Milk Intolerance vs Milk Allergy

In the previous posting I’ve already explained to you about food allergy. Now, in this particular posting I want to make another explanation about the difference between cow’s milk allergy (CMA) and cow’s milk intolerance (CMI). Then the question emerges, should I explain about those things? I think I should, cause people sometimes often mistaken between milk allergy and milk intolerance. The better you know about the definition of milk allergy and milk intolerance, the better you’ll be in managing those problems, just in case if in the later time your beloved child experiencing this unpleasant situation of milk allergy and/or milk intolerance.

It’s different with CMA, CMI should refer to non immunologic reactions, such as disorders of digestion, absorption, or metabolism of certain cow’s milk components. The range of symptoms which can be induced by CMI is very similar to those caused by CMA. Those symptoms are eczema, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps, but not hives or breathing problems (symptoms of milk allergy). In comparison with CMA, CMI is not dangerous. The onset of symptoms is often delayed, and this makes recognition of causative food component quite difficult. This contrasts with CMA, in which the symptoms emerge immediately and often occur early in life.
The severity of symptoms in CMI is dose-dependent, and the dose can be cumulative over days of ingestion. This characteristic further increase the difficulty of diagnosis, as the symptom-inducing food component may be common to many foods, so that different foods may appear to cause symptoms on some occasions. The most effective to diagnose for testing of food intolerance is to remove all potentially offending foods from the diet for a few weeks and notice the resolution of the symptoms. The diagnosis of food intolerance and identification of the food component involved are then confirmed by gradually re-introducing individual foods or food chemicals into the diet in increasing doses over several days.

The most common cause of CMI is malabsorption of lactose due to lactase deficiency in intestinal. This is mostly acquired during late childhood or adulthood. It results an inability to break down lactose as the main sugar present in dairy product. It is estimated that more than 70% of adults have trouble digesting lactose. Interesting when I know that up to 45% of women who are lactose intolerant will regain the ability to digest lactose during pregnancy.

Intolerance reactions to food or food components (especially lactose intolerance) can occur at any age but, generally, babies born are capable to produce the enzyme (lactase) so they can digest milk and do not show signs of lactose intolerance until they are at least 3 years old. Temporary lactase deficiency can result from viral and bacterial enteritis, especially in children, when the mucosal cells of the intestine are injured. Additionally, this milk intolerance is a condition that is often genetically passed on from parent to child. In some rare cases a child is born without the ability to produce lactase at all. In this instance, a baby will be prescribed an infant formula based on soy protein, rather than cow’s milk.

Lactose intolerance has been shown to have high racial predilection, being highest in dark-skinned populations and lowest in northern Europeans.


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Comments :

2 comments to “Milk Intolerance vs Milk Allergy”
prima said...

what do you think about CMA? is CMA dependent dose too or not? and do you think CMA babies always has breathing problem?

Goodbaby said...

CMA is not dose-dependent, but it is caused by only very small quantity of CM's protein, so it is much better to avoid cow's milk.
CMA's symptoms often show breathing problem, but it has different severity, depend on the baby's allergy history. I mean, if their family have allergy history with breathing problem, then the baby is very likely to have the same symptoms. The relation between the family history of allergy and allergy prevalence on baby, you can read on my other posting here


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