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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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32 Comments on "Eight Signs Your Baby Has a Milk Allergy"

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courtney
11 months 26 days ago

My baby has all the symptoms. But i was wondering if any of your babies snore? My babygirl snores loudly for her size and has everynight since she was born.

Todd
1 year 7 months ago
My son is 16yrs old. 11 days after birth, it was determined my child has Galactosemia. He would not keep milk down, to point a gavauge (however it’s spelled) was use to force feed him. Well, my perfectly healthy son from start, now has hemorrhaging behind BOTH retina’s! 1mo old, surgery to remove one of his eyes and hopefully re-attach the retina. It was unsuccessful! 2nd month we return for same surgery on other eye. It worked, by my child vision is 20/400, in his 1 and only eye. At 14yrs old he had cataract surgery. A success. His vision… Read more »

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[…] Babies Online: Eight Signs Your Baby Has a Milk Allergy – “An amino acid-based formula is safe for babies with milk and soy allergies because it is comprised of non-allergenic … these respiratory problems can be the baby’s reaction to the protein found in milk. 8. … Symptoms Wheat Best Formula For Milk Allergy Babies | my gluten free diet … […]

[…] Eight Signs Your Baby Has a Milk Allergy | Baby | Baby … – “These babies cannot process the complex protein chains found in milk-based baby formula. … 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. […]

[…] In fact starting your baby on cereal too early as an effort to make them sleep longer could trigger allergies in your child that will make life harder down the […]

Judy
2 years 7 months ago

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?

jodi
3 years 2 months ago
my 9 month old son is awake pretty much all night long if not every hour every half hour started at 6 months of age i had just gone of no yeast diet (because he had thrust so bad ) and he started solid foods. well still hasn’t got much better he is up every hour if not every 2. now trying gluten dairy free diet. last night he was having trouble breathing even stopped a few times and when he started he would cry and cry. when he wakes up at night he is like a little ball in… Read more »
JHDK
3 years 9 months ago
My son was born just over 3wks early and his lungs were not developed…had to stay in NICU for 3wks where i pumped milk and mixed with formula due to my supple being low. When we finally took him home I was barly producing enough breast milk for 1/4 of what he was consuming and so switched over 100% to formula. Baby is now 9 months old and had continually had the above symptoms and has been to the ER three times and several extra doc appointments for respiratory issuse, rashes and reflux. We always associated that these respiratory issues… Read more »
Mom of 2 awesome boys
4 years 4 months ago

This info just helped me so much. My baby boy is dealing with failure to thrive and every other symptom on here. Took milk out of my diet a day ago. Hoping for results.

[…] is diarrhea, which might be supported by respiratory system symptoms or skin allergic reactions. Milk allergy symptoms has differeng symptoms than lactose intolerance symptoms.You need to differen…ight="240" /> Milk allergy symptoms has differeng symptoms than lactose intolerance symptoms.You […]

4 years 11 months ago

thank you for the information. my one child had one of those symptoms,cold,itchy eyes,itchy nose,wheezing and later asthma. almost 4 years that i didnt noticed that it was caused of cows milk allergy till i switch him into soya milk and all of these symtoms have gone.

tina
5 years 3 months ago
I agree with Heather. My son is allergic to milk, wheat, soy, eggs and peanuts. I have been on an elimination diet for about 6 months and it have not reduced my milk supply. His Pediatrician is wonderful and so we are having him tested for allergies. He has really bad eczema, hives and was itchy all the time. The elimination diet has helped reduced the eczema and now we are waiting for narrow down the list of allergens. We are mainly on a rice diet and he is growing well. He was also given Elacare formula which he tolerates… Read more »
Heather
5 years 3 months ago

I just wanted to correct one of the comments posted above. If you are breastfeeding and have to do an elimination diet, your supply does not always decrease. I know a lot of breastfeeding moms who have had to cut out allergens from their diet and had no problem with supply. My own son has a dairy sensitivity and I cut out all dairy from my diet. I’m still breastfeeding him at 11 months with no supply issues. It’s hard to give up dairy, but well worth it when it helps your child feel better!

Danielle
5 years 5 months ago
When my son was 3 weeks old, I knew something wasnt right. I was primarily breastfeeding but supplementing with formula, and every day he seemed to be getting worse. He had atopic dermatitus since his 2nd day (when I started him on formula) and it spread all over his body (and the hospital neonatalogist even said was an “allergic reaction to something and she’d be interested to know what it was from.) That was then accompanied by diarhea and he started getting more and more fussy/gassy/restless by the day. About week 3, he started having chest congestion (cracking noises and… Read more »
Mary
5 years 6 months ago

My baby is 2 months old. When he was born I was breastfeeding him but for personal issues I had to stop. He’s been drinking formula for about a month an a wk .His pediatrician has changed his milk 3 times. From Good Start Green Label, to orange, Now to Soy formula and since he started he’s been constipated and a really badddd rash all over his face and neck. Today I notice that it was starting on his arms and hands. Can he be lactose intolerance just like his father?? and what could all this be coming from?

5 years 7 months ago
I am a mother of two. My first child was colic from the day I brought her home from the hospital. She had horrible gas and you could tell she was in pain. I breastfed her for 7 months. I keep telling the doctor something was wrong and all I heard was she was colic and would grow out of it once her digestive tract matured. Needless to say, at four months there was blood in her stools. I was told she had a virus and I argued that she is not sick with a virus. She is at home… Read more »
nichole
5 years 7 months ago

My son is three months old. He has had a cold since he was born. (congestion, runny nose, cough) He has also had exzema since he was about a month old and also has acid reflux. (test confirmed this) We have had him on nutrimigen, similac allementium, and now ellecare. He has been on the ellecare for over a week and we still have seen no improvement. I have no idea where to go from here. Advice Please……………

Deniece Toledo
5 years 8 months ago

My seven month old has been spitting up since birth. Her doc thinks her low weight could be because of a milk allergy and her constant spitting up. He wants me to switch formulas…again and add vitamins and more solids. I am tired of switching formulas since they are so costly and thry tend to upset her tummy until she adjusts. Would it be better for me to just ask for the milk allergy test to at least know for sure?

Carrie
5 years 10 months ago
I agree with the last commenter. We have been to many, many dr.’s, nurses, dermatologists, etc. My son had severe eczema and they all never once thought that it was food related. I’ve been breastfeeding. It wasn’t until I went to an allergist that we found out he was allergic to over 20 things (milk, soy, egg, all nuts, barley, oat, wheat, bananas, tomatoes, yeast, gelatin, etc.). It was a huge challenge but since cutting those things out, he’s clearing up. He also had an anaphylactic reaction from a jar baby food that contained cheese. So be careful! That’s what… Read more »
Erin
5 years 11 months ago
If you think your baby may have a milk allergy–SEE A PEDIATRIC ALLERGIST!! They CAN and WILL do testing before one year to help diagnose milk and other allergies. My breastfed daughter had “severe reflux” and eczema for months. Only when I let her taste yogurt at 7 months did I find out it was actually a severe (anaphylactic) milk allergy (also eggs and nuts) that none of her 20 or more doctors (NICU and other peds) even considered for her. I ate/drank these allergens every day, all day and never even considered that she may be allergic to something… Read more »
Cristine
6 years 7 days ago

For those of you struggling with the reflux issues…my son was told he would be on meds for years. I finally saw a dr. at the children’s hospital and he said he has dysphagia. The allergist and pediatric gastroenterologist missed this! If your child has reflux symptoms, seems congested/wheezy at times and coughs while drinking a bottle or breastfed, ask about dysphagia. I think it’s more common than people think!

candy
6 years 12 days ago

my baby has rash on face,ears hands,somach,and legs i need help i dont know if its milk allergys

[…] baby! for me its sounds like hes got an allergy and u got to take him to GP! Just have a read here: Eight Signs Your Baby Has a Milk Allergy | Baby | Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting at Babies Online Take care x Signatures are visible to registered members only. Reply « […]

[…] […]

Leigh
6 years 2 months ago
I have been very frustrated with Dr’s lately. My daughter is 8 months old, and we dealt with reflux since she was 6 wks old. Got tired of all the co-pays and the “she just has a virus”, “she has croup”. The list goes on and on. So, I put her on Similac Alimentum, a hypoallergenic formula, and the reflux was at least tolerable. She even threw up the breastmilk. About a month ago, she outgrew the reflux, so they changed her formula to a milk-based..Similac Advance. She had a cold from cutting teeth, but she began not eating…. I… Read more »
MaryBeth
6 years 3 months ago
okay sorry but my child is 9 months old and because I was cautious and trusted deeply in mothers intuition, I immediately changed her formula to soy (which by the way worked! no more “acid reflux”) and I insisted my child be tested before the one yr mark for allergy testing! I also without knowing what her allergies were removed all milk and eggs from her diet finally at 8 months she was finally diagnosed with level 7 milk level 5 egg and level 7dust mite allergies…. her symptoms were as follows :: 1)what the dr called acid reflux was… Read more »
6 years 5 months ago

very helpful my baby has alot of these symptoms except diahorrea though his trunk has been covered in a rash for the last month and now spreading to his legs just trying soy at moment while i wait on new dr
thanks for the info

Christy
6 years 6 months ago
My baby has several of these signs, except that he is often constipated instead of having diarrhea. He projectile vomits at least twice a day, spits up more than a small amount every feeding, screams as though he is always hungry and never satisfied, even right after a feeding, has a rash on his face that is NOT the acne he had when he was first born and that is spreading… SO many signs! I had a severe milk allergy when I was a baby and it did not start to become less problematic until I was a teenager. Now… Read more »
Louise
6 years 8 months ago

Thanks – very useful.

[…] to milk, citrus fruits, and other baby food. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your baby is allergic to what you are feeding them; it may just be that it doesn’t go out as easily as it goes in. […]

7 years 3 months ago

Thank You, very helpful

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