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Symptoms of Milk Allergy

Symptoms of Milk Allergy
Linda Guerrera

As with any allergy, an allergic reaction to milk can derail your life. You can be born with a milk allergy, or it can develop later on. Symptoms can be mild at first and can happen at any age. So, how do you know for sure if you have a milk allergy?  

An allergic reaction to milk can really cause a lot of discomfort. Casein and whey are the proteins in milk that typically trigger a negative immune response.  

Milk Allergy Symptoms 

There are several ways that milk allergy symptoms present. They can appear as skin irritation, abdominal issues, and respiratory problems. Severe symptoms can include airway constriction, a drop in blood pressure, and anaphylaxis shock.   

Symptoms of Milk Allergy

Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and usually happen shortly after ingesting milk or dairy. These symptoms include the following: 

1. Milk Allergy Symptoms on the Skin 

  • Hives: Itchy red welts or bumps that appear on the skin after drinking a glass of milk can be particularly annoying. The size and shape of the rash can change and spread quickly. 
  • Eczema: This chronic skin condition appears as inflamed skin and can be very itchy and uncomfortable. Babies and young children with an allergy to milk or dairy products commonly develop eczema on the face, knees, and elbows.  

2. Gastrointestinal Milk Allergy Symptoms 

  • Abdominal Pain: Cramping or pain after consuming milk can indicate an allergy. The pain can be mild or severe.  
  • Nausea and Diarrhea: An allergic reaction can begin with nausea and lead to vomiting as the body’s way of getting rid of the allergen. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration and further issues if not treated.  
  • Bloating: Tightness or a full feeling in the abdomen accompanied by gas and discomfort is another way that the body will alert you to a milk allergy.   

3. Respiratory Milk Allergy Symptoms 

  • Coughing: A persistent dry or mucous-producing cough may develop. 
  • Wheezing: When the airway is constricted, you may hear a high-pitched whistling sound when breathing.  
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose: Congestion, inflamed sinuses, sneezing, or a runny nose can be a sign of an allergy to milk.  
  • Shortness of Breath: A severe response to a milk allergy may cause an inflammation of the airway passages and trigger shortness of breath. 

4. Oral Milk Allergy Symptoms 

  • Swelling: Another severe reaction to milk or dairy products is known as angioedema, which causes the lips, tongue, or throat to swell. It can lead to difficulty breathing and swallowing and requires immediate medical attention.  
  • Itchy Mouth or Throat: Itching or tingling in the throat or mouth after consuming milk or dairy products can signal an allergic reaction.  

5. Cardiovascular Milk Allergy Symptoms 

  • Sudden Drop in Blood Pressure: A rare but severe reaction to milk can cause the blood pressure to drop significantly and suddenly. This is an emergency situation that requires epinephrine. Feeling dizzy or lightheaded are common signs of low blood pressure, and it can lead to a loss of consciousness.  

6. Systemic Milk Allergy Symptoms 

  • Anaphylaxis: A potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that can cause severe throat swelling, breathing issues, a weak or rapid pulse, sudden drop in blood pressure, and loss of consciousness. Anaphylaxis affects several body symptoms at the same time and is a medical emergency. Immediate action by a medical professional and epinephrine is required. 

The severity of symptoms can vary widely for those with milk allergies. However, it is important to note that even a trace amount of milk or dairy can trigger a severe allergic response. If you suspect an allergy, it is highly recommended to avoid consuming anything that could cause symptoms and consult a healthcare provider for diagnosis and guidance. Many doctors prescribe an epi-pen as an emergency treatment in case of accidental ingestion or exposure.  


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Linda Guerrera

Linda Guerrera

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Linda Guerrera is the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You. As an award-winning media professional, she has spent her entire career as on on-air radio personality, program director, voice-over artist ...

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