Last night, I was reading the June issue of Parents magazine and came across a pretty great article called “Forbidden Foods” by Jan Sheehan. Since this topic is my focus at work, I like to believe I know a lot of about it! And I have to say, this was a very informative article for allergy and non-allergy parents alike overall. However, it did leave out a few milk allergy specifics I think people should be aware of.
The article outlined the current “allergy explosion” and what parents need to be on the look-out for when it comes to allergies. One side bar I really liked was the “Is it really an allergy?” section. This is often a mistake parents make when deciding whether to take their children to the pediatrician. Just in case you’re not sure of the symptoms for each, here they are:
Food Intolerance Upset stomach; Gas and bloating; Abdominal cramps; vomiting; Diarrhea.
Food Allergy Skin redness and itching (a definite sign that is on the rise!); Rashes or hives; Red, watery eyes, Nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing; Vomiting; Diarrhea; Swelling of lips, face, or throat; Wheezing; Severe breathing difficulty; Loss of consciousness.
As you can see, many of the symptoms overlap. To be on the safe side, I would take your child in to see the pediatrician if he/she is experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Now on to a few things it was missing. When speaking of the formula options available for children with food allergies, it only mentions soy formulas and hydrolysate formulas. Since children with milk allergies are often allergic to soy, the AAP does not recommend switching to soy if your baby is showing sings of a milk allergy. Click here to get more information on the possible risks with soy formulas.
Also, switching to a hydrolysate formula often isn’t enough for babies and kids with milk protein allergy – they need an amino acid-based formula like Neocate, which is made up of protein broken down to the absolute simplest form (amino acids), making it gentler on the tummy of a milk allergy baby.
So, some good info here. But just remember to talk about all your formula options with the pediatrician when you have a food allergy baby.
Here’s a link to a few more articles by the same author on the Parents website. Check it out!