Can you be allergic to milk?


Kurt Olsen


One of the most prevalent dietary allergies is milk. Individuals who are sensitive to cow’s milk may also be allergic to milk from other animals, such as sheep and goats.

You may experience the following symptoms within a short amount of time after ingesting milk or a milk protein:

  • Hives
  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stools, especially in infants
  • Anaphylaxis is an uncommon, possibly fatal event that inhibits breathing and may cause the body to go into shock.

Regain control of your life. If you or your kid exhibits any of these symptoms, consult with an allergist to find a remedy.


Your allergist will collect a full history during your visit, including what you ate, what symptoms you had, how long the symptoms persisted, and what you tried to relieve them. A skin prick test or a blood test are the most frequent allergy tests; both examine for the presence of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies, which arise when your body is exposed to a material to which it is susceptible. These antibodies stimulate the release of molecules responsible for allergic reactions.

A liquid containing milk or a milk protein extract is applied to your forearm or back during the skin-prick test. A tiny, sterile probe is inserted into your skin, enabling the liquid to flow into it. If you acquire a raised, crimson welt within 15 to 20 minutes, this might be an indication of an allergy. A blood test looks for the presence of IgE antibodies in a blood sample. The outcomes are provided numerically.

According to research, some milk proteins (casein and two proteins present in whey, alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactalbumin) are more prone to produce severe responses. A component test, a newer form of blood test, may help the allergist evaluate your risk of a significant response by screening for allergies to those particular proteins.

An oral meal challenge is another test that your allergist may request. Under physician supervision, you will consume tiny quantities of a milk-containing product or milk powder to observe whether a response occurs. Because a serious response is possible, this test is performed at your allergist’s office or at a food challenge facility with emergency equipment and medicine on hand.

Management and Treatment

The only approach to manage a milk allergy is to avoid milk or goods containing milk products. People who are allergic to milk, as well as the parents of children who are allergic to milk, must carefully study ingredient labels.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires specific labeling for eight allergens, including milk. This rule requires makers of packaged food goods marketed in the United States that include milk as an ingredient to indicate the presence of milk or milk products on the ingredient label in unambiguous language.

Casein and whey are the two primary kinds of milk protein. Casein, the “solid” portion of milk, accounts for around 80% of milk protein. Whey proteins, which are present in the liquid component of milk, account for the remaining 20%. Milk proteins may be found in a variety of meals, including all dairy products, even in unexpected locations. Some canned tuna, sausage, meats, and other nondairy items, for example, may contain casein. Whey is widely found in beverage mixes, as well as body-building and energy beverages. Some chewing gum also contains milk protein.

Although such advising statements are not required by law, some firms may voluntarily add notice that their food items “may contain traces of milk” or that they are prepared at a facility that also processes milk.

Food allergies (particularly milk) are the most prevalent cause of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic response. Symptoms include swelling of the airways, which impairs breathing, and an abrupt decrease in blood pressure, which causes dizziness and fainting. An allergist will advise food allergy sufferers to carry an auto-injector containing epinephrine (adrenaline), the sole therapy for anaphylactic shock, and will instruct the patient how to use it. Teachers and caregivers should be made aware of a child’s allergy if he or she has one.

Some persons with this allergy may handle milk that has been thoroughly cooked, such as a baked muffin. However, persons who are allergic to milk protein should visit an allergist before deciding whether they should forego milk and other dairy products entirely.

Milk is a simple component to replace in recipes. Most recipes that call for milk may be successfully substituted with water, juice, or soy or rice milk. If your child is allergic to milk, consult with your physician about the best formula to use. Because the proteins in these formulas have been thoroughly broken down, an extensively hydrolyzed elemental formula or a casein-hydrolysate formula is sometimes advised for milk allergy in newborns. Your infant’s doctor may also prescribe a soy-based formula.

Milk Allergy or Lactose Intolerance?

Lactose intolerance and milk or dairy allergy are unrelated.

People who are allergic to milk or dairy develop symptoms because their The immune system is a group of cells and proteins that work together to keep the body safe from potentially dangerous, infectious microorganisms (microscopic life-forms) such as bacteria, viruses, and fungus. The immune system helps to manage cancer and other illnesses, but it is also responsible for allergies, hypersensitivity, and the rejection of donated organs, tissues, and medical implants.tooltip rel=”tooltip”>The immune system responds as though milk and other dairy products are harmful invaders. This reaction may result in hives, an upset stomach, vomiting, bloody feces, and even anaphylactic shock, a potentially fatal allergic reaction.

Lactose intolerant people cannot digest the sugar in milk (lactose) because they lack lactase, an enzyme generated by cells in the small intestinal lining. Lactase is necessary for lactose metabolism. This enzyme deficiency, which might be transitory owing to illness, produces symptoms such as stomach gas, diarrhea, or cramping.

If you have digestive issues after eating or drinking dairy products, consider keeping a food diary and documenting how your body responds to the foods you eat. You might also try temporarily eliminating dairy items from your diet, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, to see if your symptoms improve. Inform your allergist about the findings so that he or she may conduct testing — often, skin testing — to confirm a diagnosis.

Related Questions

  • Can you suddenly become allergic to milk?

    Lactose intolerance may develop at any age and be triggered by illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease and Coeliac disease.

  • What does a milk allergy look like?

    Symptoms of cows’ milk allergy
    Skin reactions include itching rashes and swelling of the lips, cheeks, and eyes. Stomach discomfort, vomiting, colic, diarrhoea, or constipation are examples of digestive issues. hay fever-like symptoms, such as a runny or plugged nose.

  • What are the symptoms of a milk allergy in adults?

    However, dairy allergies may trigger reactions in various regions of the body, including the skin and lungs:

    1. Rash.
    2. Hives.
    3. Swelling, often in the lips and face.
    4. Wheezing.
    5. Tightness in throat.
    6. Trouble swallowing.
  • What is the difference between milk and lactose allergy?

    Lactose intolerance and cow’s milk allergy are two separate dairy-related diseases. Lactose intolerance is caused by the body’s inability to digest lactose, but cow’s milk allergy is caused by an immunological response to the proteins contained in milk.

Contact Us

For more information or to make comments and suggestions, please contact:
Kurt Olsen
Dairy Development Coordinator, Missouri Department of Agriculture
Phone: (573) 291-5704
E-mail: [email protected]