24 answers

Is It a Milk Allergy or Lactose Intolerance? Should I Do What the Ped Says?

My daughter turned one year old on July 1st and we started giving her cow's milk around that time. I think she has a milk allergy because she gets a red rash on her face almost immediately after drinking milk or eating cheese and she has large amounts of loose stool a few hours later. We stopped the cow's milk and started soy milk about 2 weeks ago.

I saw her pediatrician today and kind of feel like he is minimizing the situation. He thinks that she is just lactose intolerant because she was able to tolerate foods that have SMALL amounts of milk in them (bread and her birthday cake). I think she is allergic rather than just intolerant, b/c of the rash on her face. As far as I know, lactose intolerance doesn't cause rashes, does it?

He says that I can try to reintroduce cow's milk, cheese, etc in one week, but that if she is tolerating soy milk without a problem, then I can just leave things alone. Well, I'm afraid to reintroduce cow's milk b/c what if she is actually allergic and has a more severe reaction? Do you think I should reintroduce dairy products like he recommends or should I just take her to see a specialist? Has anyone whose child had a suspected cow's milk allergy wait a few weeks to try dairy and had success?

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Does sound like an allergy. My son is intolerant and all it does is make him bloated and gassy and gives him diaper rash from the poop. We use rice milk with him.

I agree that you should go to an allergist or see a NAET doctor. I've done a lot of research on NAET, and it's fascinating. Haven't tried it yet, but thinking about it once we know my husband's job is stable again.

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Hi. I feel your frustration with dr's! My son is severely allergic to egg and milk. He had an anaphylactic reaction twice. His first reaction was at about 9 months when we gave him the mac and cheese baby food. His neck broke out in hives and around his mouth turned all red and he completely refused to eat it. Later that night he was wheezing. When I took him to the dr the next day they told me to rub cheese on his arm to see if there was a reaction. Well we never got the chance because when we gave him formula for the first time about a week later he threw up everywhere and has hives covering his body. My guess would be that you little one is lactose. But I am not sure. Next time touch her skin w/ cheese and wait to see if she breaks out in hives or gets a red splotch. I would then definitely get a second opinion frm a specialist. For some reason the pecs don't want to believe in the food allergies. A skin test with an allergist will definitely let you know. Good luck!!

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you're gotten some great responses. Yes there is a differnce between intolerance and alergy. Intolerance is usually just gas i believe. It would frustrate me when people thought my son was just intolerant, when he would scream from gas for 4 yrs, throw up, diaherrea (sp?), eczema (bright red cheeks)... been there.

Our Dr also said "no no no it can't be allergies". Apparently many parents believe their kids have allergies and don't and that's their first response. When i went to the Dr w/my son at 2 months with a PURPLE diaper rash he said "ahhhh. that's a food allergy diaper rash." (he showed severe allergy at 2 weeks through my breast milk, ended up egg w/anaphalexis and milk)

anyway. Soy has a female hormone that can encourage breast production and such so my opinion is to minimize that and do the soy.

Most kids out grow their allergies at 2. It took us till 3.5 (we had several others). In between our son could tolerate added milk in cookie mixes or whatever, but not direct.

so my advice? do what works for you. If you know its not life threatening you can give little bits and see what happens occasionally. I've been told yogurt is the least aggrevating, and things like cottage cheese are the worst.

you can go to an allergist, but if you already know the problem, what's the point in giving blood. Allergists are helpful, but the tests can also over diagnose allergies and from my experience allergies can actually change over the months to getting new ones etc...

do what feels right. Dr's don't know everything. : )

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I had a similar problem with my son. When he was about 15 months we tried giving him cows milk and he would get a rash on his face. We took him to the DR and they did a blood test to see if he was allergic and it turned out that he was. They also tested for egg and soy allergies. He was negative for those so he was put on soy milk and since his allergy was in the low range we were told to try yogurt and cheese every few weeks. He is now to the point where he only drinks soy milk but can tolerate a piece of cheese everyday. I would go back to the DR and ask for a blood test, it's not easy and my son did his fare share of crying but at least we knew for sure about the allergy and the test will show how severe the allergy is.

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My son went through the vomiting and diarrhea with milk/milk products starting right around 20 months. We had him tested and he was allergic to milk, eggs, oranges, and nuts. He was able to tolerate some milk--in products as you described but I had to limit it. If I let him have too much ice cream he may get crabby or a stomach ache and diarrhea=--never a severe reaction as you were afraid of. We started a new allergist when he turned 3 and he had outgrown everything except the nut allergy. I would suggest seeing an allergist(we have a good one in Naperville) and having her tested to see exactly what the culprit is. That way you can rest assured and discuss all your fears with a professional that KNOWS the facts. They also had to prescribe an Epi-pen for his nut allergies. Luckily I had tried peanut butter with him and he refused to eat it. I guess his body knew better!!

Good Luck!

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J.-I agree with the previous post-however-we do not have the digestive enzymes to digest dairy or soy. The body does not recognize it. We get more than enough Calcium per day eating 1/2 c. of fresh organic broccoli.

Also you will want to check out rice or almond milk for baby. Soy will mimic the effects of estrogen in the body and is not good for consumption except edemame.

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Ask your doctor to get you a work order for testing of the 10 most common allergens. It is a blood test (butterfly)that will tell you if she is allergic and what the severity is.You can go to Quest to have it done. make an appointment because you go in first.It will give you peace of mind.

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Sounds like he is intolerant and possibly allergic as well. My two older ones were tested (via urine) and it turned out they were intolerant to dairy. We've been drinking a combo of almond/rice/soy milk for 3 years now and couldn't be healthier (and happier). No more loose stools, upset tummies, etc.

Plus, many doctors believe that humans should not consume dairy - we're the only species who consumes milk from another mammal in the entire animal kingdom and the only species that consumes milk past infancy. Think about it!

If you need other tips on other non-dairy alternatives, please email me. Trust your instincts. Doctors mean well but don't have much nutrition education in medical school.

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I have two kiddos with life-threatening food allergies. So, I have been dealing with food allergies for 7 years. Just from what you have written, I would say go to an allergist and have your son skin tested to give you something more definitive. We love the group of pediatricians we use but, the only ones that seem to understand eczema and food allergies are the ones that have personal experience with it. Food allergy diagnoses have doubled since 1997. So, there have not been a lot of education on allergies in med schools, etc.. There is obviously something going on in the environment IMO. My son was diagnosed with a dairy allergy at 2 and the allergist told us then that he had tolerated it with minor side effects and told us to continue to give it to him. I think even the allergist has learned a lot more in the past 7 years. My daughter on the other hand looked like she had 3rd degree burns all over from severe eczema. I nursed exclusively and I don't much care for dairy so, I did not expose her very much to straight dairy in my milk. At 4 months, my hubby gave her a bottle of hospital formula and just the touch on her lips sent her into anaphylaxis. She cannot even come into contact with dairy without having a serious reaction. Ie.. she left McDonalds play area on her nebulizer on Wed after rubbing her eye while playing. She was almost instantly wheezing just from reisdues. So.. all that said to say there may be an allergy but, an allergist would need to determine the severity and how to handle it.

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