WHAT ARE FOOD ALLERGIES?
Food allergies occur when the body's immune system (the body's own defense mechanism) responds abnormally to certain foods.
For people with food allergies, the immune system incorrectly identifies certain food components as harmful and produces an inappropriate response. This leads to unpleasant and on occasions life threatening signs and symptoms associated with allergies.
Cows’ milk allergy (CMA), also known as cows’ milk protein allergy (CMPA), is one of the most common food allergies in babies, and usually appears before 1 year of age.
CMPA usually develops before a baby's first birthday
Approximately 3 out of every 100 babies will develop CMPA in their first year of life.
CMPA is very rare in children older than 5 years of age.
Babies with CMPA can still be breastfed safely.
In rare cases, breastfed babies can react to cows’ milk protein in their mother's breast milk.
With changes to the mother's diet, breastfeeding can continue safely following dietary support from their health care professional.
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH CMPA
CMPA is commonly confused with lactose intolerance but they are very different: lactose intolerance does not involve the body's immune system. The two share some signs and symptoms, such as stomach and gut problems (like gas and diarrhea).
It is important to know the difference between lactose intolerance and CMPA, as the two have different causes and also treatments; in addition, CMPA usually develops early in life, whereas lactose intolerance is extremely rare before the age of 5 years.
WHAT IS CMPA?
CMPA is a type of milk allergy where a baby's immune system responds to the proteins found in cows’ milk, causing the baby to have allergic symptoms. These can include problems with the skin (rash, hives, dry, scaly or itchy skin), digestive system (diarrhea, vomiting, constipation and reflux) and respiratory system (noisy breathing, coughing, runny nose). CMPA usually occurs before a baby’s first birthday.
WHAT IS LACTOSE INTOLERANCE?
Lactose intolerance does not involve the immune system. Instead, it is the inability to digest the lactose sugar found in cows’ milk, and it is very rare in children younger than 5 years of age. Lactose is one of the most important carbohydrates (sugars) in breast milk and provides many benefits to babies, such as helping to promote a healthy gut and calcium absorption.
CMPA VS. LACTOSE INTOLERANCE UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE