Dairy Allergy - Maybe Outgrowing It?

Updated on May 06, 2011
D.C. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
9 answers

Hi Moms,

Looking for advice from the moms out there with experience with food allergies: I asked a lot of questions on this site early on, because my LO has an allergy to milk protein so neither he nor I can have anything with milk products. He was quite sensitive, and I cut out every food that had any milk-related product in it. With your help, we've done well with that over the past year - basically learning to live without dairy in our house.

Some babies outgrow their allergies, and so Sunday I gave my LO (now 15 months old) a little bit of regular yogurt (not soy yogurt, which we had been eating). And - nothing, no reaction! So yesterday, I gave him a bit more - a 4 oz container. No reaction - YAY!

I'd like to try a bit more, but I've heard that some types of milk proteins are easier to digest than others. Does anyone have suggestions on what I might try next? For example, is cheese easier to digest than a cup of milk? Milk as an ingredient in baked goods instead of 'straight'? I'm not sure where to go next - I surely don't want to go crazy and end up with a miserable toddler.

thanks

UPDATE: Thanks for the resonses so far. To clarify - my son has/had a sensitivity to dairy. He had stomach pain/lots of gas if he had anything with cow's milk - or if I had anything with cow's milk since I breastfeed (he even reacted to lactose-free items, so it was not lactose intolerance, which is also sometimes confused with dairy allergy and dairy sensitivity). I realize that his sensitivity is likely different from that of, for example, my neice who has a true allergy to milk and who is 5 and still breaks out in hives, in addition to stomach pain, etc, when she has any dairy at all.

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M.L.

answers from Erie on

my son was diagnosed with an egg allergy when he was 10 months old. he was retested a year later and he did in fact outgrow it. the test was negative and we slowly re-introduced eggs and egg products back into his diet and he's been fine.

I would request a prick test and/or a blood test from the allergy dr and see what those results say. If they're ok then i would slowly reintroduce it back into his diet and go from there, Good luck! It's so difficult when they are allergic to the most basic things!

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A.C.

answers from Detroit on

I would highly suggest you consult an allergist about this, not moms. People on this site are well-meaning, but sometimes their uninformed guesses can come across as expert advice.

If your son DOES still have an allergy to milk protein and you reintroduce dairy too slowly and subtly, you can actually make his allergy last longer. If you introduce dairy in subtle amounts, the lining of his stomach could slowly be reacting without you noticing it until all of a sudden he has huge pain. This is all what my son's allergist told me. The point is... use straight milk mixed with water, not products with random amounts of milk like baked goods and yogurt.

My son's allergist told me to just introduce a little milk mixed with water increasing the milk in the ratio over time. Like... 2 oz milk mixed with 4 oz water for a week.Then 3 oz. milk with 3 oz. water for a week and so on. He had no problems.

Just a word of warning to you if you are still not consuming dairy products yourself. It took MY system several weeks to adjust dairy products again after a year of abstaining. I had choc. chip cookies and a glass of milk the day I weaned my son and I ended up with the worst stomach pain. It didn't take long to readjust to dairy, but it was a little shock to my system.

I hope your son's allergy is over.

2 moms found this helpful

A.F.

answers from Chicago on

Please do not listen to the mom below that says milk allergy is not a true allergy in babies. My daughter had antihistamine reactions to milk from birth and some other babies have anaphlaxis to milk proteins from birth....so just because she knows someone or had a child who was only "sensitive" doesn't mean true milk protein allergies don't exist. My daughter is almost 4 and is still allergic to milk proteins -- breaking out in horrible rashes and eczema that she scratches herself bloody. We have tested it out from time to time by giving her a piece of regular lasagna at a family function and sure enough, reaction. Some babies outgrow lactose or milk sensitivities by 1 .... kids with true milk allergies MAY outgrow them by the time they are 5 or 6....or the allergies may last even longer (my husband's uncle outgrew his milk allergy at puberty weirdly) or be lifelong. If your child actually tested positive for an allergy to milk (not just a sensitivity), I would have him retested or have the allergist carry out a food challenge....not embark on that myself. It is hard to tell the proper course of action as you don't indicate what "reaction" your child had to milk. Good luck figuring it out! We deal with peanut, milk, egg and fish allergies in our house -- none of which have been outgrown.

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E.T.

answers from Albuquerque on

Most babies outgrow their dairy sensitivities. I say sensitivities, because milk protein is not usually a true allergy in babies (or adults, actually). One of my daughters was sensitive to milk protein too, and I had to cut out all dairy. By about a year, she was able to eat yogurt and some cheese. By 18 months she could eat tons of cheese with no issues, but still reacted to straight milk. Yogurt is the easiest to digest, and then usually you can go straight to baked goods with milk/lactose/casein in them with no trouble. After that comes cheese, followed by ice cream, with milk last. By the time they're 18 months old, I've heard that most babies that had milk issues can digest everything, with only the most sensitive still having problems with milk only.

So give other stuff a try! Just be careful as you're adding in baked goods that you're not adding a bunch of preservatives or food colorings that your toddler has never had. You could mistake a reaction to those chemicals as a milk reaction.

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J.J.

answers from Allentown on

My daughter had this exact thing. She sees an allergist as she also has a severe allergy to peanuts and a moderate allergy to eggs. she still has the dairy sensitivity at age 5. The first thing we were told to introduce for both the egg allergy and the milk sensitivity were things cooked with dairy in them or egg for the egg allergy. She was fine with both of those, she was to consume a few servings a day for 3 months and then we moved on. with the egg we tried the cooked egg and she still got hives, so we were to give a small dose daily until she could eat it without getting hives and then slowly increase the dose. same thing with the dairy, only we were looking for GI issues. She tolerates cheese now and butter. she eat tiny amounts of yogurt but still cannot drink milk. So all that being said, if your guy is fine with yogurt, I would try the baked goods with dairy in it and then move onto cheese if that is fine. Always watching to see if any GI issues arise. Most kids with a sensitivity will outgrow it and many kids with an allergy will outgrow it. It sounds like he is well on his way. And just an FYI the human body is not made to process cow's milk and that is why so many have issues with it, and if you have not had it your body may react slightly to it. I was off dairy for over 2 years with my daughter and it took a few weeks to be able to eat it regularly again. Your body needs time to adjust to dealing with it again.

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V.T.

answers from Dallas on

Under guidance from my pediatrician, I went for it with cow's milk. I slowly introduced it by mixing it in with my daughter's formula. It took about 2 weeks to make the complete switch to milk. She did great, no reactions at all. It was great because now she could eat almost anything and we had no worries. Definitely talk to your pediatrician to see what they suggest you do.

K.B.

answers from Milwaukee on

Do talk to your son's doc or an allergist about this. It is possible to "out grow" a sensitivity but there still may be issues if he eats too much. My daughter was sensitive to lactose, we cut all dairy out till she was 13 months then slow introduced milk (keeping her doc in the loop). She is almost 5 years old and can eat dairy BUT only so much otherwise she is more prone to having painful constipation (even if she has enough fruits & veggies).

Also as a warning to may resurface as he gets older, and could end up being very senisitive or cutting out of their life all together forver. I was senstivie to dairy as a baby (at least that is what they think now, back then it was not really thought of)... I did out grow it and seemed to be able to stomach any dairy UNTIL I was in highschool and the sensitivite started to come back. Now at almost age 30 I have watch very closely my dairy entake, this includes ANYTHING that has dairy in it which a lot of mixed things have some sort of diary in it. In college I became sensitive to eggs, can not eat plain eggs but can eat them if mixed in something... and it is getting worse sadly lemon bars have too many eggs and not enough other stuff so I feel sick after two bites and throat a little tighter.

If you do reintorduce do not over do it, a kid really only needs a certian amount of calcuim (about 500mg for 1-3 year old, 800 for 4-8, 1300 over 9 years). So look at what is needed health wise, yes you need some dairy (or other similar foods) just gague the amount you/little one can handle without getting fussy from discomfort.

An allergy can be more sevear if reintroducing so I would talk with your son's doctor. It really depends on what the reaction was to the milk protein. Violent throw up after eating, breaking out in hives, rashes? Did you get him tested for the allergy? If yes I would have him retested, if no then maybe do get the test done... it may be just a sensitvity not an allergy, you can have both forever and as the body changes/matures/ages the allergy and/or sensitivity can change too getting better OR getting worse sometimes stays the same.

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

raw milk might be the way to go. most of the allergens in milk come from the processed kind. if you're little is truly allergic to all dairy proteins he'll be allergic to raw milk too, but many people who can't take any processed dairy do fine with raw.
khairete
S.

M.W.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi Diane,

My son tested positive for a dairy allergy at one year after I'd suspected it early on through bf'ing. I stopped my own dairy intake when he was 4 months old. He'd have awful reflux, eczema on his face, belly pains... Once I cut the dairy, he was perfectly fine 2 weeks later. Now that he's 3 1/2 years old we have slowly worked in butter, yogurt, cheese, ice cream - he LOVES them and hasn't had any reactions at all. He still loves his rice milk and won't drink cow's milk, but that's fine. Since I gave up the dairy for so long, I even get belly pains now if I drink a glass of milk! I can't tolerate it like I used to.

I asked the dr. about re-testing him for the allergy and he said we could, but asked us "what difference would it make if he's not reacting to the dairy anyway??" He also said that the testing doesn't give a clear picture. One child could test highly positive for an allergy and not show any symptoms at all while another child could test low positive and have awful reactions. It's not cut and dry. We decided to not re-test. Good luck!!

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