Do not confuse having milk allergy with lactose intolerance

Just a few days ago we made an analysis about the differences between conventional milk and milk without lactose, addressing a generalized doubt as to which of these two varieties is healthier if you do not suffer from lactose intolerance problems.

But do we know exactly what lactose intolerance represents? The reality is that today we continue to confuse two very different concepts such as milk allergy and lactose intolerance. Today we tell you the difference between two pathologies that lead to confusion but that, really, are very different.

What does it mean to have a milk allergy?

What we commonly call having a milk allergy, is really about having an allergy to the proteins contained in this food and that, of course, has nothing to do with suffering intolerance to lactose.

Milk is basically composed of proteins, fats and sugars. When we suffer allergy to cow’s milk or its derivatives, an abnormal reaction is triggered by our immune system so that our own defenses identify as a foreign element the proteins contained in the milk.

This response of the body’s defensive system can affect both the digestive system, as any other part of our body, so that each time this person drinks milk or any food that contains it, respond with the manufacture of defenses, such as inmonoglubina And, that will be the cause of creating the symptoms of the allergic reaction.

Reasons why milk allergy may appear

In recent years there have been cases of people with all types of food allergies, including cow’s milk. Although anyone can suffer allergic reactions throughout their lives, the basic risk factors that are taken into account when analyzing this increase in allergic reactions address their own genetic predisposition to suffer and possible early administration of certain foods that entail high rate of allergic reaction.

In this way, the children of those people who suffer from an allergy to a certain food, have a greater genetic risk of inheriting the allergic pathology. Similarly, an introduction too early of certain foods in the first stage of birth, or an intermittent administration of breast milk and artificial, could alter the intestinal flora that may be involved in the development of this type of pathologies.

What is the difference between lactose intolerance?

In this case, our immune system does not intervene, since it is a condition in the intestinal mucosa. In this way, people who suffer from lactose intolerance, which is the natural sugar in milk, do not have enough lactase, the enzyme needed to digest it. Here the disorder only has to do with the process of digestion which is where there is no proper absorption of lactose.

According to data from the Association of lactose intolerant, 15% of the population suffers from this uncomfortable condition that leads to gas accumulation, abdominal and stomach pain, as well as diarrhea and vomiting.

Although the degrees of intolerance vary greatly from one person to another, today the most effective treatments for those who suffer from it are the elimination of the substrate or the exogenous intake of lactase pills that can allow a more flexible diet.

How do we vary what we can eat depending on suffering from one or another pathology?

When a person suspects that he may have a problem with milk, because he notices that his digestion or his body does not tolerate it optimally, the first thing he resorts to is to buy milk without lactose. This type of milk can be a perfect measure for those who suffer from lactose intolerance but, as we have seen, it will not help at all for those who suffer from milk allergy.

As is logical, in both cases the first preventive measure will be to eliminate the consumption of conventional cow’s milk and those dairy products that contain it. But, in addition, in the case of people with intolerance it is important to take into account that there are many foods that contain lactose and that a priori we do not relate such as: prepared meals, sausages, sweets … So maximum caution to when choosing foods and always considering what your degree of intolerance.

So can I take lactose if I have a milk allergy?

Although in principle a person suffering from milk allergy does not have to tolerate lactose, the truth is that the best way to prevent possible allergic reactions is to avoid it . Remember that the lactose is extracted directly from the milk and during this process may be some trace of protein that could lead to the allergic reaction.

Obviously, the response of a person allergic to lactose will depend directly on the degree of susceptibility or propensity you have. There are people with strong reactions to milk who are recommended to avoid lactose altogether due to possible residual contamination of the protein; while others that have a slight allergic degree can tolerate it without problem.

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