Lactose intolerance is completely different to a dairy allergy as it does not involve the immune system in any way.
Lactose is a naturally occurring sugar found in animal milks (e.g cow's milk ,goat’s milk, buffalo milk and sheep’s milk) and the dairy products made from these – cheese, cream, yogurt etc. Before the body can use lactose, it needs to be broken down by the enzyme lactase, found in the gut. Some people lack or simply do not produce enough lactase, and undigested lactose remains in the gut causing tummy discomfort. For anyone experiencing intolerance to lactose, it’s generally recommended that they eliminate it completely from their diet to begin with by following a dairy free diet. Once the tummy settles, small amounts of lactose can be reintroduced to check tolerance levels.
Any exclusion diet that lasts longer than a couple of weeks is best done with the advice of a dietitian, who can ensure that it still contains all the nutrients needed.
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If you are allergic to cow's milk protein, the body's defence mechanism reacts whenever cow's milk protein is absorbed – although the substance is not dangerous in itself. This is like any other allergy. Even very small quantities can cause allergic reactions. These can differ for each individual, ranging from cramps in the intestines, vomiting or diarrhoea to problems with the respiratory tract or skin. In rare cases the reaction can be extremely severe and this is known as anaphylaxis..
Cow ‘s milk protein allergy occurs in up to 5% of infants and toddlers and usually disappears by the time they are around 5 years of age. It is unusual for milk allergy to last longer into adulthood. It requires a completely dairy free diet, which should be undertaken with advice from a medical professional such as a specialist doctor or dietitian. For further informationclick here