Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cows Milk Protein Allergy

What is cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA)?

Cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) is the most common food allergy in children. A milk allergy usually starts when a child is given formula and has an allergic reaction to the protein of cow's milk. Approximately 3% of children are allergic to milk. A minority of them will outgrow the allergy within the first 3 years of life. Some children develop tolerance during adolescence. However, some of them will retain allergy for life.

How do I know if my child is allergic to cow's milk?

Cow's milk protein allergy shows up in a variety of forms. The signs can come on suddenly or over a period of hours to days after ingesting the milk. A child can experience one or more of these symptoms:

Type 1: Early Reaction
Appears 45 minutes after milk ingestion
Colic, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, eczema, occasionally wheezing or sneezing
Type 2: Intermediate Reaction
Appears 45 minutes to 20 hours after milk ingestion
Vomiting and diarrhea
Type 3: Late Reaction
Appears after 24 hours of milk ingestion
Diarrhea, vomiting, wheezing and coughing

These symptoms may also occur with many other illnesses, so it is always best to check with your doctor to confirm or rule out milk allergy as a possible cause.

What causes CMPA?
1. Family history of allergy
If either parent is allergic to cow's milk, your child will tend to have an increased risk of developing cow's milk protein allergy.
2. Shorter duration of exclusive breastfeeding
3. Early exposure to cow's milk

What to do if your child is allergic to cow's milk

Cow's milk-based formulas need to be totally eliminated and substituted with an appropriate formula.
Soy-based formulas have been used to feed children with cow's milk allergy since 1929.
Soy-based formulas have been used increasingly as an alternative for children with adverse reaction to cow's milk.
Majority of children allergic to cow's milk can tolerate soy-based formulas very well.
Soy-based formula can provide appropriate nutrients to support growth and development.
Lactose-free formulas do have milk protein, so avoid them.

CMPA vs. lactose intolerance

How to recognize the differences between CMPA and lactose intolerance.

CMPA Lactose Intolerance
A reaction of the immune system to cow's milk protein
Inability to break down the milk sugar, lactose
Affects the digestive system as well as other systems in the body
Affects digestive system only
Can be life-threatening

Sometimes, cow's milk protein allergy symptoms are mild and cause only minor discomfort. But often, mild allergies can develop into more serious ones, endangering a person's health.

If your child displays any symptoms of cow's milk protein allergy, seek medical advice at once.


source: http://www.abbottnutrition.com.my/pediatric_nutrition/ped_nut_lib_cmpa.asp

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