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Question
Posted by: Jules | 2010/10/11

Lactose/ milk protein and wheat intolerance

Hi DietDoc

I was hoping you could help. My LB has been diagnosed with having milk intolerance, and wheat intolerance. He is now 2 and a half. As you can imagine, this has caused havoc with now changing his existing diet and having to take him off his beloved Nestle ''Nido'', as it has milk in it. Apparently he is just intolerant of it (we are not sure whether it is the protein in the milk or the lactose he is intolerant of) and not allergic. Same with wheat.

Could you please advise if there are tests I can have done for my little boy that will accurately determine whether in fact he is actually intolerant of milk and wheat? I do know that they have tests that can diagnose allergies, but I am not sure about tests for intolerance and how accurate they are.

Please could you advise, as I would like to get a second opinion and just need to know the most effective (and cost effective!) way to go about determining this.

Thanks so much

Rgds
Jules

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Jules
The difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance is as follows: 1) A food allergy is an adverse reaction to food that is mediated by an immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the blood (which can be detected by doing allergy tests - the RAST or ELISA tests)- such reactions occur consistently every time the offending food is eaten and can cause functional changes in affected organs; 2) A food intolerance is a non-immunological adverse reaction to a food caused by a toxic, pharmacological, metabolic or other reaction to the food (skin prick tests are often useful to determine if one has a food intolerance). If you do see another doctor about your LB's condition then the doctor will arrange for the relevant tests to be done (a blood test and/or a skin prick test). If your LB does suffer from both milk and wheat allergies or intolerances, I would recommend that you also consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), because it is very difficult to provide a growing child with all the nutrients he needs for normal development when one has to eliminate both cow's milk and wheat from his diet. For example cutting milk out of a toddler's diet will require the provision of other sources of calcium to ensure that he develops strong bones and healthy teeth. On the other hand hundreds of commercially available food products contain wheat or derivatives of wheat, so removing them from an active boy's diet is difficult.
One encouraging fact is that some children can outgrow their allergies, so hopefully this will be the case for your lad.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Jules | 2010/10/12

Hi DietDoc

Thank you very very much for the information! I am going to go and see another doctor and have the skin prick tests and blood tests done, so that we have concrete evidence of what is wrong.

I will go and see a dietitician in our area- hopefully they can help us out with a menu for him! I bought a book called the South African cookbook for Allergies and Food Intolerance by Hilda Lategan, but in it she lists a whole lot of recipes that contain milk and sometimes ''milk- free'' margarine- which I suppose contain the milk protein anyway and would still be bad for him if he is intolerant or allergic to the actual milk protein.

Thank you again for your info- very much appreciated.

Regards
Jules

Reply to Jules
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/10/11

Dear Jules
The difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance is as follows: 1) A food allergy is an adverse reaction to food that is mediated by an immunoglobulin E (IgE) in the blood (which can be detected by doing allergy tests - the RAST or ELISA tests)- such reactions occur consistently every time the offending food is eaten and can cause functional changes in affected organs; 2) A food intolerance is a non-immunological adverse reaction to a food caused by a toxic, pharmacological, metabolic or other reaction to the food (skin prick tests are often useful to determine if one has a food intolerance). If you do see another doctor about your LB's condition then the doctor will arrange for the relevant tests to be done (a blood test and/or a skin prick test). If your LB does suffer from both milk and wheat allergies or intolerances, I would recommend that you also consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), because it is very difficult to provide a growing child with all the nutrients he needs for normal development when one has to eliminate both cow's milk and wheat from his diet. For example cutting milk out of a toddler's diet will require the provision of other sources of calcium to ensure that he develops strong bones and healthy teeth. On the other hand hundreds of commercially available food products contain wheat or derivatives of wheat, so removing them from an active boy's diet is difficult.
One encouraging fact is that some children can outgrow their allergies, so hopefully this will be the case for your lad.
Best regards
DietDoc

Reply to DietDoc

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