Does my baby have CMPA? Signs & Symptoms of Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy
It may seem like every other parent you speak to nowadays has a child with a food allergy, and that’s because food allergies are becoming increasingly common. Around 6-8% of children now have a diagnosed food allergy and the most common childhood food allergy is cow’s milk. If your baby has unexplained symptoms like colic, reflux, diarrhoea, eczema or generally being a fussy baby, it could be due to cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA).
What is a Food Allergy?
An allergic reaction to food happens when your immune system overreacts to a food that you would normally expect to be harmless. The food that causes a reaction is known as an allergen. Common allergens include nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, dairy, wheat, eggs and soya, but it is possible to be allergic to anything. Reactions can happen immediately after eating the food, or they might appear several hours later. Immediate reactions are known as IgE-mediated, and delayed reactions are known as non-IgE mediated.
Immediate reactions (IgE)
These reactions can happen within seconds or minutes, or up to 2 hours after eating food containing the allergen. Symptoms can include hives, stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea, wheezing, or swelling in the face, tongue or throat. A severe reaction is known as anaphylaxis and can be deadly. Thankfully this type of reaction is rare – but if it does happen you should call an ambulance immediately.