How can I recognise a diary product allergy?

It often comes as nasty surprise to us when we discover that we or our children are allergic to milk or dairy products. After all, every mammal on the planet starts its life out by feeding on the nourishing milk provided by its mother in order to live and grow.

But sometimes a person’s body is simply unable to cope with the sugars and proteins found in dairy products. This can come about through a sensitisation occurring while the child is breastfeeding. If the mother eats a lot of dairy products, this can be passed on through the breast milk. What most commonly happens, though, is when the child is switched over to cow’s milk and other dairy products containing cow’s milk, the immune system develops a sensitivity to the proteins found in it and the child becomes allergic to dairy products.

The symptoms can include the ‘milk rash,’ bowel upset, excessive wind, catarrh, abdominal bloating, itchy skin, headaches, distressed breathing and possibly constipation. Symptoms will occur after ingestion so try and keep track of what you or your child is eating at the time these symptoms occur.