What Are Some Symptoms of a Yogurt Allergy

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors  | 

Food allergies occur when the immune system identifies the proteins in a particular food as harmful to the body, subsequently reacting to try to "fight off" the "harmful" proteins (which are in fact harmless). Cow's milk is one of the "big eight" allergens that cause 90 percent of all food allergies. Yogurt is a common allergenic food when it is made from cow's milk, even though the production of yogurt requires processing and fermentation of the milk.

Some symptoms of a yogurt allergy include:

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  • Itching or swelling of the mouth, tongue or lips
  • Skin reactions (eczema, hives, swelling and redness of the extremities or face)
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
  • Respiratory symptoms (runny or stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, difficulty breathing)
  • Cardiovascular symptoms (Drop in blood pressure, lightheadedness, fainting)

If you experience symptoms of anaphylaxis, which include nausea, vomiting, weak or rapid pulse, difficulty breathing, confusion and loss of consciousness, seek immediate medical attention, as this can be fatal. If you have common symptoms of a yogurt allergy you should see an allergist for proper diagnosis. Some allergy symptoms are similar to symptoms of a food intolerance. You may actually be lactose intolerant, meaning you are missing the intestinal enzyme that breaks down lactose (milk sugar). Treatment and management of dairy allergy and lactose intolerance are different, so it's important to know which one you have.

Some people who are allergic to milk are able to eat yogurt because the culturing process it goes through makes yogurt easier to digest than milk. In addition, just because you are allergic to yogurt made from cow's milk does not mean you are allergic to all yogurt. It's possible that you will be able to eat yogurt made from goat's milk or other types of milk.

 

 

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Originally Published: Apr 12, 2011

Yogurt Allergy FAQ

What are the symptoms of being allergic to dairy?
Symptoms of a dairy allergy commonly include itching or swelling of the mouth, tongue or lips; eczema, hives, swelling, or redness of the extremities or face; abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing; and a drop in blood pressure, lightheadedness, or fainting.
Why can babies have yogurt but not milk?
Since yogurt is made through a process called fermentation, its proteins can be easily digested by tiny tummies. Cow's milk, however, can be more difficult on the stomach. Most health practitioners suggest that children can start consuming milk around one year of age.
Can you suddenly become lactose intolerant?
Yes, lactose intolerance isn't a true allergy, and it can develop at any age. The allergic reaction comes from the body's immune response to the proteins in cow's milk.
Can you be intolerant to milk but not yogurt?
Some people who cannot tolerate cow's milk may be able to eat yogurt because it has less lactose than milk. Yogurt also goes through a fermentation process and often contains active bacteria that supports digestive health, which may be enough to combat the mild symptoms a person might normally experience when consuming dairy.
Are lactose intolerance and dairy allergy the same thing?
Not quite. A dairy allergy is caused by a malfunctioning immune system while lactose intolerance is caused by a stomach's inability to properly digest lactose, a sugar found in milk.

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