Dairy allergy — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Dairy allergy

I know we have a few Mommas on here dealing with dairy allergies. I didn't find out this was the case with my son until he went into anaphylaxis on Friday after trying formula for the first time (was exclusively BF). While trying to begin finger feeding, I'm finding so many products have the "may contain milk" warning! Then, I immediately wonder if this allergy will continue into his childhood and if he'll have a limited diet forever. I'm allergic to peanuts so I get the struggle but I feel like dairy is so much broader. Any tips or advice for avoidance/substitutions would be appreciated. I got Alimenim formula tonight and will probably put it to the test over the weekend...hopefully the ped was right about the cows milk allergy and it's not something else in the formula. The worry never ends!!

Re: Dairy allergy

  • So I haven't dealt with this first hand but my niece had a milk allergy (although less severe than your baby's it sounds) BUT she was only allergic to pure milk not milk products (i.e. no issues with cheese, yogurt, etc).  She did have a problem with formula though too.
  • Cricket99Cricket99 member
    edited September 2016
    So I'm currently dealing with a milk sensitivity. I gave LO yogurt and he broke out in hives. Since the ER trip for that, he has had hives 3 more times, 2 to "may contain milk" products, and 1 to a high chair in a busy food court (which I'm wondering if a kid had spilled dairy on it). He only gets hives from it, never any compromised breathing, but that may also be because the traces of milk have been very small so far. It totally freaks me out, but my husband just rolls his eyes and says we can't avoid things with dairy forever (note he has never been around for an incident of hives). The pediatrician seemed to think it may have been a sensitivity to an additive because he hasn't had a problem with dairy when I eat it and he has been EBF until starting solids. For your formula issue, try giving just a tiny bit at first, like a teaspoon, and see what happens. The less you give in one go the better and if there is going to be a reaction it will be within 10 minutes or so. I am with you on hating this worrying about it. I'm going to request an allergy test at our next appointment, because I want to know for sure that this is a cow's milk allergy, and not something else. Good luck momma! And for both our sakes I hope our LOs grow out of this!!


    ETA words are hard and autocorrect sucks.
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  • My little guy has a dairy allergy that was diagnosed at 2 months. It's not as severe as it is with your LO but my guy gets terrible reflux and stomach issues. I recently reintroduced it into my diet (ebf + solids) and it didn't go well so pediatrician recommends waiting until LO is at least a year old. Most baked goods taste fine with coconut milk and earth balance vegan butter! I still haven't found a cheese that tastes good. I like coconut milk yogurt better than soy yogurt. I've been able to find those at Kroger and Trader Joe's. We are doing BLW and purees and LO loves hummus, all kinds of fruits and vegetables, Ritz crackers (just not the buttered kind), toast with peanut butter, Cheerios, spaghetti, rice, and beans. Most restaurants these days are familiar with food allergies it seems, so I just ask what is dairy free and have never had any issues! Most Asian cuisine is dairy free since it's made with coconut milk. Amy's brand has a yummy dairy free pizza that LO likes to eat as well. I thought being dairy free would be terrible since I never knew how to eat anything without cheese prior to this haha but it's actually not been too bad and I feel healthier than I used to! 
  • Mine has a milk protein allergy too. He's EBF and I'm off dairy. He doesn't have any compromised breathing, but does have allergic colitis. Basically a diaper full of blood. Ooph. His ped is still hopeful he'll outgrow it. Good luck! I hope the alimentum works for you! 
  • I need to talk to me ped more about Brynlee's potential allergies. We took her off of breast milk to limit the variables, then to a regular formula, which went horribly (they claimed a possibly dairy allergy), then switched to soy, which went even worse, then to hypoallergenic, then added cereal (which had soy). She did horribly until I was able to find an all natural, no soy, rice cereal. So I'm left with the conflict of whether or not sure even has these allergies! No testing has been done. She had horrible reflux and stomach issues where she would scream and withe in pain for hours. I obviously don't want to put her through that again, but where do you start with a picky baby who can't have dairy or soy?!
  • Becky012016Becky012016 member
    edited September 2016
    We just confirmed with an allergist LO is allergic to dairy, soy, wheat, and eggs. Fun. How the hell am I supposed to give him a balanced diet? OP I can't help much because our diagnosis is new and we're starting an elimination diet to see which affect him the most. Alimentum is supposed to be the best option for babies with food allergies. It's been 24 hrs since switching and his skin is clearing up a bit. 

    Eta: we also have epipens now so I feel your pain from your other post about anaphylaxis 
  • @Becky012016 oh no!! Poor LO...poor you! I was told allergists wouldn't do assessments until 1 year but clearly that's not the case?? He's refusing Alimentum so we're on to Nutrimagem. Oh boy... Also, I'm so nervous about introducing egg! I would feel much better with an allergy test vs food trials.
  • @mbud926; the allergist ended up doing a blood test for igE levels to the big 8 allergens. I think we went that route because we had a few different referrals to see this doctor and we had slowly switched detergents, wipes, and soaps to the sensitive version with no relief. From my understanding, they won't do a skin test in young kids because of false positives and negatives but that the blood (rast) test is more conclusive at young ages. Alimentum smells horrible so I don't blame your lo for not liking it lol 
  • @mbud926 we are doing good trial to try to see what causes LO to break out in hives all over his face. It is sooooo nerve wracking. So far eliminating dairy has seemed to work on keeping the hives at bay, but I would love to know for sure what is causing the problem. I am going to push for an allergy test at his 9 month appointment.
  • @Cricket99 yes! I sit there with my Benadryl and epipens staring. Yesterday I convinced myself he was getting hives but it turned out he was tying to poop...fml. Have you tried any of the other risky allergens (egg, wheat, peanuts, etc?)
  • @mbud926 I haven't tried any of the other big ones.... I am gluten free, so we don't really have it in the house anyway and I'm too afraid to try out the other ones... he is also very slow on the being able to swallow anything with texture thing, so we are still mostly eating purées. 
  • @Becky012016 I got a referral to an allergist today...what a relief!! I am ready to get some answers and stop the what if game!
    Becky012016
  • @Becky012016 the allergist confirmed today that he is allergic to milk and eggs...immediately I'm in panic mode. What can he eat that doesn't have those ingredients or that isn't cooked with butter, etc. Have you found any helpful substitutes or good recipes? I'm panicking about his childhood struggles with sleepovers and pizza parties (although my husband says I'm being dramatic)
  • @mbud926; for substitutes we found a vegan soy-free butter and we'll probably use almond or coconut milk when the time comes to replace formula. You can also use coconut oil for a butter replacement if you like the taste of it. We haven't figured out an egg substitute yet, unfortunately. Pinterest is a great help with speciality recipes if you type in dairy and egg free recipes! 

    As far as getting to be a normal kid, it's just really important to make it clear to caretakers that your LO cannot have food with his allergens in them. I've found that most people are accommodating to this and I always make sure to pack safe foods for him  to eat. 

    Above all, read labels every time. A product that used to be safe could now be unsafe or vice versa. Companies are constantly changing how they make their products to better accommodate their buyers. 
  • Well I hate to have to revive this thread, but here we are. LO has some sort of dairy allergy that we figured out at 6 months. No big deal, we just avoid it. Now we introduced eggs last week, and they seem to be causing a problem too. Hives last night and this morning and eggs are the newest introduction to his diet... he also has a problem with textures (they make him gag and vomit) so getting meats in is difficult for us. Anyone have some insight on how to get this LO some good protein so that he starts sleeping better? I have asked my pediatrician for an allergy test, but she recommended waiting until after 1 as it will be more conclusive and cause less stress for baby. I'm just trying to find ways to fill him up as fruits, veggies, and cereal only go so far... the transition to solids has been really rough for us...
  • My LO also dislikes eggs and meat.  we're going to try beans and see how he does with those
  • @Cricket99 As @nackie said, beans could be good! We had given LO black beans several times (kind of mashed up) because we have them ourselves but recently discovered that kidney beans went over much better. I'm paranoid about the skins so I kind of peel the beans and give him the "meat" and he loves it. Probably went through 15 beans in one sitting the other day.
  • Whole grains! 
  • Beans were next on my list and we do oatmeal with no problem. I'm hesitant to do wheat as he shows problems with dairy and eggs, so we are going to be tentative on that for a while. I eat gluten free, so we don't have wheat in the house anyway. Glad I'm not the only one with issues here!
  • Was lurking and saw this... my son is 8 months old and possibly has FPIES.  we were referred to an allergist. They did a scratch test on his back. It took 15 minutes and was not traumatic at all. I would consider finding an allergist that sees children, despite what your pediatrician says. Food allergies are no joke and early detection and exposure can make a big difference. 
  • I'm waiting on a call from the pediatrician. LO still hasn't been treated for allergies, but we still can't seem to feed her without major tummy troubles. As far as I can tell, dairy and soy are huge isaues for her, but she had plain chicken the other day and reacted similarly! I'm baffled. She refuses all baby food, spits out all fruits and veggies I give her... so far, she will eat cheerios and graham crackers. 

    What were the reactions in your LOs that made you suspect allergies? Brynlee has never gotten hives or bloody stool, so the doctor says it can't be allergies...
  • @Knottie1460129674 Unfortunately in our situation I can't get to an allergist without a referral from peds (military medical care overseas, so limited options). I may call them up and express more concern and try to get an earlier allergy test. It's not too hard to avoid trigger foods right now, but it will get harder as he gets older. 

    @barrettj89 my LOs food allergies are hives around his mouth. He has also appeared to have a cold the past few days, but I think it may have actually been part of a reaction as I have been giving him eggs and he liked them. Have you tried baby oatmeal? My LO seems to like it a lot and he has texture issues too. Mixing a mashed banana in it is a good way to go. It's mild and doesn't have a lot of texture. Good luck!
  • Cricket99 said:

    @barrettj89 my LOs food allergies are hives around his mouth. He has also appeared to have a cold the past few days, but I think it may have actually been part of a reaction as I have been giving him eggs and he liked them. Have you tried baby oatmeal? My LO seems to like it a lot and he has texture issues too. Mixing a mashed banana in it is a good way to go. It's mild and doesn't have a lot of texture. Good luck!
    I've tried oatmeal and she just spits it everywhere. I guess that's where I'm stuck... She refuses any and all baby food, or anything like it.  She shakes her head and verbally says no. If I force it on her, she spits it all over us both. Anything non baby food that she'll eat, seems to send her into horrible episodes of screaming in pain that last for hours.
  • @BarrettJ89 that does not sound fun at all. I hope you can get some answers and find something that works for your LO soon. 

    @Cricket99 we have had the same reaction with yogurt and cottage cheese. Not quite hives but redness and splotchy around her mouth. I'm hoping it's not dairy as she seems okay with bread, pancakes, etc. Although she did have hives on her abdomen the other day from I have no idea what. I have an appt scheduled to see if we can get some answers. Can a stuffy nose be a part of a reaction? As for meat I can't really help you, LO loves pieces of chicken, steak, salmon, but beans like others have suggested might be good to try! 
  • Pediatrican is sending us to our second gastro specialist... ugh! She's pretty confused too as these food issues aren't presenting as allergies. 
  • Update: We saw the second gastro specialist this morning. It took long enough, but Brynlee has been diagnosed with a milk protein allergy as well as a soy allergy. From what we gathered from the doctor, it sounds like she falls into a special category in which the baby has an extreme reaction to any and all of the common allergens. We will be talking to a dietician soon as to how to transition her to eating anything (right now she's only on formula and cheerios)...
    Becky012016
  • @BarrettJ89 I was just thinking about asking how things were. So at least you know now. As much as it's no fun to deal with.
    Our doctor will be sending us to an allergist to see if we are dealing with something. I gave LO some milk after talking to our doctor and she turned red around her mouth shortly after. If that's her outside symptoms I can't imagine how she's feeling inside. 
    You just wish you could fix everything with a snap of your fingers. 
  • It's frustrating in that it took this long. I knew there was something wrong, but because it didn't present in the usual manner, everyone thought I was nuts. From what we got from the specialist and good ol' doctor Google, is that she falls into a category in which her symptoms have a delayed presentation. It can take up to 48 hours for the reaction to present, and they can continue up to 14 days after digesting it... Hence why we had such trouble pinning down exactly what the allergy was. Also, she doesn't react with hives or blood in the stool, just the awful stomach cramps, arcing, writhing, and screaming... I'm looking forward to talking to the dietician so I can get a starting point. I'm nervous though, knowing how delicate and slow the process will be. The doctor says that most kids outgrow it around 12-15 months. We shall see! I an surprised though that no actual tests were done or ordered. 

    Hope all goes well for you and your LO! This is just agonizing, frustrating, and exhausting for everyone involved. 
  • @barrettj89; push for an IgE blood test to know what else's your LO could be allergic to. We have dairy, soy, wheat, and egg allergies. Meal planning and batch cooking has saved my sanity numerous times since the diagnosis. Good luck going forward and I hope the dietician has good recommendations for food! 
    ctmamaoftwoBarrettJ89
  • @barrettj89 I'm glad to hear they have figured out the problem! I hope she grows out of this and becomes a fantastic eater for you. 

    Update for us: We talked to our pediatrician and she agreed to send us to the allergist since he seems to be allergic to milk and eggs so I'm hesitant to give him any other big allergens. The appointment isn't until next week as that was the earliest appointment. On the up side, LO is eating chicken like a champ! This kid will plow through an entire chicken strip in one sitting, plus berries, and pouches with cereal and veggies and fruits. Thank goodness he's finally eating, though I'm surprised he hasn't gotten bored yet as the menu tends to be very limited and repetitive.
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