March 03, 2009,
A.C. asks from Sterling Heights, MI on February 27, 2009
Reintroducing Dairy After a Dairy Allergy (Not Lactose Intolerance)
We discovered my son had a dairy allergy (this is an allergy to protein, not lactose intolerance)when he was 1 month old. His doctor said at one year we could try dairy again to see if he has outgrown the allergy (apparently many children do outgrow it by 1). My concern is how best to reintroduce dairy. Do I just give him a cup of milk or do I try a small amount of mild dairy, like yogurt? If he is still allergic and I give him a cup of milk I know he will be in horrible pain, but if I give yogurt, he might only be slightly uncomfortable and I won't be able to tell if he is still allergic until it builds up over time causing longer lasting problems. The doctor seems pretty clueless in the matter, so I am asking anyone with dairy allergy experience - what did you do and what were the results? I would prefer to receive only responses based on experience as opposed to opinions or guesses. (Please do not respond to me about cow's milk being for baby cows.) Thank you, and wish me luck because I can't bear the idea that I might make my baby go through a whole day of tummy pain.
K.E. answers from Lansing on February 28, 2009
My son has protein losing enteropathy, and we've been to the gastroenterologist for years.... When we started reintroducing, he had us give him 2 ounces of milk every other day for a week, then 4 ounces every other day for a week, then 6 ounces, then 8 ounces. Very gradual, so you should hopefully notice if there's something wrong. Good luck, I know it's difficult!
M.G. answers from Jackson on February 28, 2009
My heart goes out to you and your little guy.
Have you ever heard that fermented dairy is easier to digest? As you work to desensitize your son's system starting with a good quality yogurt made from organic milk will make it easier for him. If you can get a milk share for raw milk that is best.
If you would like more information I would be pleased to get that for you.
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L.P. answers from Detroit on February 28, 2009
I had this issue when I was a child. I proved to be allergic to the milk protiens also. After a year we started testing to see if I could have outgrown it. We started with yogurt, as it is the mildest. I remember my mom gave me a small, child sized cup for easy portion control and note taking. After proving, or in my first couple of tries disproving, that I had outgrown the allergy, we simply moved on to other dairy products, keeping mild, with things like simple cheeses and so
on. Unfortunately it is really a process of trial and error, seeing what your child can handle. Make sure to keep a dairy diary for good reference. Some kids can handle the milder things like yogurt and mozzerella cheese, but never get past that. I am happy to tell you I am writing this to you after having a nice glass of milk with my cookies =D
L. and family
A.F. answers from Detroit on February 28, 2009
My son has a milk allergy, is 4 yrs old, and was diagnosed a 4 mos. I would not recommend reintroducing it at all. If he is still allergic, he's going to have a reaction of some kind. Have him see an allergist first! My son has been tested annually by the Dr. with either blood test or skin test and has not outgrown it yet. It's a momentary amount of pain, but it won't risk exposing him to an allergen that may cause a reaction.
If your dr. seems clueless, he might be. Please seek an allergist's opinion,or if this dr. is one, find another~ Good luck~ I know what a struggle food allergies can be, hang in there.
C.H. answers from Detroit on February 28, 2009
Our son is also severely allergic to dairy. He is almost 3 and still has not outgrown it. We take him in every 9 months to get retested and every time we are told a new static for outgrowing the allergy. The truth is they just don't know. Nonetheless, to answer your question. If your son is allergic it isn't going to matter whether you give him yogurt or milk or some other form of dairy he will have a reaction. Have benedryll (ask your allergist how much to give in case of a reaction..I can't remember the dose for that age) and epipen handy just in case. Sad, but true that's what they tell you. We had to do this little "experiment" at 1 yr. also. I gave yogurt and shortly after our son began screaming, vomiting, swelling. and rolling on the floor. Give just a little and wait would be my advice. I think I gave too much. I hope this helps at least a little. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions. I know at 1 it does get more difficult because you're beginning to go to all foods no bottles. To put you at ease a little it isn't has hard has we originally thought and we've adjusted just fine. I also have several good websites for ideas, t-shirts, bibs etc. with allergy warnings on them which I found very helpful once our son started walking around at parties etc.
BTW- I just read some responses and I completely agree you should consult an allergist first. Our pediatrician was the one who told us to introduce dairy at 1 and gave very little guidance. If I had known better I would have seen an allergist first.
P.R. answers from Detroit on February 28, 2009
Doris Rapp MD's book, "Is This Your Child?" contains information for you on rotation diets if you really want to try to introduce milk/dairy.
Cows milk is for baby cows--it's not for people. I don't know if I'd try to reintroduce milk if I were you. Some children display symptoms of autism when they are unable to digest the protein in milk (casein) and gluten grains.
J.L. answers from Grand Rapids on February 28, 2009
My young grandson whom I am raising, also has a milk allergy and numerous other food allergies. I do not introduce any food on a trial basis. He goes to an allergist who does a skin test to measure the level of reactivity. Because my grandson has numerous allergies, his system had been compromised and he cannot tolerate the stress of digesting anything that he reacts to. I would say to not be in a hurry to reintroduce milk or dairy. Have you tried soy?
J.H. answers from Grand Rapids on February 28, 2009
I have dealt with food allergies with my son. The longer you have avoidance the chance of outgrowing them is better. Total avoidance is the best way to go.
Consult with an allergist as to the level of allergy and eating foods. Trial and error is putting the protein in the body. Skin testing will give you the answers. My pediatrician did not understand the whole food allergy process and we got on the right track when we got to the pediatric allergist.
Good Luck......it is an exhausting and tedious process to deal with allergies.
M.H. answers from Grand Rapids on March 03, 2009
My daugher is allergic to dairy, peanuts, beef and pork so I know where you are coming from. I would have a blood test done to determine if he is still allergic to dairy. We have not done the actual skin testing b/c we are very over-protective of her and so far the blood tests have worked great. My daughter is 3 and is finally able to have dairy products, we did a milk challenge to determine this. We are introducing foods with milk very slowly, starting with things that are baked with it...gold fish, banana bread, etc. She has had cheese on pizza and didn't have any problems. She isn't that fond of yogurt or drinking an actual cup of milk which is fine we know it will take time. There are so many products with milk in them that I would start with those first and then actually move to yogurt, cheese, milk, etc.