Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting Information

Eight Signs Your Baby Has a Milk Allergy

Rashes, colds and upset stomachs are common baby ailments. But the occurrence of one or more of these symptoms can signal a serious allergy. If unrecognized, these symptoms can make an infant miserable and malnourished.

eight-signs-your-baby-has-a-milk-allergy.jpgMore than 100,000 babies each year suffer from milk allergy. The condition causes digestive, respiratory and/or skin problems and is often difficult to recognize.

“These babies cannot process the complex protein chains found in milk-based baby formula. And many also react to soy-based formulas,” says Dr. John Moissidis, a Board certified pediatric allergist at The Asthma Allergy Clinic in Shreveport, La.

Infant milk allergy is treated by either eliminating the milk proteins from the nursing mother’s diet, or by replacing the regular formula with an amino acid-based formula.

“An amino acid-based formula is safe for babies with milk and soy allergies because it is comprised of non-allergenic amino acids, the building blocks of protein, instead of partial or complete protein chains found in other formulas,” says Sarah O’Brien, nutrition specialist for Nutricia North America, the manufacturer of amino acid-based formula Neocate.

This specialized formula does not require a prescription, but infants taking it should be under the care of a physician.

Here are eight signs, provided by Dr. Moissidis, to help parents of infants identify a potential milk allergy.

1. Diarrhea
Diarrhea is common in babies, but if it is persistent (an average of two to four times a day for more than five to seven days) and/or if there is blood in the stool, it could signal a more serious milk allergy.

2. Vomiting
Babies often spit up bits of food, but vomiting beyond the typical mealtime regurgitation should be examined by a doctor. Reflux symptoms, such as spit-up and difficulty swallowing, can also be milk allergy symptoms.

3. Skin Rash
There are many causes for infant skin rashes like eczema. Milk allergy is one possible cause, especially if the rash occurs along with some of these other symptoms.

4. Extreme Fussiness
Every baby cries, but crying continuously and inconsolably for long periods of time is abnormal. When there is no apparent reason, this is usually called colic. Sometimes this extreme fussiness is actually caused by the gastrointestinal pain resulting from an allergy to the proteins found in milk.

5. Low or No Weight Gain
Most infants double their weight by six months and triple it by 12 months. But when babies are not getting the nutrition they need because of excessive diarrhea and vomiting, they are unable to grow like they should.

6. Gassiness
All babies have gas, but when it occurs along with several of these other symptoms, it can also signal an allergy to milk proteins.

7. Respiratory Problems
Colds are common for infants, but wheezing, struggling to breathe and developing excess mucus in the nose and throat is not. For some kids, these respiratory problems can be the baby’s reaction to the protein found in milk.

8. Failure to Thrive
Babies with milk allergy often suffer from a lack of proper nutrition characterized by dehydration, loss of appetite and lack of energy. This overall failure to thrive is often the result of the effect of the other symptoms effect on the infant’s body.

Parents can take the allergy test and learn more about infant milk allergy and amino acid-based formula at www.testforallergy.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content


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26 Responses to “Eight Signs Your Baby Has a Milk Allergy”

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  1. 26
    Judy Says:

    Hello! My grandson is a month old and constantly cries. At first I thought it was colic but he cries uncontrollably for no reason. He gets fed and never seems satisfied. He moans and groans and is very gassy and spits up more than usual. We have him on Similac Sensitive but I was thinking of giving soy milk a try. What do you all think this could be?

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