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Reasons Why Your Child Cannot Tolerate Milk

Published on: May 03, 2018
3 min Read
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A child running from that morning glass of milk is the most hilarious as well as stressful situation at home. This may not just be out of dislike towards milk but can be something more. Vigilant parents on the other hand are in constant search for right substitutes to replace milk that support healthy growth of children.

This blog is an enlightening call for all my fellow readers that lactose intolerance and milk allergy are two different conditions seen in children having repulsion towards milk. The only irony behind the story here is both require deletion of milk and milk products in diet.

What is milk allergy?

Milk allergy causes allergic reactions to the body due to ingestion of proteins present in milk. Body perceives proteins as foreign invaders and combats allergens by producing antibodies. These antibodies (immunoglobulins like IgE) can generate a reaction in the body leading to symptoms of allergy  Most commonly seen is Cow’s Milk Allergy (CMA) and has 2-3% of prevalence rate in young children. Symptoms of milk allergy are more severe compared to that of milk intolerance.

What is Lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance on the other hand is a non-allergic reaction caused due to ingestion of milk and milk products. Lactose is a natural sugar present in milk and products made of milk like cheese and paneer. It requires an enzyme called as “lactase” present in the small intestine, for being metabolized to simple sugars like glucose and galactose in the human body. Deficiency of enzyme “lactase” can occur at birth or during later stages of growth in life.

Difference in symptoms of milk allergy and lactose intolerance:

Signs of milk allergy in children:

  • Affects Skin system: Development of hives or round rashes with inflammation and itching. Redness around lips and mouth can also be seen.
  • Dermatitis or eczema: All the layers of skin get inflamed with swelling around the eyes, mouth, lips and tissues.
  • Other symptoms: Bed wetting, inadequate sleep, headaches, sweating at night, mouth ulcers, join pain, severe fatigue can be seen with rashes and G.I symptoms.
  • Anaphylaxis: It is a combination of 2-3 systems and is the most severe form of symptom seen in milk allergy.

Signs that occur in milk allergy and lactose intolerance both: 

  • Affects gastrointestinal system: Gastrointestinal upset is common and include symptoms like severe diarrhea, vomiting is seen as a result of inflammation.

Diagnosis of milk allergy and lactose intolerance:

  • Clinical History & physical examination: For detailed past history
  • Blood test: To check for antibodies.
  • Skin prick test: To check for specific reactions to allergen reagents.
  • Oral food challenge (OFC): Gold standard for
  • Elimination diet: Note down food items after occurring allergy symptoms

Know more on foods containing milk components:

  • Food products containing milk allergy proteins and lactose: Cottage cheese (Paneer), cheese, butter, curd, yogurt, buttermilk, sweet curd (lassi), ghee, cream, all forms of milk, milk extracts like skimmed and whole milk powder (SMP & WMP), malted milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk and dry milk powder.
  • Milk protein ingredients: Milk solids, casein & its hydrolysates, caseinates, lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate, Llactoferrin, sour cream, sour milk solids, whey.
  • Hidden sources of milk proteins: Baked products, puddings, chocolates, chocolates, bars, nougat, hot dogs, sausages, sweets, custards, non-dairy, margarine etc.

Milk allergies and intolerance is as common as general dislike for milk by children. Address your child’s NO for milk more seriously. For more blogs on milk substitutes, follow us at FITTERFLY!!

About FitterFly:

FitterFly is a first of its kind, a child centric fitness and nutrition venture that provides integrated tech enabled personalized services to children and their families across India.
We aim at following one simple principle – Every Child should be in the best of its Health and be 360 degrees Fit.
FitterFly has been initiated by doctors with more than 40 years of healthcare experience, best child dietitians, pediatric nutritionists in India, child fitness trainers, and senior technologists.

At FitterFly, we make sure that your child remains in the best of his heath and spirit.
At FitterFly, we offer customized nutrition/diet advice and plans for children.


This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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- By Fitterfly Health-Team

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