Dairy allergy symptoms compared to lactose intolerance symptoms


gDairy-free oing has become an increasingly hot topic in many circles, and not just those that include vegans. “While about two and a half percent of the general population have a food allergy, about 15 to 20 percent have a food sensitivity or intolerance,” says Purvi Parikh, MD, allergist for the Allergy & Asthma Network. But when we talk specifically about dairy, the numbers skyrocket. “Somewhere in the 60 to 70 percent range of the general population is lactose intolerant, and that number exceeds 80 percent in parts of the world like Asia, according to gastroenterologist Akash Goel, MD, assistant professor. of medicine in gastroenterology. and the hepatology division at Weill Cornell.

The difference between dairy allergy symptoms and lactose intolerance symptoms

According to Dr. Parikh, people with a dairy allergy typically experience a rash, itching, and swelling within 30 to 60 minutes of ingesting dairy products. “It may or may not be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, dizziness and loss of consciousness,” she says. When you face sensitivity, such as lactose intolerance, symptoms are limited to gas, bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, which appear within 30 minutes to two hours of eating foods. dairy products. “There is an overlap in terms of possible gastrointestinal symptoms, but the main differentiator is that with allergies you will also get these skin symptoms,” says Dr Parikh. “Regardless, if you have any of the symptoms above, it is important to see a certified allergist to determine if you have a true allergy or not, as allergies can be life threatening. Sensitivities can be unpleasant. , but they are not. generally dangerous. “

Allergies and sensitivities to dairy products are also caused by different things

“Food sensitivity is a side effect of a food or a difficulty in digesting or metabolizing a food,” explains Dr. Parikh. A sensitivity to dairy products is, more precisely, a sensitivity to lactose.

“Lactose is a natural sugar found in dairy products,” says Dr. Goel. “When this sugar is not broken down, it is fermented by intestinal bacteria, with gaseous byproducts leading to downstream consequences of the symptoms discussed.” A dairy allergy, on the other hand, is an immune response. “As the presentation of cow’s milk allergy is quite dramatic, these are usually diagnosed and found in early childhood, and are quite common – about two percent of babies may have a cow’s milk allergy. In this case, the immune system usually reacts to one of the proteins in dairy products, such as whey or casein, ”adds Dr. Goel.

But according to the doctor, there is a caveat: Just because you don’t feel good after drinking Greek yogurt or cheese doesn’t mean you have a sensitivity to dairy products. “If there is a fever or chills, it could be an infection,” says Dr Parikh. “If the pain is sudden, sharp, or severe and painful to the touch, it could be an emergency such as appendicitis, ovarian torsion / rupture, pelvic inflammatory disease, or ectopic pregnancy and rupture. Or maybe you just ate too much brie. (It happens to the best of us!)

By the way, if you’re suddenly stressed out about prevention, don’t. The only proven way to reduce the risk of developing a food allergy, based on the landmark LEAP study, is the early introduction of common allergens before one year of age.

The good news? There are so many delicious, dairy-free foods on the market, ideal for those with or without dairy intolerance. Ice cream? To verify. Cheese? To verify. Milk? To verify. To verify. To verify.

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