although it is common knowledge that some mayonnaise and cream sauces contain milk, did you realise that canned tuna can also have dairy? What you’ll find in canned tuna is usually labelled as casein (a milk protein). If you’re attempting to avoid dairy, you should remove canned tuna from your list of acceptable foods.
Milk protein, like deli meats, can be used as a filler or extender in sausages like hard salami, Italian sausages, and breakfast sausage. Always read the label or talk to your butcher about the ingredients and sausage-making process.
Before boiling, seasoning, and pureeing into a paté, animal liver, such as beef or chicken, can be soaked in milk to eliminate blood (which has an unpleasant flavour). Before eating, read the ingredient labels or inquire about how the brand made the pate’.
To remove the fishy stench, some producers dip shellfish in milk. Before you buy, always inquire about this possibility.
To make a steak seem juicier, some cooks apply a pat of butter to the top. However, this is more of a problem at restaurants than in supermarkets. Therefore, this can be one of the disadvantages of eating out. Instead, request your steak “naked,” meaning without additional additives, and let the restaurant or the chef know if you have any food allergies.
Frozen Chicken Nuggets
Make sure you read the ingredients list on your next carton of chicken nuggets or other breaded items. Although the presence of eggs to bind the batter to the real meat is typically visible, the presence of dairy is not always so. Many breaded frozen meals contain dairy in the breading mixture, frequently labelled as modified milk components or something similar. To skip dairy altogether, make your breaded nuggets at home.
Instant Mashed Potatoes
Making homemade mashed potatoes with butter and milk is typical. However, one does not generally expect instant mashed potatoes to contain genuine dairy products, yet it may very well. Dehydrated potatoes are what instant potatoes are. Some producers, however, add butter and milk components before dehydrating the combination. It is a taste enhancer. Therefore, if in doubt, question, double-check the ingredients! Some easy adjustments, such as dairy-free milk, broth, and safe margarine or flavoured oil, may be used to make allergy-free mashed potatoes.
Boxed Granola Bars
Manufactured granola bars, including breakfast and protein bars, include milk components. Modified milk components improve calcium and protein contents in some circumstances, while in others, they make the bars last longer. You may check the labels at the grocery store every time you go, or you can make your granola bars, breakfast bars, and protein bars at home.
Dairy or milk components are standard in flavoured potato chips. Sour cream and chive, barbeque, cheddar, and other novelty tastes are familiar flavours to avoid across various chip brands. Lay’s notes clearly which products are free of milk and gluten as a simple reference for consumers. There are still multiple flavours of Lay’s chips that are gluten- and milk-free, including Sea Salt and Vinegar, Hot n’ Spicy BBQ, Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, and Dill Pickle.
Lactose is in around 20% of prescription prescriptions, such as birth control pills (oral contraceptives), and approximately 6% of over-the-counter treatments, such as specific stomach acid and gas tablets. Lactose is present in Viactiv calcium chews. Thus, you should avoid it if you’re on a lactose-free diet. Only persons who are allergic to milk are generally affected by these drugs. Check the labels on over-the-counter medications for lactose content, and ask your healthcare practitioner if prescriptions contain lactose.
Dairy is in a wide range of sweet and healthy-label cereals. They may be sweet and delightful, and some may be high in nutrients, but if you’re looking for non-dairy alternatives, proceed with care. For example, some maise, rice, and oat-based cereals don’t often contain dairy components. But some manufacturers do, so always read the labels. Other breakfast choices to explore are preparing your oatmeal with dairy-free milk.
Casein, whey, or nonfat milk powder are in processed sandwich bread, including white and wheat. Although there are exceptions, it’s a good idea to look for sandwich bread in your local health food store’s refrigerated or frozen department, such as Ezekiel bread, as they seldom contain any dairy.
Butter and milk are always present in quick bread such as banana, maise, or pumpkin. While certain processed variations may not include real butter, whey protein isolates and nonfat milk powder are generally present. If bread is non-dairy, it will usually contain the same in its label. The good thing about fast bread, such as vegan banana bread or zucchini bread, is that they are quick to bake.
Although some natural and organic firms have started manufacturing non-dairy alternatives available in natural and health food stores, store-bought crackers nearly invariably include butter, butterfat, or nonfat milk powder. Crispbread crackers like Kavli and Wasa crispbread crackers are a simple and healthful cracker option. Crispbread crackers seldom contain dairy. Making your dairy-free crackers, on the other hand, is simple and allows you to design festive shapes and add your favourite seasonings and flavours.
Symptoms of Milk Allergy
Milk allergy symptoms can appear from a few minutes to hours after you or your kid consumes milk or milk products.
The following are immediate indications and symptoms of a milk allergy:
- Itching or tingling sensation around the mouth or lips
- Lips, tongue, and throat swelling
- Shortness of breath or coughing
The following signs and symptoms may take longer to manifest:
- Stools that are loose or have blood in them
- Abdominal pain
- Nasal congestion
- Streaming eyes
- Colic in infants
Difference between Milk Allergy and Lactose Intolerance
Lactose intolerance and dairy allergy have similar symptoms. Unfortunately, many people mistake them for one another. However, the causes (and the effects on your body) are pretty different.
The digestive system is involved in lactose intolerance: If you have it, your body cannot produce lactase, an enzyme required for lactose digestion. Also, sugar is in milk. So undigested lactose goes into your colon, which breaks down by bacteria and produces bloating and gas rather than properly digesting in your stomach and small intestine. It is unpleasant, but it is not harmful.
If you have a dairy allergy, your immune system reacts to the proteins in milk and other dairy products as if they were hazardous intruders. As a result, it emits chemicals that trigger allergic reactions. This allergic reaction might range from moderate to severe (rashes, trouble breathing, loss of consciousness).
You can minimise food allergies by avoiding the foods that trigger them. For example, if you or your child has a milk allergy, avoid milk and milk products. Carefully read food labels. Casein, a milk byproduct, may be found in some surprising food items, including canned tuna, sausage, and non-dairy items. When ordering in a restaurant, inquire about the ingredients.
Milk allergy is an uncommon immunological response to milk and milk-based goods. However, it’s one of the most common food allergies among children. Cow’s milk is the most common source of milk allergies, although they can also be from sheep, goats, buffalo, and milk from other species. Milk allergy symptoms include wheezing, vomiting, rashes, and digestive problems, ranging from mild to severe. Milk allergy can potentially cause anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening reaction. It is different from lactose intolerance. In addition, many sweets, candies, meat products and other food may not be dairy-free. Therefore, reading food labels becomes imperative if you suffer from a milk allergy. In addition, to stay safe, inform about your allergy while ordering in or at a restaurant.