What is a Milk Allergy?
Milk proteins are found in many different processed foods. For some of these foods, it is obvious to the consumer that they contain milk, but sometimes it is not so clear. To be sure, you need to carefully check all food ingredient labels – all the time. This may be tedious and challenging, but our NYC allergists have provided lists below to help you identify products and ingredients that you may need to avoid.
Many consumers buy vegetarian products with the intention of avoiding allergic reactions to milk allergens. Unfortunately, this is not always a reliable assumption to make. For example, some vegetarian cheeses contain milk protein. In this case, the term “vegetarian” only means that the rennet used to manufacture the cheese is vegetable-based. Again, our NY doctors recommend that you carefully check all food labels in order to be sure that you are not consuming a hidden milk allergen and risking a possible allergic reaction.
If you have a child that has a milk allergy, you might have considered hypoallergenic milk formulas. However, this term is also a little confusing. Some children react to a hypoallergenic formula, depending on the particular recipe and brand. If you are buying hypoallergenic milk formula and your child is still experiencing allergic reactions, you may consider a “complete protein hydrolysate formula.” Please see one of our allergy and asthma associates to discuss this further.
People with sensitive milk allergies can react to even very small amounts of milk proteins. For example, some patients have experienced an allergic reaction simply by breathing air that contains milk powder. These small amounts of allergens can also show up in foods that have been manufactured or processed on the same equipment as a milk product – this is called cross-contamination. For example, the deli may cut meat and cheese with the same slicer, or a plant may manufacture a soy-based protein powder on the same equipment as a milk-based powder. Even if strict cleaning procedures are followed, small amounts of protein can remain.
Foods that Contain Milk Proteins and Should be Avoided:
Foods that Could Contain Milk Protein:
To make an appointment about your milk allergy and for more information, call us today at 212-686-6321. The allergists and specialists at the New York Allergy & Sinus Centers would like to help you. NYASC has access to the latest testing and treatment, and we offer convenient asthma and allergy clinics throughout New York City: Murray Hill, Midtown, Upper West Side, Chelsea, and Queens. We can find relief for your nasal and sinus symptoms, asthma, ear, nose, & throat (ENT) conditions, respiratory allergies, and skin problems. We have pediatric and adult patients from around NYC: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx.