Allergy to cow's milk is the most prevalent form of food allergy that primarily affects children. Most infants and babies fortunately outgrow cow's milk allergy during their second to third year of formula milk intake.
Like most allergies, cow's milk allergies is not curable, but rather, they are treatable. In that sense, people and children born with it should live with dairy-free diets all their lives to avoid cow's milk allergies.
A close look at cow's milk
Regular cow's milk is composed of carbohydrates or sugar, vitamins, water, minerals, fat and proteins. It is the protein in cow's milk that brings about or serves as allergens that cause cow's milk allergy.
Parents should also learn that breastfeeding infants is not an assurance that the baby would not develop the allergy. However, studies found that breastfed kids are less likely to form food allergies of any kind.
Mothers pass along cow's milk proteins to their kids through breastfeeding. Thus, it would be more appropriate to say that it is not the mother's milk that incur reaction, but the proteins that are mixed through the mom's milk, which is attributed to the mother's diet.
In some cases, some infants develop immunity to cow's milk allergy during their breastfeeding years, but surprisingly develop cow's milk allergy when they stop taking in mom's milk for formula milk.
Symptoms of cow's milk allergy
It would be easy to tell when an infant or a kid has developed cow's milk allergy. Parents should be very observant of their children's conditions so they could immediately seek professional and medical help at the onset of the allergy.
Babies with cow's milk allergy exhibit skin rashes or eczema. Most cases, the babies experience diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal cramps or abdominal pains.
Because babies could not talk or complain about how they are feeling, parents should heed to their infants' cries and discomfort. Constant and regular visits to the kid's pediatrician would be really helpful.
However, it should also be noted that it is not only cow's milk allergy that causes rashes, eczema, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In that regard, consultation to the pediatrician is needed so the parents would know the real disease discomforting the baby.
Early detection of cow's milk allergy would be very helpful because early modification and elimination of dairies in the kid's diet would be very beneficial and necessary over time.
Treatment and prevention of cow's milk allergy
Severe symptom of cow's milk allergy would need special prescription medications from the doctor. Usually, to treat such cases, antihistamines and epinephrine are administered to the patient.
Parents of children with cow's milk allergy should also keep supplies of those drugs in their medicine cabinets because they would be necessary if ever the children would accidentally take in cow's milk.
Infants and babies will be switched to hydrolystate or soy-based milk formulas from milk-based formulas. Remember, it is the protein contained in cow's milk that cause the allergy so switching to another formula milk brand would not be helpful.
Mothers who breast-feed infants and babies diagnosed with cow's milk should instead cut intakes or eliminate dairy products in their diet so the cow's milk protein would not be passed on to the infants.
As general prevention measure, all formula milk based on cow's milk should be eliminated on the baby's diet.