Do you know people who have allergies? I am sure you do! There seems to be a rise in the number and varieties of allergies that people experience these days. And then there are the allergies in children – milk allergy, or allergies to nuts, gluten etc. Surely, allergies are not a new occurrence or worse a new epidemic. They have been around for time immemorial. But people may have put up with them as a ‘Maybe I was born with it’ or just an irritant that they manage. Today, we realize that there are options or alternatives and life can be normal for people with allergies. There may even be ways for people to deal with and overcome their allergies. Counter medications are also available as there are cases where allergies can cause considerable medical damage or even fatalities.

Living with an allergy is however far from easy. One has to be careful, cautious and find ways around it to ensure safety and at the same time to enjoy all that life has to offer. We are a dairy-free household and this happened when our dear son was born with a milk/dairy allergy. In the 8 years that he has been around, we have navigated our life quite well, barring one rude shock. This journey is all about how we identified, coped and manage his milk allergy. The intention is to share our learning and experiences and help others out there like us, who suddenly find themselves coping with an unexpected gift.

How did we discover we had an allergy?

Other than these issues, babyT was doing fine – he was gaining weight, getting chubbier (bless us moms), his pee & poop count were also fine and so doctors did not see any cause for alarm. However, my mom brain did not rest. Somewhere I blamed myself for the situation and turns out it was right.

Well, not intentionally anyway. BabyT was exclusively breast-fed and my diet was rich in milk – from glasses of milk fortified with nut powders & saffron or other herbs, to yoghurt to buttermilk to kheers (sweet dessert with rice & nuts cooked in milk). All these were believed to help the breastfeeding mother develop her own milk supply. But in our case, all that milky “goodness” was also passing onto babyT which we was not able to tolerate. In our desperate times, we did a lot of google reading which hinted at food intolerance passing on via the mother’s breastmilk to the child which could cause the allergic manifestation. A milk allergy especially in young children can be debilitating as there is little else they secure their nutrition from.

So, we followed a process of elimination of the common allergy causing foods and learnt that it was possibly cow’s/animal milk which I was consuming. I completely stopped animal milk intake and lo and behold in a matter of two weeks, babyT’s skin blossomed and all the angry acne, dryness disappeared, leaving in place pillowy soft, angel tender & glowing skin.

As he grew up and started solids, we saw that foods such as yoghurt or cream or milk (which he consumed in minute quantities, gave him some skin rashes or boils or a runny nose) and we promptly avoided them. Our paed recommended us to wait for a couple of years as in his experience allergies disappeared around age two. But in our case they did not seem to have. We then followed with allergy tests etc. which I shall talk about in future posts (and then link it back here) which finally hit the nail on its head – babyT had a confirmed milk allergy, not lactose intolerance. Additionally he had a few other allergies which meant we had to probably go through life treading on egg shells.

Well, not really! Over the years we have discovered substitutes and alternatives to most food products. We have also found ways to counter instances where an exposure has happened. We have also been through the nightmare of a severe case which required emergency hospitalization and we are now on a path of finding a more permanent solution to the milk allergy in our child. This blogging effort is an attempt to sum up our journey thus far and to share some cheat codes along the way. Milk allergy in children while serious can also be worked around and supported to ensure complete development of your child.

So stay with us and follow this blog to read more about managing milk allergy in children.

This blog is part of the #BlogchatterA2Z Blogging Challenge and my theme is Our Dairy Free Life