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Cow’s milk protein allergy

Cow's milk protein allergy is when your baby has an abnormal reaction to the protein in milk. Cow's milk protein allergy can produce symptoms similar to lactose intolerance; a digestive disorder which causes an abnormal reaction to the sugar found in milk.

If your baby is suffering from cow's milk protein allergy our specialist dietitians can help. To book an assessment please contact us.

There are two main types of cows milk protein allergy which differ in the presentation of their symptoms.

Immediate cow's milk protein allergy

In babies with immediate cow's milk protein allergy, symptoms usually present within a few hours of having cow's milk protein. The immediate reaction to cow's milk protein allergy is caused by your baby or child's immune system producing IgE antibodies which causes the symptoms of the allergic reaction to happen very quickly.

Delayed cow's milk protein allergy

In babies with delayed cow's milk protein allergy, symptoms usually present within several hours to as long as a few days after having cow's milk protein. IgE antibodies are not produced in these cases, but can still produce allergic symptoms.

Your baby may have a mixture of both immediate and delayed cow's milk protein allergy so they may experience symptoms both immediately and after a few days, which makes it more difficult to diagnose. Our paediatric dietitians are experts in allergies and intolerances and can ensure your baby is diagnosed with cow's milk protein allergy so they can get the treatment they need.

Emery smiling into camera on mums shoulder

FACT

Even if your baby is being exclusively breastfed, it is possible for the baby to have a reaction to the cow's milk protein passed by the mother who has cow's milk in her diet.

It is important you do not cut cow's milk protein out of your baby or the breastfeeding mother's diet without a thorough assessment and diagnosis by our dietitians. This could be unnecessary and cause a substantial amount of nutrients and energy to be removed from the diet of the baby or mother, which can cause malnutrition, faltering growth and developmental delay.

The dietitians at Kids Feeding Team provide assessment, diagnosis and treatment to ensure your baby is receiving all the energy and nutrients they need while managing their allergy or intolerance.

Jada feeding with bottle sat on Saffron

What are the symptoms of cow's milk protein allergy?

The symptoms of cow's milk protein allergy vary and change according to the amount of cow's milk protein in the food product or breastfeeding mother's diet and the severity of the allergy your baby or child has. Symptoms of cow's milk protein allergy are:

If your baby has one or more of these symptoms above, they could have cow's milk protein allergy. Cow's milk protein allergy is often missed due to its complex presentation, variable nature and similarity to other problems. Our paediatric dietitians are experts with baby allergies and intolerances and can give you the diagnoses your baby needs to lead a happy childhood. If your baby or child is presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms following the ingestion of cow's milk and not the other symptoms described above, they may have lactose intolerance.

What are the causes of cow's milk protein allergy?

The causes of cow's milk protein allergy are not known, but it is mainly seen in babies and they tend to grow out of it by age 5. It is important you remove cow's milk protein only under the supervision of a dietitian.

What is the diagnosis of cow's milk protein allergy?

Our dietitians can assess, treat and diagnose your baby or child from the symptoms they are presenting with. Sometimes cow's milk protein allergy is missed due to it not demonstrating specific allergic responses or the babies symptoms are delayed. Our dietitians can provide an assessment for your child and diagnose them according to their symptoms to ensure your baby gets the treatment they need.

What is the treatment of cow's milk protein allergy?

Treatment of cow's milk protein allergy is through complete elimination of cow's milk from the baby's diet. Breastfeeding mothers are sometimes also required to remove cow's milk protein from their diet if the baby or child with cow's milk allergy is very sensitive to cow's milk protein. Dietetic therapy is particularly important in these cases to ensure the mother and baby are receiving adequate energy and nutrients for breastfeeding. Our dietitians can ensure your baby or the maternal diet is adequate in energy and nutrients for your baby to grow and develop regardless of their allergy.

Jada feeding herself with bottle looking into camera

For cow's milk protein allergy, an elimination diet is usually implemented for around 9-12 months. During this time your baby or child will need alternative formulas and cow's milk protein free weaning foods, all of which our dietitians can help you with. If your baby is formula fed, they may need to be prescribed a formula which is hydrolysed (the protein is broken down so it doesn't reduce an allergic reaction). After this period of elimination, cow's milk protein can be reintroduced to your baby or child, as in most cases, babies and children will grow out of this allergy by age five, or sooner.

At Kids Feeding Team our dietitians will support you and your baby every step of the way. Treating cows milk protein allergy without the support of a dietitian is not recommended, it is very complex and reintroduction of cow's milk protein allergy after a period of elimination is crucial so your baby or child does not need to remove cow's milk protein from their diet unnecessarily. Removing cow's milk protein from the diet is not recommended as it can make up a large part of a growing child's energy and nutrients and can increase their risk of malnutrition. To book an assessment with one of our dietitians please contact us.

Make a referral

To refer a child to our services this can be done online, or by calling 0161 820 8262 or emailing office@kids feedingteam.co.uk

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We are having an event on the 1st December! As hosted by our paediatric dietitian, she will educate on how to tackle fussy eating (and prevent it!) whilst ensuring your child is getting enough energy and nutrients. Link below to buy two tickets for £10. https://www. eventbrite.co.uk/e/from-fussy-e ater-to-foodie-tickets-50061953651?ref=estw   … pic.twitter.com/ra3MWKIxdP

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