The difference between a dairy allergy, lactose intolerance, and dairy sensitivity

The Difference Between a Dairy Allergy, Lactose Intolerance, and Dairy Sensitivity

If the thought of drinking milk makes your stomach turn, get to the root of the concern. Is lactose intolerance to blame? Do you have a milk sensitivity? Scheduling a telehealth visit with your primary care doctor is a great idea if consuming dairy products is an ongoing concern and affects your daily life. In the meantime, let's learn a bit about how our bodies respond to dairy products.

Dairy Allergy, Lactose Intolerance, or Dairy Sensitivity: What’s the Difference?

You’re not alone when it comes to shying away from ice cream, milk, and cheese. Some people’s bodies have trouble breaking down dairy products or have an adverse immune system reaction. But, there’s a lot to know about dairy in its many forms, according to The Dairy Alliance and Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). In the case of dairy sensitivity, you may be able to tolerate specific dairy products, like a2 Milk®

What is a Dairy Allergy?

A milk allergy triggers an overreaction in your immune system, causing an allergic reaction. The response can vary from mild, such as rashes and itching, to severe, such as difficulties breathing and loss of consciousness. Any food allergy can be life-threatening and needs to be monitored on an ongoing basis by a healthcare professional. If you are allergic to dairy, you should avoid dairy products in all forms.

What is Lactose Intolerance?

Dairy products contain a natural sugar called lactose. Your body is unable to break down those sugars when you don’t produce enough of the enzyme lactase, causing you to be lactose intolerant. You can ask your doctor about taking a test to get this diagnosis.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance include abdominal pain, gas, diarrhea, bloating, and nausea approximately 30 minutes to two hours after having milk-based products.

Managing lactose intolerance is possible by choosing dairy products that have little to no lactose. You should not drink a2 Milk® if you have been diagnosed as lactose intolerant. 

What is Dairy Sensitivity?

Some people may self-diagnose as lactose intolerant, or just have a dairy sensitivity.  Do you occasionally have discomfort from enjoying milk on cereal? Can certain dairy foods sometimes give you stomach discomfort? You are likely experiencing a mild dairy sensitivity and may be intolerant to the A1 protein that is found in regular milk.

If you have a dairy sensitivity and want to give dairy products another try, consider a2 Milk®. Published research suggests that a2 Milk® is easier on digestion and may help some avoid discomfort. You can find a2 Milk® at a nearby store or online retailer using this search tool.

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* No significant difference has been shown between milk from rBST-treated and non rBST-treated cows
a2 Milk® is not suitable for anyone medically diagnosed with lactose intolerance, galactosaemia or cows’ milk allergy
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