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Difference Between Milk Allergy and Lactose Intolerance

Milk Allergy Vs Lactose Intolerance

Milk allergy and lactose intolerance are two very different concepts but are still placed with so much confusion. A lot of people are having a hard time distinguishing one from the other even if the two conditions have little or less common features.

Statistically speaking, it has been noted that about 1-7% percent of all children in the world experience a form of allergy towards milk. Milk allergy or milk sensitivity is an untoward response by the immune system as an answer to the intake of proteins found in milk or dairy products. These proteins can either be whey protein or casein. In some cases, the victim can be allergic to both types of proteins.

Upon intake of such, the victim who is allergic to milk will suddenly develop hives. The much graver cases will end up to some alterations in breathing. The worse case scenario nonetheless is the progression into anaphylactic shock.

Although it is not usual for people to have complete allergy to milk, there are a lot more cases wherein a person develops a form of sensitivity to such. This particular sensitivity leads to rashes and gastric upsets. If the ingestion of milk products is not ceased, the victim will develop chronic lung problems and will have a reduced tendency to absorb nutrients. Because of the nature of this condition, milk allergies are best addressed by avoidance of milk itself.

On the other hand, lactose intolerance is a completely different story. To the surprise of many, the majority of people in the world are actually partially lactose intolerant although the level of intolerance is not so significant to be clinically regarded as lactose intolerance.

The problem with this condition is the lactose found in milk. It is a kind of sugar that can only be digested with the aid of the naturally occurring enzyme in the body called lactase. The problem with many people is they have a few supply of this enzyme. As a result, they couldn’t take in so much lactose or they will end up having a form of indigestion. Abdominal bloating due to too much gas formation within the stomach happens when lactose is not effectively digested. Moreover, aging contributes to the decrease in the levels of lactase in the body. As people grow old, they become less tolerant to lactose intake from milk.

Unlike milk allergies, lactose intolerance is a less severe, often a non-life threatening condition. Aside from avoiding milk products, one can deal with lactose intolerance by simply taking in artificial lactase enzymes for diet supplementation.


Milk allergy is a form of sensitivity to milk proteins while lactose intolerance is a form of sensitivity to milk sugars.

Milk allergy is a more serious condition than lactose intolerance.

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