Doctors Fail to Diagnose Dairy & Cow's Milk Allergies & Intolerance

Doctors Fail to Diagnose Dairy & Cow's Milk Allergies & Food Intolerances

Cow's milk allergy in babies is being missed by doctors, a survey suggests. (BBC)

Nearly 80% of 500 doctors polled by the medical taskforce Act Against Allergy thought their colleagues confused milk allergy symptoms with other conditions.

Experts say the problem lies in the symptoms being both vague and common - including skin rashes and diarrhoea.

The poll also found many of the doctors did not know the best treatment. Without treatment food allergies can be distressing and even deadly.

Many of the doctors questioned, however, said they would advise a soy-based formula.

There is also a risk that babies who are allergic to cow's milk will also be allergic to soy milk, and sheep and goat's milk.

Cow's milk protein allergy

Symptoms can be vague and include diarrhoea, vomiting, wheezing and skin rashes
Not to be confused with food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance, which do not involve the immune system
Other common food allergies in infants are soy, egg, peanuts, wheat and shellfish
Correct advice is to avoid cow's milk and seek medical advice, which may include using a prescribed hypoallergenic formula milk


Cow milk protein allergy is a very common problem - at least 10,000 UK babies are thought to be affected.

Nearly all of the doctors questioned agreed that better information would make it much easier to diagnose the condition in infants.

The taskforce, which includes expert paediatric gastroenterologists, has developed guidance for doctors that will be published next year.

Judith Moore, paediatric dietician and spokeswoman for the British Dietetics Association, said: "If a parent suspects their baby has a milk allergy then they should see their GP who can refer them to a paediatric dietician.

"If you take a good medical history then you can pick it up but it can be difficult to diagnose. The symptoms do vary so it can be hard to spot."

She added that many babies whose parents suspect have an allergy turn out not to have one.

Left untreated, infants with food allergies can fail to thriveand grow, have developmental problems and can develop severe shock and even die.

The World Health Organization recommends that babies are breastfed for the first two years of their lives if possible.

Comments

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href="http://www.huliq.com/169/taming-allergic-reactions-to-food">Food
allergy