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Dairy allergy or milk allergy is an allergic reaction caused by a component of cow's milk. An allergy is your body's abnormal responses to the immune system. Everyone gets some allergy in their lives. Most are so mild they only cause a momentary discomfort which we ignore. Dairy allergy is very likely to be a genetic condition passed down in families. The immune system doesn't always recognize dairy as a friendly substance.

There are three components of milk which may cause a reaction. They are casein protein, whey protein, and lactose sugar. Casein and whey are the most likely to cause allergies and lactose causes the well known lactose intolerance due to a lack of the enzyme lactase. Lactose intolerance is an enzyme deficiency and not an allergy.
Dairy allergy symptoms or milk allergy symptoms may vary widely and can be mile to severe. The symptoms of a dairy allergy can happen in the skin, the digestive system or the respiratory system. The most common are ear infections in children, sinusitis, heartburn/reflux, rashes, constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. They can also be hives, eczema, chronic congestion, and diarrhea and many others. Lactose intolerance symptoms are mostly digestive and may be bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.

Avoidance of specific foods is critical once a true dairy allergy has been diagnosed. There are a wide variety of foods available with milk substitutes. Soy-based formulas are available for infants with milk allergy. People with dairy allergy must be careful because processed food may contain milk products labeled as "natural flavorings" or "seasonings."


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