Casein allergy

November 12, 2012

Casein allergy

Casein is a protein that is found in mild products. Many people have a casein allergy but the treatment is simple and effective.

Casein and symptoms of an allergic reaction

Casein is most commonly found in milk and in certain people can trigger the release of histamine causing an allergic reaction. Those individuals who have a casein allergy have a problem with the immune system whereby it identifies casein as an alien or harmful substances and begins to defend the body by producing antibodies to attack it. Symptoms of a casein allergy commonly include swelling of the skin wherever the milk has come into contact. Therefore it is the mouth, lips and throat that are usually affected. Other symptoms that can occur include:

  • Rashes

  • Hives

  • Stomach bloating

  • Irritated skin

Additional symptoms that may or may not accompany the more common ones include:

  • Coughing

  • Sneezing

  • Wheezing

  • Irritated or water eyes

  • Sinus and nasal congestion

Treating a casein allergy

As with most conditions including allergies, prevention tends to be easier than treatment. If you know you have a casein allergy, the best method of prevention is to stay away from milk and any dairy products. However, with milk and dairy being used so widely and in such as large range of products, this is probably easier said than done. One option is to replace traditional milk and dairy products with alternative milks such as almond milk or coconut milk, which are also generally healthier alternatives. Reducing your consumption of dairy will significantly reduce the chances of suffering from an allergic reaction.

When you do suffer from an allergic reaction, most people find that over the counter antihistamines are effective treatments. Benadryl, Zyrtec and Claritin are all easily available and have been proven to successfully treat casein allergies. If your reaction is more extreme or you find over the counter medications to be ineffective, contact your doctor for advice and they may suggest you carry a portable, self-administrable shot of epinephrine. If you at any point experience a sudden and severe allergic reaction, call for emergency medical assistance immediately.

As more and more non-dairy products become available on the market it becomes easier for those who suffer from casein allergies to find an alternative. It may be hard to get used to at first but with time it is possible to adjust to a diet completely free from dairy. Prevention is by far the easiest and safest option rather than having to take antihistamines all of the time. Check the labels before you buy food so that you can be sure what they contain. If you notice any of the symptoms of a casein allergy, see if treatment is affective or contact your doctor to confirm your suspicions.

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