Most babies at some point will suffer from one of the many childhood complaints such as colic, skin rash, crying, etc. The explanation for these complaints is usually innocent. But if these complaints persist for a long time and / or are severe, your child may suffer from cow's milk allergy. Do you want to know if your baby has cow's milk allergy? You can find tests online but it's safer to consult your GP.
What is cow's milk allergy?
Cow's milk allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to the protein in cow's milk. The immune system incorrectly sees the proteins in the milk as 'dangerous' and performs an attack to ward off them. This may cause complaints. These complaints can vary from mild to severe and can be very different in nature; usually there are 2 or more organ systems (for example the skin, the gastrointestinal tract or the respiratory tract) involved.
Cow's milk allergy is the most common food allergy in children: about 2 to 5% of all children suffer from this. Breast-fed children may also have cow's milk allergy. The protein from the cow's milk, drunk by the mother, is passed on through breastfeeding.
Allergy to cow's milk usually develops in the first year of life. Most children with a cow's milk allergy develop it in the first two years of life.
Diet changes for cow's milk allergy
Breastfeeding is also the most suitable food for children with cow's milk allergy. Do you breastfeed? Then the mother should follow a cow's milk-free diet. It is advisable to ask the advice of a dietitian.
Does your child get bottle-milk? Then there are 2 types of diet food for cow's milk allergy:
Diet food in which the cow's milk protein is cut into tiny pieces. Most children with a cow's milk allergy endure these very small pieces of proteins well. However, in some children with cow's milk allergy, the symptoms do not disappear or disappear completely. These children can benefit from a dietetic diet based on amino acids (see below).
Diet food that does not contain cow's milk protein, such as Neocate LCP. The protein has been replaced here with free amino acids, the smallest building blocks of protein. Because this diet is completely free of cow's milk, cow's milk allergic reactions can not occur. Complaints that still remain are not caused by cow's milk allergy.
NB: Hypoallergenic (HA) bottle feeding is not suitable if your child already has symptoms of cow's milk allergy. In this diet the protein is only partly cut into pieces; these particles are still large enough to be recognized by the immune system and to evoke an allergic reaction.