Knowing the difference between a milk allergy or a lactose intolerance can help you determine what appropriate action to take to reduce your symptoms. Most people often confuse the two together. Do not make the same mistake.
The symptoms of a milk allergy involve the immune system, which is the main difference between it and lactose intolerance. When you have a milk allergy, your immune system kicks in to produce the allergic responses that you experience. Some of the most common symptoms of a milk allergy include swelling, hives, coughing, wheezing, shock, and even death if treatment is not initiated quickly. The reaction to the proteins in the milk, casein and whey, normally occurs within 45 minutes of exposure to the proteins in milk.
If you have a milk allergy, then it is very important that you avoid all milk and milk elated products. If you are breastfeeding, then you will need to avoid drinking the milk yourself to ensure that it does not get into your breastmilk. Your baby may just develop a milk allergy. This type of allergy normally lasts for at least a few years and may still be a problem into adulthood.
A milk allergy is not as common as lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is the most common reaction that infants, children, and adults have to milk. The symptoms of lactose intolerance normally occur 45 minutes to almost a day after consuming it. Gas and diarrhea are the two most common symptoms of lactose intolerance. The symptoms are not by themselves dangerous, although it can cause discomfort and may require a day of rest.
If you want to avoid the symptoms, then it is best to avoiding milk products by substituting them with soy milk or a lactose free milk. Avoiding the milk products can allow you to live a normal life without diarrhea and gas. Small amounts of milk products can sometimes be consumed especially with adults, and without symptoms. Severity will increase as you up your intake of milk.