It is a common misconception that lactose intolerance and an allergy are one and the same. Whereas an intolerance can lead to diarrhea, cramps, and bloating, an actual milk allergy can result in hives, vomiting, and anaphylaxis that can lead to death. As a result, it is crucial that people who suffer from a cow milk allergy take precautions to avoid contact at all times.
However, sometimes even these are not enough and you can inadvertently consume something that contains cow milk. Below are 4 steps that can be taken to treat cow milk allergy symptoms. Being mindful of them could very well save your life if you are part of the 3 percent of people in the Western world that are allergic to cow milk.
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C plays many different roles in human growth and development. It facilitates the repairing of body tissues, helps absorb iron, and assists in the maintenance of teeth and bones. While many people are aware of the benefits of regular vitamin C intake, few people know that it can be useful in preventing and treating symptoms of a cow milk allergy.
Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine, a type of medicine widely used for treating allergic reactions. It can also give your immune system a boost, allowing it to fight off food sensitivities. This means that taking regular vitamin C tablets will aid in keeping your cow milk allergy in check and inhibit symptoms from presenting themselves.
2. Small exposure
It is believed by many people in medical circles that symptoms suffered by people who have allergies to specific things can be lessened with small exposure. For example, someone with a cow milk allergy can stop experiencing symptoms with continuous, minor contact with the substance. Of course, this process should be done under the supervision of a doctor.
The reasoning behind this belief is that small quantities of cow milk can help the body of someone who is allergic to effectively deal with the allergy. Exposure can desensitize the body to the point where higher quantifies can then be introduced.
People with severe, life-threatening allergies may go into anaphylactic shock if they come into whatever it is that causes the allergy. This often includes breaking out into hives, vomiting, swollen tongue, and difficulty breathing.
To reverse the symptoms of anaphylactic shock that can be fatal, it is crucial that anyone at risk of experiencing due to a cow milk allergy carry an epinephrine injector. When the injector is administered, the epinephrine works to restrict blood vessels, decreasing swelling and increasing blood pressure. It also increases the heart rate and relaxes the area around the lungs, allowing the person to breathe better.
4. Emergency Room Visit
If a person is severely allergic to cow milk and comes into contact with it, a visit to the emergency room of a hospital is necessary even after an epinephrine injector was administered. While this could have been instrumental in alleviating the symptoms of an allergic reaction, further medical treatment is required.
After a severe allergic reaction, a hospital can administer more epinephrine by intravenous (IV). This ensures that the person who has suffered the allergic reaction can enjoy the positive effects caused by the drug previously mentioned on a greater scale. Symptoms of a cow milk allergy can also rebound in some situations, returning hours or days after the initial reaction. Therefore, a stay in hospital is necessary to monitor the patient and symptoms that re-appear can be quickly treated by doctors and nurses on-site.