Frequently Asked Questions
Unlike an allergy, food intolerance does not involve an immune response from your body.1 Basically there are many naturally occurring substances in food and in some people these substances can cause problems.1
Sometimes substances within foods can increase the frequency and severity of migraine headaches or rashes (such as hives), they can also upset the stomach or irritate the bowel.1 It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between a food intolerance and a food allergy. It is always a good idea to see your doctor if you suspect a food intolerance or a food allergy in your child.
Management of cow's milk allergy involves removal of cow's milk and other dairy products from the
Cooked or baked cow’s milk in muffins, cakes or biscuits may be tolerated by some people with cow’s milk allergy.2 However, unless you are certain that cooked or baked cow’s milk is tolerated by your child you should avoid or discuss with your doctor before introducing these foods at home.2
Your child should have a food allergy action plan which has been created by their doctor or another healthcare professional and sometimes an adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector may also be prescribed.2
Most people who have food allergies such as a cow's milk allergy will also be allergic to other animal
No, this is because a child with cow’s milk allergy can also be allergic to any formula derived from cow’s milk as well as to goat’s milk formula, sheep milk formula, HA formula, A2 milk and lactose free formula.2
Cow's milk is a common cause of food allergy in infants.2 Around 2% of Australian and New Zealand infants are allergic to cow's milk and other dairy products.2
No, sometimes a reaction to milk can be due to lactose intolerance, which is not an allergic reaction.2 Lactose intolerance occurs in people who lack the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for the digestion of milk.2 The symptoms of lactose intolerance can include diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain and gas.2
When some people drink cow’s milk their throat can feel coated, making it harder to swallow.2 This is likely to be due to a certain sensation they experience when drinking thicker liquids.2
Symptoms can occur within minutes of consuming cow’s milk or may take or up to several days.2
Rapid reactions are the most common and usually occur within 15 minutes and sometimes up to 2 hours after exposure to cow's milk or other dairy products.2 Symptoms can include one or more of the following:2
- Hives, swelling of the lips, face or eyes
- Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea
- Noisy breathing or wheeze
- Swelling of the tongue, swelling or tightness in the throat or a hoarse voice
- Change in consciousness or floppiness in infants or young children
Most children outgrow cow's milk allergy by the time they are 3 to 5 years old, some people will have the allergy for their entire life.2
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Food intolerance. 2014. Available from: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-other-adverse-reactions/food-intolerance (Accessed Jun 2018).
- Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy. 2017. Available from: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/cows-milk-dairy-allergy (Accessed Jun 2018).