Allergy, which is called as abnormal reactions of the body against foods, is most common between 0-2 years of age, against cow's milk and foods containing cow's milk. Pediatric Immunology and Allergy Specialist Prof. Dr. Pediatric Immunology and Allergy Diseases Specialist. Dr. Zeynep Ülker Tamay and Prof. Dr. Bulent Enis Sekerel explains.
Breast milk is unique and an excellent source of nutrients for babies. Every mother shapes her breast milk according to her own baby. Each baby's breast milk is specific to that baby, and breast milk changes in content with the baby. Bioactive living cells in breast milk ensure the healthy growth, development and protection of children from infections.
Stating that when mothers are stressed or malnourished, there are disorders in the secretion of hormones that provide breast milk production, and accordingly, there is a decrease in the amount of breast milk and problems. Dr. Bülent Enis Şekerel said, “But when breast milk is not enough or breast milk cannot be given to the child, we use products that we call formula instead. In order for these products to be as nutritious as breast milk, they must be of high quality. As a result, a nutritious formula suitable for babies is created by using goat's milk or cow's milk, and it is tried to be as close to breast milk as possible.
Cow's milk and formulas containing cow's milk, which are used in cases where breast milk is not enough or cannot be given to the child, unfortunately cause allergies in some babies. Cow's milk protein allergy, which is the most common food allergy in infants, occurs when the immune system reacts unexpectedly to cow's milk protein. Cow's milk protein contains 20 different protein components, which in some cases can cause the immune system to react and produce antibodies against these proteins. For this reason, some infants and children may experience allergic symptoms when cow's milk proteins are consumed.
The protein in cow's milk; Stating that it can cross-react with sheep or goat milk and cause similar allergic reactions, Prof. Dr. Bülent Enis Şekerel said, “The most important days of nutrition are the first thousand days, that is, the first years of the baby. At that time, we face great problems when children have food allergies. Especially in the first years of life, when we say food allergy, the first thing that comes to our mind is cow's milk protein allergy. If a child has a cow's milk protein allergy, that child cannot consume goat or sheep milk with a 99 percent probability. Instead, we prefer to give a formula that we call hypoallergenic formula, specially developed for the feeding of these babies with reduced allergenicity.”
Stating that cow's milk allergy can heal up to the age of three, Prof. Dr. Zeynep Ülker Tamay; “In almost two out of 10 children, it can continue until later in life. Cow's milk protein allergy is the most common allergy in babies all over the world. Because after breastmilk, our babies either directly receive cow's milk or formula milk products containing cow's milk protein.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel”
Saying that if the child has a sudden reaction to cow's milk, the family should be careful, cut off the formula and consult his doctor. Dr. Bülent Enis Şekerel said, “The child may have a reaction mostly in the form of vomiting. This is a reaction to expel the allergic protein that has entered the body. We shouldn't be trying to stop vomiting. In cases where a dangerous reaction is observed; Especially if it affects the respiratory or circulatory system, that is, if the child has complaints such as cough, hoarseness, shortness of breath, wheezing from the chest, or if the child's color suddenly becomes pale due to low blood pressure, the nearest health institution should be visited quickly. I recommend mothers to stay in touch with their doctors during this process. I want them to be brave, listen to their doctors and be hopeful for the future. Let them not forget, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”