Dairy allergy symptoms in adults
If you have a dairy allergy, the immune system is reacting to one or more of the proteins contained in milk. Because the immune system recognizes milk proteins as harmful, every time you consume a milk product, you experience symptoms. Although most people with a dairy allergy realize it as a child, some people with dairy allergies do make it to adulthood without being diagnosed with this condition. Are you wondering if the symptoms you experience could be a sign of dairy allergies?
In adults, the most common symptoms include stomach reactions like abdominal pain and an upset stomach, gas, bloating, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ingesting milk can also affect your nose, throat, and lungs, causing congestion, a runny nose, coughing, and watery or itchy eyes. It may also mimic asthma, causing wheezing and shortness of breath. Other symptoms of dairy allergy affect the skin, such as an itchy, red rash, hives, and eczema. Areas of the body to touch the milk, such as the lips, tongue, face, mouth, and throat, may swell. Food allergies can also cause more general symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, and headaches, which are usually mis-diagnosed as another condition.
Many people who experience these symptoms after consuming milk products think that they are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance is an inability to process the sugars in milk due to lack of a necessary enzyme. It causes many of the same symptoms, but has a different underlying cause and treatment. These symptoms are also associated with a wide range of other health conditions, making allergy testing or an elimination diet more accurate ways to diagnose a dairy allergy than relying on symptoms alone. If you have experienced these symptoms, visit your doctor for a diagnosis.