Casein allergy is caused when a person consumes foodstuff containing casein. Casein is a protein in milk and is found in milk products. It can be found in margarine, bread, sweet, processed cereals, cake mix and instant soup. Symptoms of casein allergy could be diarrhea, vomiting, wheezing and anaphylaxis, which is fatal. The best way to treat casein allergy is to avoid contact with food items containing casein.
Causes for casein allergy
Some of the causes of casein allergy are as follows:
- Hereditary: If parents are suffering from allergies then there is high risk of developing casein allergy.
- Age: Children have less strong immune and digestive system and therefore casein allergy is common in kids. However with time most of them overcome this allergy.
Casein Allergy Symptoms and Test
Symptoms vary from person to person. For some symptoms appear within few minutes after consuming casein or its product whereas for some it may take hours. Some of the common symptoms of casein allergy:
- Watery and itchy eyes
- Swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, throat and face
- Loose stool containing blood
- Difficulty in breathing
- Hives or rashes or inflammation of the skin
- Vomiting or feeling nauseated
- Runny nose
- Abdominal cramps
- Colic in babies.
- Anaphylaxis: Casein allergy may sometimes lead to fatal reactions known as anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis may also show other symptoms including the above mentioned symptoms. They are as follows:
- Pain in chest or tightness
- Low blood pressure, shock
- Tightness or swelling of the throat
- Itchy feeling
- Severe difficulty in breathing
- Pale, blue skin color
Treatment of Casein Allergy
When a person suffers from anaphylaxis then one has to consult the medical expert immediately. If a person is already an anaphylaxis patient then that person should always carry two doses of epinephrine drug. The 2nd dose is for emergency. In an emergency it is advisable to phone up 911 or the respective emergency number. Antihistamines drug reduces symptoms of casein allergy. It is taken to control allergic reactions and helps in relieving uneasiness.
Other steps to keep away from exposure to casein and ensure quick treatment for sudden casein allergy are as follows:
- Information: Children are usually affected by casein allergies. Therefore school authorities namely principal, teachers and other respective people should be informed in advance about the casein allergy, its symptoms and how to use the drugs. Also they should know to call the emergency care in serious case. Parents should also ensure that the child carries the drugs to school. Other family friends and relatives should also be informed about the allergy.
- One can wear medical identification bracelet (in case of serious anaphylaxis) that explains the allergy and need for emergency care.
- One should read the food labels carefully and shop in stores that provide casein-free alternative food items. Also one should be very careful when eating in hotels. The person should clearly inform the hotel staff about the allergy.