What do you know about casein allergy? This casein is a protein that is obtained from milk products and in the milk itself. A casein allergy occurs when a person’s body mistakenly identifies casein, which he identifies as a life-threatening substance. Then the body then fights it by giving rise to allergies.
So, it is not the same as being lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance occurs when our bodies cannot produce adequate amounts of the enzyme lactase. A person who is lactose intolerant will feel uncomfortable after drinking milk or eating milk products. A person who is allergic to casein will experience the following symptoms or signs:
- Itchy rash
- Badly sick
- Malabsorption of food
- Problems with breathing
Causes of casein allergy
Casein allergy usually occurs in children and infants. The occurrence of casein allergy is due to the body’s misperception of casein, where the immune system thinks that casein is something that must be fought. So, eventually trigger allergies, and this is called casein allergy.
Children who breastfeed are known to have a lower risk of casein allergy. However, scientists do not believe that babies are most at risk for this allergy. Because not all babies experience the same thing. So, they believe that in this case it is also influenced by genetics.
Casein allergies that occur in children usually disappear by themselves when the baby is 3 to 5 years old. However, some children do not experience recovery from casein allergy until they are adults.
Where to Get Casein?
Casein can be found in dairy products such as mammalian milk, cow’s milk, where this milk consists of:
- Lactose, milk sugar
- More than 4 types of casein protein
- Other types of milk protein.
Most people have a true casein allergy, they should completely stay away from dairy products and anything related to milk. Because she consumes very little dairy, she can experience serious allergies. This severe allergy is called “anaphylaxis,” and it can even be life-threatening.
Anaphylaxis is an allergy that causes the body’s immune system to release various chemicals throughout the body.
Among the symptoms of anaphylaxis are itching, swelling, redness, and shortness of breath. So, all of these conditions can cause anaphylactic shock, if not treated immediately, they can lead to fatal problems.
When we consume dairy products, we don’t know how much milk there is. So it cannot be ascertained how much casein is consumed with dairy products. Milk is the number three food that causes anaphylaxis.
If someone has a casein allergy, there are a number of foods that should be avoided, including:
- All forms of milk, whole, low fat, skimmed and buttermilk
- Ghee, butter, margarine, buttery flavor
- Kefir, yogurt
- Cheese and foods containing cheese
- Gelato and ice cream
- half and half
- Custard, and pudding
Casein is not limited to the above foods, it can also be present in foods that contain milk or milk powder. Including crackers and pastries containing both. Casein is also present in foods such as non-dairy products and cream.
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This means that you must pay attention to product packaging before buying it. You can ask the seller for a particular product if you are lazy to read it. Including what you have to pay attention to is the food in the restaurant. Ask those who make the food, whether the food contains casein or not.
Some products volunteered to write on the packaging such as “may contain milk”. It could also be the sentence listed is “made in a facility with milk”. So, this food you should stay away from because it includes foods that contain traces of casein.
Risk Factors for Casein Allergy
Food allergies in children are quite common. It is stated that 1 in 13 children under 18 have a food allergy. Casein allergy usually occurs when the child is 3 months old and the disease will disappear by itself when the child is 3 to 5 years old. The occurrence of casein allergy is not known with certainty.
A study on casein found that children who were allergic to small amounts of casein were more likely to cope with allergies more quickly than children who did not get a supply of casein.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that children should not be introduced to cow’s milk first, or before the age of 1 year. Before one year, the baby’s body cannot respond to the high protein content in cow’s milk.
The AAP recommends that all babies be fed formula or breast milk before 6 months of age. As long as it cannot be directed to solid food, the baby must be given formula milk or breast milk.
How is Casein Allergy Diagnosed?
If your child shows symptoms similar to those of casein allergy, then you should contact your doctor immediately. Then the doctor will ask about your family food history and they will examine the patient’s body physically.
To diagnose casein allergy there are no specific tests that must be performed. The doctor will examine other diseases that have the potential to occur. Among the tests that are performed to diagnose casein allergy are:
- Stool test to check your digestive tract whether it is healthy or not.
- Blood tests, the point is to check for any underlying family problems.
- Allergy test with skin prick,
- Allergy test by pricking the child’s skin with a needle containing a small amount of casein, aims to see how the reaction is
- Pediatricians sometimes also test by giving milk to the baby and see how he reacts.
How to Avoid Casein
One way to stay away from casein is to eat the following foods:
- Milk made from soy, potato or rice
- Italian sorbet and ice
- Tofutti and other products made from soybeans
- Soy ice cream
- Certain soup brands, and
- Coconut butter
If you make a particular recipe that calls for one cup of milk, you can substitute a cup of soybeans, rice, coconut milk or one cup of water combined with one egg yolk. To replace milk yogurt, you can replace it with the following ingredients:
- Soy yogurt
- Soy sour cream
- Fruit pulp, and
- Unsweetened applesauce
Should You Avoid Casein Even if You don’t have a Food Allergy?
ResearchersTrusted Source have found that casein can promote inflammation in mice. This has led some experts to question whether or not going on a casein-free diet may be beneficial for people with disorders worsened by inflammation, such as autism, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.
Currently, no definitive link between a casein-free diet and a reduction of disease or disorder symptoms has been established.
Studies are ongoing, and some people have found that cutting out casein improves the symptoms of some health problems. If you’re considering a casein-free diet, it’s important to consult with your doctor first.