Animal Protein Allergies?

Updated on February 03, 2010
M.R. asks from North Olmsted, OH
8 answers

I started my one year old son a week ago on whole milk. I started to notice rough drier patches of skin. (i slowly weened him onto whole milk.. by mixing formula to whole milke week by week to increase the milk, but decrease the formula.. it's not like i just threw him into whole milk) However, everyone i talked to or showed seemed to think it was eczema. i'm surprised b/c no one in my family has allergies to things like that.. So n e how i take him to the dr's there's hardly any rash (since my son is coughing and congested.. i took him back off milk and started to do formula w/ a lil' milk again) so the dr. seems to think it's an animal protein allergy?!! huh?? what does that mean and what should i do?? Does that mean he can't be on any dairy?? but the similac is milk based.. so that's even more confusing to me? is there whole milk that is soy?? or do i need to do a 2nd stage formula? Any info would be helpful.. i dont know what to do or what i need to do the dr. was somewhat vague and just suggested change his diet.. whatever that means!! Thanks ladies

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answers from Chicago on

there's something like 20 different things in cow milk that people can be allergic too. for us it meant NO DAIRY. however if he can tolerate it in formula than maybe the processing killed whatever protien he's allergic too. if he's comfortable and no rash etc w/formula don't stress. our son did get the eczema from the dairy. he out grew the dairy allergy at 4 (usually its around 2), we had other allergies too though. we had our son on rice milk for 2.5 yrs.(we avoided soy cuz of the hormones)



answers from Indianapolis on

If it's protein, it's not an allergy, it's just an intolerance and he will grow out of it. If it were an allergy, it would be lactose and he may or may not grow out of it. I think a lot of people miss protein intolerances because they don't nurse their babies so it doesn't show up until they try to start milk at 12 months. A nursing mom passes the proteins on in her milk and knows fro ma very early age that her baby can't handle the milk.
You have quite a few options.
1) We are the only species that weans from our own milk (or fake substitute) to another species' milk (most people too early at 12 months or sooner) to another species' milk. When you think about's kinda weird. We don't actually need MILK, we just need the vitamins and stuff in the milk. So, you can just use water and a little juice (juice is mostly just sugar and should be avoided for the most part) and make sure he gets a multi-vitamin and the rest of his diet includes the missing calcium, Vit.D, and good fats.
2) Other animal milk can be well-tolerated. Goat and buffalo milk are the closest options to human milk, cow milk is actually quite different from human milk and can give even adults digestive issues.
3) Milk substitutes. Almond is the best. It's VERY high in natural calcium. Soy milk is ok but is a form of estrogen and they haven't yet done much research on how a lot can affect kids at such young ages. Rice is ok, but there isn't much to it nutritionally.
4) Raw milk. You'll have too look in your community for raw milk options, some people have more trouble with the over-processed milk that is stripped of almost all real nutritional value.

Most kids who have issues with liquid milk trouble can still use things like cheese and yogurt without issue, so you can stop the liquid milk and try lots of yogurt and cheese for a couple weeks to see if that helps. If he still have issues, cut out all cow dairy and after 3-4 weeks it will be out of his system (yes it really takes that long).

Good luck!



answers from Huntsville on

Your doctor should have been more clear on what you were supposed to do! I'd call the office back and get them to explain what he is supposed to eat/drink and not eat/drink!



answers from Cleveland on

Hi there! I think what your Dr meant was that your son may have an allergy to MILK protein, for example casein, whey, ghee. His symptoms seem more like a sensitivity rather than a true allergy. Both of my sons had MSPI as infants, this is 'Milk and Soy protein intolerance", and for my oldest this became a true allergy. To make a long story as short as possible, they both had severe reflux, bloody stools and eczema, and my 3 year old is still allergic breaking in out in hives when exposed to milk/milk products. That is why I say just eczema and congestion sounds like intolerance, not allergy. In either case an allergist can help you diagnose and treat. We see Dr Velma Paschall at CCF, she is great, always well read on current research. My 3 year old was on rice milk until 18 months old, when he outgrew the soy intolerance. The problem with rice milk is that is has zero fat/protein in it, which young kids need for growing brains. So we also met with a nutritionist, who helped us come up with some good protein/fat rich foods to substitute for what he was missing in his diet. He now drinks soy milk. There is some controversy about soy milk and the fact that it contains estradiol, a predominantly female sex hormone, but if you read the most recent literature you wont worry so much. Estradiol is in many foods, not just soy milk, and if drinking in moderation it isn't a problem. Perhaps if you just back off on the milk for now, or let him have the milk, just not cheese/milk products to he doesn't get overloaded he may be fine. You could also just choose to treat the eczema, your ped could give you a script for 2.5% hydrocortisone which would help knock down the inflammation and itch. I would highly suggest seeing an allergist, they could help you determine if this is a food you should avoid for your son. Continued exposure could make an intolerance an allergy, and kids with milk allergy often have asthma growing is all connected somehow. It will be ok either way! This is something we have just gotten used to and I would be happy to be a resource for you if need be, just email me. Take good care and good luck!

I also want to add, as I just read Sarah D.'s answer, that the allergy kids have to milk is the PROTEIN, not the LACTOSE. I speak from experience and lots of reading/research. One can have an intolerance to lactose as well, but when eczema and congestion are the symptoms the milk PROTEIN is to blame. Lactose is just sugar...a common 'reactions' to lactose sensitivity is ...GAS!!!!!!



answers from Washington DC on

I would either keep your son on the current formula, or change over to the 2nd stage formula. My daughter had something similar occur. We stopped regular milk for a few months, put her on stage 2 formula. It took about 3 tries (until she was around 18m) before she could handle the milk without getting congested.

Just a thought.


answers from Austin on

My daughter has a cows milk protein allergy. We have had to exclude all sources of cow diary from her diet. At first, I was just going to exclude direct sources of diary... but she was still getting sick, so I had to start reading ingredient labels. Once cows diary products were removed from her diet, her illness and symptoms disappeared. (She had chronic sinus infections, coughing/congestion starting around 11 months. Always on antibiotics, until she started having allergic reactions to antibiotics... If what I went through can help you and your son at all, then I am happy to share what I've found.)

Doctors say that cows milk protein allergy is a common childhood allergy. Most kids outgrow it between age 3-6. Unfortunately, my daughter has not out grown it... maybe she will by the time she's 6-?! (Crossing my fingers!) As an infant, she drank (cows) milk based formula after breast feeding, and then started toddler's formula (also milk based) on her doctor's suggestion because she had started losing weight around 12 months. Of course, the reason she was underweight was because her body couldn't metabolize cows milk... I suspect that one of the reasons she has not outgrown the cows milk allergy yet is because she was overly exposed to cow dairy as an infant (as in, the longer a child is exposed to the allergen could mean that it takes longer for him to outgrow it.)

My daughter drinks whole goat milk, goat yogurt, goat butter, sheep/goat cheese. Most grocery stores (here in Texas) have Mendelson's Goat Milk (purple container) and carry a few flavors of goat yogurt (Rosewood Hill Farms is a common brand) or they will order it. I bought a bread machine so I can make bread with goat milk, since grocery store bread contains (cows) milk. (Note: true french bread is made with water, but it might be a bit hard for a young child to chew.) I cook with olive oil instead of butter. My husband and I have a hard time with the taste of goat diary (compared to cow dairy), but since my daughter has been on it since 18 months, she doesn't know the taste difference.

There is research that shows a correlation between children who are allergic to soy are also allergic to cows milk protein. However, that does not mean all children are also allergic to soy. If you notice digestive issues, etc., soon after introducing soy to your son, then you might want to exclude soy protein from his diet also.

Feeding soy to children is a controversial topic; different people have different opinions. Some children can't eat goat diary nor cows diary and soy is the only option... Personally I am not a fan of feeding children large amounts of soy. Soy protein is interpreted by the body as the female hormone estrogen. I have concerns on what the long-term effects of soy protein would be on my daughter (estrogen does a lot more than just direct female reproductive organs; it influences how and where the body stores fat, how muscles develop, and other hormones may get raised due to elevated levels of estrogen in a body... Besides, I feel my daughter gets more than enough soy in her diet from foods made with vegetable oil.) However, I thought I should mention the soy controversy so you can do your own research and decide what is best for your family.

There is nothing fun about a food allergy... You definitely have to cook at home more. However, a cows milk allergy is manageable compared to other food issues. Good luck. Feel free to message me is any of this was helpful and you have questions.



answers from Columbus on

My son has milk sensitivity, and whole milk caused his eczema to flare up and also had an effect on his digestive system. My pediatrician recommeded Hemp Milk, and he is doing great on it. He can tolerate yogurt & cheese, but not whole milk. To learn more about Hemp Milk visit:

My local Kroger's carries it, as well as Whole Foods.



answers from Cleveland on

If you can take him to see Dr Tenpenny at Osteomed II. SHe is great with all types of allergies and can tell you what to do for sure. She can test him non-invasively and treat him noninvasively is she concurs with your doctor. Changing his diet mgiht just mask the problem because there are autoimmune illnesses that come out as allergies at first. Anyone can develop an autoimmune disease. Eczema is an autoimmune response. And if he got sick afterward it may be tied to it. SHe is located on Engle Rd in Middleburg Hts.

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