My Account
About Us
Contact us
الواجهة العربية
Medical News Medical News
Aricles Articles
Events Events
Guidelines Guidelines
Videos Library Videos Library
Diseases Diseases
Follow us : facebook twitter Digg Linkedin Boxiz

Please select the categories you are intersted in:
News Articles Guidelines Events Videos Journals' abstracts

Latest Subscribers
Advanced Search »

Milk Allergy


Disease: Milk Allergy Milk Allergy
Category: Allergies
اضغط هنا للقراءة باللغة العربية

Disease Definition:

The leading cause of allergic reactions in very young children and one of the most common allergy-causing foods in children is the milk of cow. The signs and symptoms of milk allergy can be serious enough to cause distress not just for an allergic child, but also for the child's family. Worldwide, about 2% to 3% of infants are affected by milk allergy. Most children outgrow a milk allergy by age 2 or 3.

Though in some cases it can be days before signs and symptoms of this condition occur, allergic reactions occur a few minutes to a few hours after one consumes milk. Vomiting, digestive problems, wheezing and hives can be included in the signs and symptoms that range from mild to severe. In rare cases, milk allergy can cause anaphylaxis, which is a severe and life-threatening reaction.

Work Group:

Prepared by: Scientific Section

Symptoms, Causes


The signs and symptoms of milk allergy occur within a few minutes to a few hours after ingesting milk and they differ from one person to another. In rare cases, infants have an allergic reaction to small amounts of cow's milk protein passed through their mother's breast milk. In some cases, reactions to a milk allergy develop after exposure to milk for an extended period of time.

The following are included in the signs of milk allergy that may occur immediately after consuming milk:


  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting

The signs and symptoms that may take more time to develop may include:


  • Skin rash
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Loose stools which may contain blood or mucus
  • Runny nose
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea

Differentiating a true milk allergy from milk protein intolerance or lactose intolerance is important. The immune system is not involved in intolerance, which makes it unlike a milk allergy. Milk intolerance requires different treatment and causes different symptoms than a true milk allergy. After consuming milk, digestive problems like diarrhea, gas or bloating are included in the common signs and symptoms of milk protein or lactose intolerance.

A life-threatening reaction that can constrict the airways and block breathing which is anaphylaxis may be rarely caused by milk allergy. No matter how mild the reaction to milk may have been, the doctor should be told if a person or his/her child has reaction to milk. As the tests can help confirm a milk allergy, one can take steps to avoid future and potentially worse reactions. Anaphylaxis requires treatment with an epinephrine (adrenaline) shot and a trip to the emergency room and it is a medical emergency. Soon after consuming milk, signs and symptoms that include the following start:


  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness
  • Constriction of airways, including a swollen throat that makes it difficult to breathe
  • Shock, with a severe drop in blood pressure
  • Rapid pulse


An immune system malfunction is the cause of all food allergies. Triggering the production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to neutralize the protein (allergen), certain milk proteins are identified by the immune system as harmful. These IgE antibodies recognize these proteins and signal the immune system to release histamine and other chemicals the next time one comes in contact with these proteins. A range of allergic signs and symptoms are caused by histamine and other body chemicals. Dry throat, diarrhea, anaphylactic shock, runny nose, labored breathing, rashes, hives, itchy eyes and nausea are included in the allergic responses that histamine is partly responsible for.

The allergic reaction can be caused by two types or protein in milk:

Whey, which is found in the liquid part of milk that remains after milk curdles
Casein, which is found in the solid part (curd) of milk that curdles

These proteins are found in many processed foods. An adult or a child may be allergic to both casein and whey or he/she may be allergic to only one milk protein. Certain foods contain only one allergy-causing milk protein and other foods contain both casein and whey.

The risk of developing a milk allergy is greater because of certain factors:

In children, milk allergy is more common. The digestive system matures and the body is less likely to react to milk as one grows older.

Other allergies:
Milk allergy is often the first allergy to develop. Many children allergic to milk have other allergies as well.

Atopic dermatitis:
With this type of skin reaction, children are much more likely to develop a food allergy.

Family history:
If one or both of someone’s parents have a food allergy or another type of allergy such as eczema, asthma, hay fever or hives, that person will be at an increased risk of a food allergy.



Certain other health problems are more likely to develop in children who are allergic to milk, such as:


  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a type of heartburn in which stomach acid or bile flows back (refluxes) into the esophagus
  • Allergies to other foods such as eggs, soy or peanuts
  • Hay fever, which is a reaction to pet dander, dust mites, grass pollen and other substances


Avoiding milk and milk proteins altogether is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction, but because milk is a common food ingredient, this can be difficult.

The signs and symptoms of a milk allergy may be reduced by medications like antihistamines. To control an allergic reaction and help relieve discomfort, these drugs can be taken after exposure to milk because an adult or a child may still come into contact with milk despite the best efforts.

A person or a child may need an emergency injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) and a trip to the emergency room in case he/she has a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). The adult or the child may need to carry injectable epinephrine at all times if they're at risk of having a severe reaction.


Not Available

Expert's opinion

Expert's Name:
Specialty: -

Expert's opinion:

For Specialists

Clinical Trials:

Not Available


Latest Drugs:




Forgot your password

sign up

Consultants Corner

Dr. Talal Sabouni


Yaser Habrawi , F.R.C.S.Ed

Yaser Habrawi , F.R.C.S.Ed Consultant Ophthalmologist

Dr. Faisal Dibsi

Dr. Faisal Dibsi Specialist of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Dr . Dirar Abboud

Dr . Dirar Abboud Hepatologist – Gastroenterologist

Dr. Hani Najjar

Dr. Hani Najjar Pediatrics, Neurology

Dr. Tahsin Martini

Dr. Tahsin Martini Degree status: M.D. in Ophthalmology

Dr. Samer Al-Jneidy

Dr. Samer Al-Jneidy Pediatrician

Samir Moussa M.D.

Samir Moussa M.D. ENT Specialist

Which of the following you are mostly interested in?

Cancer Research
Mental Health
Heart Disease & Diabetes
Sexual Health
Obesity and Healthy Diets
Mother & Child Health

Disclaimer : This site does not endorse or recommend any medical treatment, pharmaceuticals or brand names. More Details