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Allergies and intolerances

intolerance vs allergy

16 replies

vizbizz · 10/02/2007 04:45

ds is 1, and is fine with goat's milk formula and regular dairy, but he can't have a cow's milk based formula or he gets really clingy, restless, and a very mild rash.

It doesn't seem like an allergy, maybe a mild form of intolerance? It's rather odd and I was just wondering if anyone else has had experience with anything like this?

OP posts:
Sugarmagnolia · 10/02/2007 07:43

I can't say for certain but my understanding is that if he's getting a rash it's more likely to be an allergy. Intolerances usually cause tummy upset - wind, diarrhoea, bloating, vomitting, cramps, etc - but not skin or respiratory reactions. It's probably worth getting checked out because a)allergies can sometimes get worse over time and b)it might help you to know exactly what he's allergic to.

tatt · 11/02/2007 09:33

when you say he's ok with regular dairy what does that mean? It would be pretty unusual to tolerate cows milk but not formula as processing or heating milk usually makes it less allergenic. Rashes are more likely to be allergy than intolerance but perhaps its mild eczema? You would be better sticking with goats milk for a time - maybe 6 months if the rash is mild - and then trying live yoghurt or cheese before milk.

vizbizz · 11/02/2007 22:34

When I first started him on formula we tried cow's milk based ones and he got really really congested. GP suggested changing it, and he was fine when we switched to goat's milk. For a little while now, I have given him cheese and regular milk with his porridge in the morning. He sometimes has yoghurt and often custards and he is fine.

When I recently tried to change him to toddler formula he just wasn't himself, and got a rather pimply looking skin. His poos got REALLY smelly and yukky (not diarrhoea, but yukky). He's not a fussy baby at all, but those few days he got really clingy and fussy so maybe he did have an upset tummy.

It seems really odd to me too, but that's what it's been like. It doesn't make much sense to me at all.

OP posts:
vizbizz · 11/02/2007 22:35

P.S he has no skin problems otherwise. No eczema or anything like that. This pimply stuff was only really when he had the formula?

OP posts:
sunnyjim · 11/02/2007 23:00

It could be an intolerance. One of the things with intolerance is that each person can tolerate a certain amount of the substance, your DS may be okay with a minimal amount of dairy (like my DS) but the concentrated 6-8oz bottle of formula may be too much.
Clingyness is often a sign of an upset tummy/Lactose flare up for our DS. He also makes a monotoine whine/whinge sound that indicates he feels uncomfy.
He can have cheese and yogurts and up to 1 bottle of formula or milk, but if he is under the weather for any other reason, or if someone gives him more lactose than that he gets quiet badly ill, upset tummy, bad nappies etc.

One of the classic signs of intolerance is a smelly, frothy, liquid yellowy/green poo. Not Diahoreha, because it doesn't happen frequently, its just awful when it does appear!

sugarmagnolia · 12/02/2007 07:53

Vizbizz - if your DS is 1 why not just switch to either regular cow's milk or goat's milk instead of formula. I know there's all these new "toddler formulas" out there but they're not really necessary and if your DS isn't tolerating them just give them a miss. Up until only 2 or 3 years ago the advice was to just switch to full fat milk at 1.

tatt · 12/02/2007 09:57

agree with the others. Sounds like he is only capable of handling a certain amount of lactose and he'd just had too much that time. You can buy lactose reduced milk in a lot of supermarkets now and you can get lactase drops that would allow him to have more milk. If you give him live yoghurt that has probiotics in it and they help digest lactase. You could stick with goats milk formula for 6 months and then try again with cows milk.

sugarmagnolia · 12/02/2007 10:31

tatt - have you tried the lactase drops? Do they work? DS is dairy intolerant and we are planning to do a "trial" with him over the easter holidays where we will give him designated amounts of milk then test his blood & stool. This should help us determine if it's lactose or milk protein he has a problem with. I'd love to try the lactase drops but wonder what other's experience of them are.

fortyplus · 12/02/2007 10:34

Probably the pimply ,ook is a mild form of eczema - it just hasn't broken the skin. Both mine used to get it until they were about 2. They're 11&13 now and both drink gallons of milk without problems.
I think allergies get worse very time you are in contact with the allergen, but lactose intolerance seems to be something that most people grow out of as their guts mature.

tatt · 12/02/2007 13:56

not lactase drops but my family has tried the tablets (they are cheaper). They aren't a cure - have to stress that. They have reduced symptoms after accidental exposure to milk and they have allowed meals out without having to worry about traces of milk. This is someone who could not have any trace of milk, whey or casein so they were a great benefit. At one stage they could have ice cream if they remembered the tablets. However when they tried cream they were back to not being able to have a trace of milk even with the tablets. After a spell of total avoidance of any dairy its now back to being able to tolerate traces with the tablets.

We don't know if the tablets are making the difference or if the lactase intolerance fluctuates. It's possible that something else going on in their gut that makes them more sensitive to lactase. I'm afraid we haven't been able to get any decent advice on this. As the tablets seem to be making a great difference for us I think they are worth trying as long as you don't expect too much.

sugarmagnolia · 12/02/2007 18:09

sorry - don't mean to hijack but do you know if they are suitable for children? Are you in the UK?

I'm really curious becuase if anything DS's intolerance seems to be getting worse. We used to think he could tolerate small amounts but now even a little bit of butter in a potato sets off a reaction. Sometimes it's really hard if we're out to eat trying to find something suitable so if we knew there was a "plan b" that would be hugely helpful.

sunnyjim · 12/02/2007 20:25

Where can you get the tablets from?

tatt · 13/02/2007 08:51

I'm in the UK and we get them either from larger branches of Holland & Barrett (ask -they are often in an obscure place) or here but there are plenty of other websites that do similar tablets.

If you have lactose intolerance you can't digest lactase. Lactase enzyme replaces it temporarily. I don't see that there would be anything harful to children if they are old enough not to choke on the tablets.

The holland & Barrett tablets are 125 mg so not as strong. I don't remember the price - think it was over £6 for 60. Drops aren't massively more expensive. I've only found them on the internet but you may be able to get them here

FirstAtForty · 20/02/2007 10:15

Hi Vizbizz
Not the same symptoms here, but I?ve been trying to research dairy intolerance and found some useful articles (below) which may help. My 7 month DD vomits copiously after ingesting formula (is exclusively bf usually). As she is weaning now I tried a small spoon of natural bio yoghurt in her food two mornings in a row ? shortly after the second exposure she vomited for several hours and the sickiness has continued for several days now. She never normally vomits at all. Doctor prescribed Enfamil Lactofree a couple of months ago but I don?t think it?s lactose intolerance as she doesn?t get diahorrea or frothy poo. She won?t drink the Enfamil so can?t test this yet.

Found a good article on dairy allergy


There?s also one on lactose v allergy


From reading these the symptoms of dairy hypersensitivity seem to fit my DD best. Anyway hope the articles are of interest.

vizbizz · 20/02/2007 21:32

Hi FirstAtForty,

Thanks, it's interesting reading. It doesn't really fit with what we see with ds. The important thing is that since we are staying away from cows milk based formula, he is ok.

OP posts:
Sugarmagnolia · 22/02/2007 08:56

vizbizz - I don't know if it's been said on here yet or not but there is also a difference between lactose intolerance and cow's milk protein intolerance. My DS is definitely lactose intolerant as he can't handle any form of dairy - even a small amount of butter triggers a reaction. But some children have a problem only with cow's milk protein and can take other types of dairy. It might be worth speaking to your GP or get a referral to a dietician.

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