Allergy and intolerance to Dairy and Whey Protein – maybe you need a functional nutritionist?

There are some people who develop allergies to dairy and therefore to any product containing milk or milk proteins or sugars.

Intolerance is slightly different, where one may be lactose intolerant and find it difficult to digest or absorb the product or get undesirable symptoms if it were taken, but this is quite different to an allergy where one should avoid the product all together.

Such cases usually start during infancy and studies have recorded that there are 2-3% of babies who are allergic to milk. However, in some cases babies have a high tendency to outgrow it upon reaching a certain age, although there are some who are better to steer clear from milk all their lives.

dairy product

One such dairy product that some of us are either allergic to, or have an intolerance to is whey protein.

What causes this allergy to whey protein or any other milk forms? Health experts claim that the allergy is the response of the body’s immune system to one or several proteins primarily found in the cow’s milk. And since casein and whey are the two major components of cow’s milk, some people develop a particular allergy to whey protein. This is basically due to the inability of the body to break up the sugar lactose in milk.

Allergy to whey protein can directly affect and cause distress in the digestive system, and other parts of the body such as the skin and the person’s airways. It can also lead to loose bowel movement and can pose a very serious life threat in some rare cases. When a person has an allergy to whey protein or other milk products, they often suffer characteristic systems such as irritability, abdominal pain and vomiting, recurrent wheezing and skin rashes.  People who are extremely allergic to milk should be extra careful on taking any types of food produce. This is because milk is basically present in many types of food, even when you least expect it. They should be diligent enough to thoroughly read the labels and determine if the particular product contains any allergen and then avoid it.

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Some nutritionists have recommended nondairy products as the primary alternative to milk and whey protein products. However, by entirely eliminating milk in the diet could mean the possibility for some, of suffering from calcium deficiency, which would trigger a host of health complications. Lactose intolerants should therefore be encouraged to eat more green leafy vegetables and seafood since they are excellent alternative sources of calcium. Vitamin D should also be included in the diet since it is an established fact that calcium will not be properly absorbed in the body without it.

Individuals who are lactose intolerants and allergic to whey products are often faced with a number of difficulties and it can be particularly stressful. This is mainly because they will not enjoy the freedom of eating certain foods like other people do. The best thing to do is to train them to get used to simple diet changes but at the same time ensure that all the dietary requirements are sufficiently met. Luckily these days there are many plant based alternatives for many dairy products and they are more often than not fortified with the required nutrients so missing out on favourite foods or nutrition should not be necessary.

One of the bigger questions may be why does one person become allergic to something while another is perfectly fine? Why does one get a mild intolerance, yet another must not touch it at all fr fear of a dangerous reaction?

We are all very individual in our genetic make-up and composition and lifestyle.

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composition and lifestyle.

If you have any strange symptoms or are worried that you may be intolerant or allergic to dairy or in fact any food, its always best to consult a trained nutritionist, dietician or functional doctor, naturopath or a practitioner in functional nutrition. These skilled practitioners can carefully help you pin point exactly why you function the way you do whenever you eat something particular. This can help you learn about yourself, your habits and lifestyle and maybe even find the root cause of the issue and, if not eliminate it altogether, help you to ease the problem considerably.