Casein Allergy Overview
Milk or Casein Allergy Treatment
If you are diagnosed with a food, or specifically milk or casein, allergy, your doctor may advise you carry injectable of epinephrine with you in case you accidentally eat a food containing casein and have a reaction. Your doctor or pharmacist can show you how to give the epinephrine. You may also want to keep an over-the-counter antihistamine on hand to help alleviate allergy symptoms. In the case of a severe or serious reaction, the antihistamine will not act as rapidly or as effectively as epinephrine. Epinephrine is the same as adrenaline, the chemical your body produces at times of excitement or stress.
If you experience a severe allergic reaction with symptoms of anaphylaxis, give yourself the epinephrine to counteract the reaction until help arrives, then call 911 for emergency help. Because up to one-third of anaphylactic reactions can have a second wave of symptoms several hours following the initial attack, you may need to be observed in a clinic or hospital for four to eight hours after the initial reaction.
Milk or Casein Allergy Prevention
The best treatment for milk/casein allergy is prevention or avoidance. To prevent an allergic reaction to casein, you must follow a casein-free diet, avoiding all foods that contain milk or milk products.
Avoiding milk products involves more than just leaving the cheese off your sandwich. It may also mean leaving off the deli meat if it was cut with the same equipment used to slice the cheese. Even miniscule amounts of casein may be enough to trigger a reaction. In people who are allergic, the level of sensitivity varies from person to person. Some individuals might be able to tolerate small amounts of milk, especially if the milk is baked or cooked in items. However, for most individuals, strict avoidance is best since the amount of milk many not be consistent between products from different manufacturers or even between batches from the same manufacturer.
Giving up milk doesn't have to mean giving up calcium. Because even people who drink milk often don't get enough calcium in their diets, many other foods -- including juices, cereals, and rice and soy drinks -- are now enriched with calcium. Vegetables including kale, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of calcium as well.