Posted by: Rialien | 2009-02-25

Gluten and milk allergies

Are gluten and milk allergie the same. What are the symptoms for these allergies and what milk substitutes can I give for a active 7 year old boy?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Rialien
No gluten and milk allergy are very different although they may cause similar symptoms. Gluten is a protein that occurs in wheat and other cereals, so if your child has a gluten allergy he would need to avoid all foods that contain wheat. In the case of milk allergy, the individual may be allergic to lactose (the sugar in milk) or one of many different proteins in the milk. Is your son allergic to both gluten and milk and have you had him tested to determine his allergies? If he has not been tested then do ask your dr to send him for the necessary tests because it would be most unfortunate if you started cutting either wheat or milk out of his diet without any proof. As I said before, both allergies can cause similar symptoms, such as diarrhoea, gastric pain and complaints, skin rashes, etc. If your son is allergic to milk you can buy soya milk, yoghurt and even ice cream made with soya for him at most supermarkets. Make sure that the soya milk and yoghurt you buy contains about 100 mg of calcium per 100 ml so that your son obtains sufficient calcium from his diet for normal growth. I would recommend that you consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area) to help you with a milk-free diet for your son. Click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'Allergy & Intolerance' to read more about milk allergy. You can also contact the Allergy Association by visiting their Website at: to find out more about allergies. For recipes you can try the 'South African Cookbook for Food Allergies & Food Intolerance" by Hilda Lategan. Contact Hilda Lategan, who is also a dietitian, on (012) 546-6410) or send her an e-mail at: .
Best regards

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