Cow's milk protein allergy is one of the most common allergies from foods of animal origin, particularly in infants and children. Up to 7 per cent of all infants and children react to cow's milk and its products.
Symptoms manifest themselves principally in the digestive tract (oesophagus, stomach and intestine) or in the skin, often in combination with atopic eczema. In the majority of children, the cow's milk protein allergy vanishes before they reach the age of 3. In adults, symptoms that can be triggered are gastro-intestinal discomfort and skin symptoms, as well as reactions in the respiratory tract (asthma) and other end organs.
The individual form of cow's milk protein allergy can be as broad as the spectrum of the symptoms.
Some people who are allergic to cow's milk protein can tolerate small amounts of cow's milk, whereas even contact with a drop of cow's milk or traces of cow's milk protein in products can trigger the strongest reactions. The trigger for the allergic reactions is the protein in the milk. Over twenty individual groups of proteins have been distinguished. The most common allergy triggers are the protein casein - particularly in adults - and ß-Lactoglobulin - mainly in infants and children. In the first instance, treatment for cow's milk protein allergy is a dietetic one. After the allergist has definitely determined that there is an allergy to cow's milk protein, an individually adapted diet should be developed in cooperation with a nutritionist.
For cooking and baking, you are sure to find some possible substitutes for milk and milk products in your supermarket. Soya milk or almond milk, rice drinks or oat drinks or simple mineral water can replace the milk in cakes, purees and desserts. Use soya milk, soya cream, oat cream or coconut cream to refine sauces, soups and salads. Use tofu or lupino (sweet lupins) to gratinate casseroles or pizza.