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Dairy/Casein Allergy Basics
Posted By Alison On Mar 27, 2007 @ In | Comments Disabled
A dairy or casein allergy is an immune reaction to milk proteins. There are more than 25 proteins found in the different parts of milk. The 2 most allergenic dairy proteins are casein and whey.
Lactose intolerance is not an immune reaction, but rather results from the inability to produce enough of the digestive enzyme lactase to break down the sugar in milk.
It can be difficult to distinguish between dairy allergy and intolerance if the symptoms are only gastrointestinal in nature. If the symptoms involve the upper respiratory tract or the skin, however, then it is an allergy rather than intolerance.
Symptoms of dairy or casein allergy:
The symptoms of dairy or casein allergy can be divided into 3 categories:
Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction, involving every above organ system. It can lead to anaphylactic shock and death.
The dairy/casein-free diet:
Following a milk-free (dairy-free, casein-free) diet requires the elimination of the following types of foods:
Milk provides protein. Other good sources of protein are: meat, fish, beans, and many vegetables.
Milk provides calcium. Other good sources of calcium are:
To absorb calcium efficiently, you must have enough vitamin D, which can be produced by sunlight on the skin, or by eating foods such as milk, liver and egg yolk.
If calcium needs cannot be met, a calcium supplement may be necessary. It is wise to consult a dietician before taking any dietary supplements.
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