Allergies can take away many of life’s little pleasures and make one’s existence on earth uncomfortable. It’s no fun having to watch what you eat while others simply gobble up all those yummy foods and not feel a thing. Just think of all the ice cream, cheesy pizzas and pasta you’re going to miss. Allergy to dairy is especially frustrating since milk is the food for babies and infants until they can eat solid stuff and even then, milk remains a major nutrient for children and adults alike.
Allergic reactions can range from the mildly irritating to the embarrassing to the downright life threatening. Here are the more common allergic signs and symptoms that manifest in people who have a dairy allergy or allergy to other food as well.
- Skin rashes, hives or eczema
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain
- Itchy, watery and reddish eyes
- Wheezing, difficulty in breathing, cough or nasal drip
- Swelling of the lips, tongue or the whole face
- Anaphylaxis, a severe reaction that can cause instant death
Dairy allergy can come from cow’s milk, goat’s milk and other animal milk because the proteins that cause the allergy are present in them. These are casein and whey; they may also be found in processed foods, so people with an allergy to dairy will find that they are allergic to these foods as well.
The Benefits of Milk
Milk is one of nature’s most complete foods, which is why parents try to incorporate it into the diet of the family. It’s a rich source of the essential nutrients needed by the body to maintain optimum health and the capability to perform normal activities. Milk contains the three major macronutrients protein, carbohydrates and fats that provide the energy for growth, development and body functions. It also contains an abundant supply of vitamins A, B1, B2 and B12 plus the very important minerals calcium and phosphorus.
Milk is a highly recommended food for infants, growing kids, teens, adults and elderly people alike. The amount of dairy recommended varies with each age group.
The calcium in milk is needed for children and teens to grow strong and healthy bones and teeth. For adults, especially women, it’s known to prevent osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms. Athletes also need the calcium in milk for their bones, which are subject to high levels of stress in their line of activity.
The calcium in milk has been shown to lower the bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol in the blood, which are major risk factors of heart diseases.
Adequate intake of milk has been found to reduce the incidence of certain kinds of cancer and high blood pressure in both men and women and type 2 diabetes in women.
Milk makes the skin glow and look beautiful, frees it from blemishes and gives the skin an even tone.
Milk provides the fuel for going about the daily activities and increases the body’s resistance to diseases by strengthening the immune system. It has been correlated to increased weight loss, especially in the abdominal area.
The Consequences of Dairy Allergy
Aside from the allergic reactions one gets if taking in milk or foods that contain milk, the body suffers from being deprived of the nutrients that milk provides. These deficiencies come in the form of severe anemia, osteoporosis, susceptibility to fractures, muscle cramps and spasms, tooth decay, high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, dull looking skin and hair and sluggishness.
Substitutes for milk for babies include breast-feeding, hypoallergenic milk formulas and soy-based formulas for infants. In fact, breast-feeding is recommended for infants below four months old because it can prevent milk allergy when the babies grow older.
Children and adults who have dairy allergy must have a diet rich in calcium or take calcium as supplements. Foods that are good sources of calcium are green vegetables, fish and other seafood. They should also take vitamin D to help the body absorb the calcium. Vitamin D is found in eggs and liver or as a supplement.
Natural Remedies for Dairy Allergy
If you or a member in the family has dairy allergy, all is not lost. The fundamental rule in treating allergies is to avoid the allergen. In this case, the allergic person must not eat or drink anything that contains milk. You must know what foods contain milk, as there are many of them that you wouldn’t think likely to have dairy as an ingredient.
Aside from total avoidance of the allergen, it's possible to get rid of an allergy by gradually exposing yourself to the allergen. This means taking in milk in small amounts until you build resistance to it and stop being allergic to dairy. However, there’s the danger of not knowing the right amount to take in and having an allergic reaction instead. The bigger danger, of course, is if the reaction is life threatening.
Fortunately, a homeopathic treatment is available in the market that combines allergy relief components, antihistamine and a specific allergen in one mixture. This elixir acts in two ways. First, it gives you symptomatic relief should you unintentionally imbibe dairy by prompting the body’s natural healing capacity to work. Second, it contains the allergen in safe amounts determined by scientific studies. Regular use of this natural medicine exposes you to dairy in small quantities so that you don’t exhibit allergic symptoms and your system slowly adapts itself to dairy. There are ingredients in it that counteract the adverse effects of drowsiness and dry mouth, which are present in antihistaminic drugs.
This natural remedy does not only cover up the symptoms of allergy but also actually eliminates the allergy itself. Allergy sufferers can relate to the heavenly feeling of finally being able to eat dairy products and foods that contain dairy. No wonder these people call such a medicine a revolutionary innovation in the field of allergy treatment.
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