Did you know that Milk is considered a priority allergen by Health Canada?
However, many people also suffer from Lactose intolerance, so it’s important to know the difference.
Some of the common symptoms of a Milk allergy include:
- Stomach cramps, gas (flatulence), diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
- Rash, hives, eczema, red and itchy skin
- Runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing (trouble breathing)
- Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, throat and tongue
The common symptoms of Lactose intolerance include:
- Stomach cramps, gas and diarrhea
Lactose intolerance causes stomach cramps, gas, diarrhea and vomiting, but rash, hives, runny nose, coughing and swelling are not symptoms of lactose intolerance. A Milk allergy is a reaction to the proteins found in Milk. Your body’s immune system reacts to the Milk proteins and then triggers a variety of symptoms. Lactose intolerance describes your body’s reaction to the natural sugar (called Lactose) found in Milk, but it is not an allergy because it does not involve your immune system. If you are lactose intolerant it is because your body doesn’t have enough lactase, which is an enzyme needed to help break down the lactose. So first things first, if you’re not sure if you’re intolerant to Milk or Lactose, try a quality digestive enzyme and see if that helps your symptoms.
If you suspect that you have an allergy to Milk you can try to avoid consuming Milk and products that contain Milk for 30 days and see if your symptoms disappear. If you think it’s serious see your doctor and request an allergy test.
If you would like to try abstinence first, you will need to read the ingredients carefully when purchasing prepared products because not only is Milk hidden in products, but also there are other names for Milk. These include:
- Ammonium/calcium/magnesium/potassium/sodium caseinate
- Baked goods, e.g. breads, bread crumbs, cakes, cereals, cookies, crackers, donuts, muffins, pasta, baking mixes
- Casein/caseinate/rennet casein
- Delactosed/demineralised whey
- Dry milk/milk/sour cream/sour milk solids
- Hydrolyzed casein, hydrolyzed milk protein
- Lactalbumin/lactalbumin phosphate
- Milk derivative/fat/protein
- Modified milk ingredients
- OptaTM, Simplesse® (fat replacers)
- Whey, whey protein concentrate
In addition to identifying food products that contain Milk while shopping, eating out can be very challenging. Unlike food manufacturers, restaurants are not required to list priority allergens for menu items. It is up to you to look for possible sources of your allergen or for cross contamination by reading the menu and talking with your server and/or the chef.
Below is a list of common food products that contain Milk:
- Artificial butter, butter fat/flavour/oil, ghee, margarine
- Baked goods and baking mixes
- Brown sugar
- Buttermilk, cream, dips, salad dressings, sour cream, spreads
- Caramel colouring/flavouring
- Casein in wax used on fresh fruits and vegetables
- Casseroles, frozen prepared foods
- Cereals, cookies, crackers
- Cheese, cheese curds
- Egg/fat substitutes
- Flavoured coffee, coffee whitener, non-dairy creamer
- Glazes, nougat
- Gravy, sauces
- High protein flour
- Kefir (milk drink), kumiss (fermented milk drink), malt drink mixes
- Meats such as deli meats, hot dogs, patés, sausages
- Instant/mashed/scalloped potatoes
- Snack foods
- Soups, soup mixes
- Soy “cheese”
All of McLean Meats deli products including our deli meats, hot dogs & sausages are allergy friendly, free of gluten, soy and dairy.
We hope this post was useful. Living with food allergies especially gluten, soy and dairy can be monumentally challenging when so many products contain these common allergens.