Cow's Milk Allergy
Some people have immediate allergic reactions to milk, with rash, swelling, itching etc. Others have more delayed reactions, especially diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. Some people get a mixture of these. It is thought that immediate and delayed reactions are caused by different processes going on in the body.
Milk allergy usually becomes apparent at a very young age, since baby formula milk is made from cow’s milk, but the diagnosis may be delayed in breast fed babies. Breast fed babies can however still be affected by milk allergy because they are exposed through breast milk to milk proteins consumed by their mothers! Sometimes it is helpful for breast feeding mums to stop drinking milk and eating foods containing or made from milk.
If you are allergic to milk, you will usually also be allergic to other foods made from milk, including yogurt, cheese, butter. But some people with milk allergy can eat cooked foods containing small amounts of milk.
Because milk is an important source of calcium, an alternative milk is usually recommended. In young babies (under 6 months) this is usually a specialist infant formula eg Nutramigen. In older babies soya formula may be used (although some people allergic to cow’s milk will also be allergic to soya). Older children may use soya milk that has been fortified with calcium. You can also get soya based yogurt and cheese.
Most children with milk allergy will grow out of it. Repeating allergy tests over a year or two can be useful to see if this if likely.
A common allergy in young children, which often goes away as they get older. Many children with egg allergy can eat small amounts of cooked foods containing small amounts of egg, although you should ask your doctor if this is something you can try.
MMR vaccine is made using egg, but there is no identifiable egg protein in the final product. Although in the past there was concern about allergic reactions, there is lots of experience of giving MMR to children with egg allergy, and current advice is that MMR should be given to everyone, unless you have had an anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine in the past.