Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Allergy Alphabet - Blogging A to Z day 4

Day 4 of the April A to Z blogging challenge and it's time to talk about the first of Monkey's allergens.

D is for dairy which is the first allergy of Monkey's that we knew about. People often think she is lactose intolerant when I say she is allergic to dairy but what she actually has is Cow's Milk Protein Allergy.

Poor Monkey had every single one of the symptoms mentioned in the video. Her main problems were the crying, terrible nappies and poor growth. But I just told myself that babies cried and babies pooed.

I did take her to the doctors various times with the different symptoms but nobody seemed to join all the symptoms together and look at allergies. It was my health visitor who first suggested an issue with dairy. At first the doctors said she couldn't possibly have an allergy as she was still exclusively breast fed at that point. After seeing a different doctor due to terrible nappies we were advised to go dairy free. About a week later Monkey was admitted to hospital due to wheezing and swelling and concerns about her growth. At this point she'd been having problems for three months and was only just going into newborn clothes. While we were in hospital she was officially diagnosed with Cow's Milk Protein Allergy.

I thought dairy free would be easy. I hate milk. I have the tiniest little bit in my coffee and that's about it. But going dairy free means a lot more than drinking black coffee. Cheese is out, and yoghurt but I suppose they're still quite obviously dairy.

Chocolate was a difficult one for me to give up. But what was really upsetting was to find I couldn't even have crisps instead. Yes, crisps have milk in! In fact I pretty quickly discovered everything has milk in. Giving up dairy was going to be a lot harder than I thought.

I had to learn a whole load of other names that milk could be called. Luckily there are new laws in place now that mean the top 14 allergens have to be declared in food so any of these should clearly state that they're milk. That wasn't the case when we first went dairy free though and I spent a lot of time checking labels against this list.

The following contain, or may contain milk:

Nisin (may)CurdsWhey
LactuloseWhey and casein hydrolysatesLacalbumin
LactoglobulinLactate starterAmmonium caseinate
Artificial butter flavour (not always)    Butter solids/fatCalcium caseinate
Caramel colour (not always)Caramel flavouring (not always)    Caseinate
Delactosed wheyDemineralized wheyDried milk
High protine flour (not always)High protine flourHydrolzed casein
LactabumLactabum phosphateLactate
LactroferrinLactogloblinMagnesium caseinate
milkderivativeMilk fatopta (fat replacer)
Potassium caseinateSolidsSour cream solids
Sour solidsSour milk solidsWhey protine concentrate
Enriched flour(not always)Formage fraisSodium Steatoyal(not aways)
Sherbert(not always)Nougothydrolized vegtable protein
tagatose / NaturoseRecaldentPROSPEC MI (At dentist)
I breast fed until Monkey self-weaned at about 15 months so I was strictly dairy free all that time. Monkey has never eaten any dairy directly. All her reactions were through my milk. Being dairy free wasn't easy but it was worth it. We saw a difference in her almost straight away although it took six weeks for the dairy to completely clear.

Many children can sucessfully start to gradually reintroduce dairy to their diets at around 12 months old. Monkey is 21 months old but has still never eaten dairy even in it's most baked form. We have been advised by the hospital not to do any reintroduction yet. We've not got any dates set for food challenges yet but we've been told that they will be done in hospital. I'm really not looking forward to that day but for now we'll just keep on doing what we're doing and keeping Monkey safe.


  1. What an informative post. So sorry Monkey experienced such horrible symptoms; it must have been excruciatingly hard watch her struggle and trying to help her. So glad you got the right diagnosis and advice in the end. And my, what challenge trying to avoid dairy in food; good job the naming law as changed. My word, food manufacturers ... why would they even need the law to tell them to do this. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge. #AtoZChallenge

    1. There were some horrible times but she's mostly a happy, healthy little girl these days :-)