You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor, a general practitioner or your child's pediatrician. However, you may then be referred to a doctor who specializes in allergic disorders (allergist-immunologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and to know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance. For example, if you're going to have allergy testing done, your doctor will want you or your child to stop taking antihistamine medications for a certain time period before the test.
- Write down any symptoms you or your child has experienced, including any that may seem unrelated to milk allergy.
- Make a list of any medications, vitamins and supplements you or your child is taking.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For a milk allergy, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Do you think this is a milk allergy or lactose intolerance?
- Are there tests to diagnose milk allergy? Do these tests require preparation?
- Is it possible to outgrow this allergy?
- Are there treatments?
- Is it necessary to avoid milk and milk products?
- What foods are likely to contain milk products?
- Is it necessary to stay away from others who are drinking milk?
- What do I need to tell people at my child's school about this allergy?
- How can milk allergy best be managed with other conditions?
- Are there brochures or other printed materials that I can take? What websites do you recommend?
- Do I need to carry an epinephrine pen at all times?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did you or your child first react to milk?
- Can you describe the reaction?
- Does this happen every time you or your child drinks milk or eats something made with milk?
- How soon after consuming milk or milk products do symptoms begin?
- How severe are the symptoms?
- Does anything seem to improve the symptoms, such as allergy medication or milk avoidance?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen the symptoms?
- Have you or your child tried any of the products made for people with lactose intolerance? If yes, did those help?
- Is anyone else in your family allergic to milk?
What you can do in the meantime
If you're having mild allergy symptoms from eating something that contained milk, taking an antihistamine medication may lessen your discomfort. Watch for more-severe symptoms that might require medical attention. If you or your child has symptoms of anaphylaxis, seek emergency medical care.
Aug. 07, 2014
- Jarvinen-Seppo KM. Milk allergy: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 2, 2014.
- Jarvinen-Seppo KM. Milk allergy: Management. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 2, 2014.
- Milk allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/food-allergies/types/Pages/milk-allergy.aspx. Accessed April 2, 2014.
- Milk allergy. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=516. Accessed April 2, 2014.
- Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES). American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/food-protein-induced-enterocolitis-syndrome.aspx. Access March 31, 2014.
- Milk allergy. Food Allergy Research and Education. http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens/milk-allergy. Accessed April 2, 2014.
- Anaphylaxis. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/anaphylaxis.aspxAnaphylasis. Accessed March 26, 2014.
- Food allergies. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. https://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=286. Accessed March 30, 2014.
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