10 months ago

11364 NUTR Weaning Bklt - UK

4 What is cow’s milk

4 What is cow’s milk allergy? Cow’s milk allergy (CMA) is the most common food allergy in children under 3 years of age. 2 It occurs when the immune system ‘overreacts’ to the protein found in cow’s milk and milk-containing products (also known as dairy). 3 How common is CMA? CMA affects between 2% and 7.5% of all infants, both bottle-fed and breast-fed. 3 The good news is that more than three-quarters of babies with CMA grow out of it later on in early childhood. 2 CMA or lactose intolerance? CMA is not the same as lactose intolerance but they can present with some similar symptoms, which is why they are sometimes confused. Lactose intolerance is not an allergic condition as it does not involve the immune system. In people with lactose intolerance, the digestive system can’t fully digest lactose, which is the sugar found in milk. So instead of being digested and absorbed, the lactose stays in the gut and feeds the gut bacteria, which release acids and gases that cause the symptoms of lactose intolerance. 4 Lactose intolerance may occur temporarily, this is usually following bouts of tummy bugs, and in these cases will usually resolve in the short term. Another difference is that with CMA, even a small amount of cow’s milk protein could give your baby an allergic reaction. In contrast, many people with lactose intolerance can usually tolerate small amounts of lactose and can tolerate cow’s milk proteins fully. 4

Signs and symptoms of CMA 5 Cow’s milk allergy The symptoms of CMA can either appear immediately after consuming dairy or may be delayed, taking between 2 to 72 hours – or even up to a week afterwards – to develop. Babies with CMA may have a mixture of both ‘immediate’ and ‘delayed’ symptoms. 2 Immediate symptoms are more likely to be IgE-mediated and may include: 2,5 Delayed symptoms are more likely to be non-IgE-mediated and may include: 2,5 • Hives, rash, redness or itching • Swelling of the face and hands • Diarrhoea • Vomiting • Wheezing, coughing and breathing difficulties Immediate symptoms of CMA can appear within minutes and up to a few hours after eating dairy • Eczema, itching or redness • Tummy pain • Colic-type symptoms • Reflux • Constipation • Frequent or loose stools • Blood or mucus in stools Delayed symptoms can appear within a few hours, days or even 1 week after eating dairy The symptoms of CMA may also lead to night-time waking, crying or distress during feeding, or poor weight gain. Your infant may have one or more of these symptoms, which can range from a mild to a severe reaction. Some of these symptoms can also occur for reasons other than CMA, so it is important to discuss all symptoms fully with your doctor.