Pediatric allergy

Could it be cow’s milk protein allergy?

Eczema? Reflux? Constipation? Diarrhea? Crying? Do you suspect that your child has a food allergy?

Cow's Milk Protein Allergy is one of the most common food allergies in the first year of life.

Food allergy or non-allergic food hypersensitivity?
Food allergies and non-allergic food hypersensitivities in babies and young children can present a real challenge. Until a diagnosis is reached, the process for parents, children and healthcare professionals can be a long and painful one.

Non-allergic food hypersensitivities, such as intolerances, arise because the body is unable to digest or reacts to certain naturally occurring component of foods, i.e., lactose or fructose, or, less commonly, food coloring, additives or preservatives. Non-allergic food hypersensitivities do not involve the immune system and are much more common than food allergies.

Food allergies arise due to the body’s immune system reacting to certain, normally harmless, allergy-triggering substances (allergens) in food. These allergens are almost always proteins. Proteins are one of the essential nutrients that make up the body, together with vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fat. Other components in food, such as lactose and sugar, do not act as allergens.

Certain allergens cause more reactions than others. Here are the top eight allergens accounting for approximately 90 percent of all allergic reactions to food in children.



The prevalence of food allergies, especially in the first years of life, has increased dramatically in the last 10 years or so. The challenge to find better ways to prevent and manage food allergies is a pressing one.

Cow’s milk protein allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children


Although cow’s milk protein is one of the most common food allergens in babies and toddlers it can be difficult to diagnose. Cow's milk protein allergy occurs when a baby’s immune system reacts negatively to the proteins in cow’s milk. If breastfed, the reaction is to the cow’s milk protein ingested by the mother and passed to the child through the breast milk, and if formula-fed, the reaction is to the milk protein in the formula. In both cases the body’s immune system sees these proteins as foreign and in an effort to protect itself, the body releases natural substances, such as histamines, which cause the allergic symptoms that your baby might be experiencing.


Cow’s milk protein allergy generally occurs for the first time between the third and fifth month of life in affected children, but can also develop later in life.

Lactose intolerance is not the same as cow’s milk protein allergy.


Cow’s milk protein allergy and lactose intolerance are often confused. Although some symptoms such as diarrhea, are similar, lactose intolerance is an inability to digest the lactose found in both cow’s milk whereas cow’s milk protein allergy is an immune reaction to certain proteins within these milks. Lactose intolerance is extremely rare before 3 years of age, even in those with cow’s milk protein allergy. After all, breast milk naturally contains a high amount of lactose.


Signs and symptoms of cow's milk protein allergy
The signs and symptoms linked with cow's milk protein allergy, ranging from colic and reflux to constipation, diarrhea and crying, make diagnosis a real challenge.


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Could it be cow's milk protein allergy?

Eczema? Reflux? Constipation?
Diarrhea? Crying? 
Check here to see if your child is suffering from the symptoms of cow's milk protein allergy.


Your symptom checklist
Being prepared
Once diagnosed, the symptoms of cow's milk protein allergy can be relatively simple to manage.
You can prepare for your next appointment by printing and completing “My Baby’s Cow's Milk Protein Allergy Symptoms Diary” and bringing it along.

Download "My Baby's Cow's Milk Protein Allergy Symptoms Diary"



Discover a story
  • Clémence
    Mother, Paris. France
    COW'S MILK PROTEIN ALLERGY
    The story of Wandrille, diagnosed at 3 months

We believe breast milk is the best food for infants. When in consultation with their healthcare professional, mothers and families find that optimal breastfeeding is not possible due to their infant’s medical condition, formulas for special medical purposes play a vital role in providing essential nutrients to infants. We have a global commitment to market breast-milk substitutes responsibly.
This website is about the management of cow’s milk protein allergy and nutritional solutions intended for infants.
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