It is easy to confuse the two, but you really ought to know the difference between a milk allergy or a lactose intolerance. Knowing this difference can help you determine what appropriate action to take to reduce your symptoms and also possibly to save your life!

A milk allergy involve the immune system, which is the main difference between it and lactose intolerance. When you have a milk allergy, your immune system kicks in to produce the allergic responses that you experience. If you have a milk allergy, you are likely to observe the following symptoms: swelling, hives, coughing and wheezing. You can also go into anaphyletic shock, and if treatment is not initiated quickly enough, your allergy can also cause death. The reaction to the proteins in the milk, casein and whey, normally occurs within 45 minutes of exposure to the proteins in milk.

If you have a milk allergy, then it is very important that you avoid all milk and milk elated products. If you are breastfeeding, then you will need to avoid drinking the milk yourself to ensure that it does not get into your breastmilk. Your baby may just develop a milk allergy. This type of allergy normally lasts for at least a few years and may still be a problem into adulthood.

Having said that, a milk allergy is not as common as lactose intolerance. As in a milk allergy, the symptoms of lactose intolerance normally occur 45 minutes to almost a day after consuming it. However, your symptoms are likely to be limited to gas and diarrhea and abdominal pains. The symptoms are not by themselves dangerous, although it can cause discomfort and may require a day of rest.

If you want to prevent diarrhea symptoms, then it is best not to consume milk products. Switch to soy milk or a lactose free milk instead. You can tolerate small amounts of milk products without symptoms. But if you are not careful enough, increasing your intake a little more can cause you to have a quesy stomach.

Author's Bio: 

An allergy sufferer for years, Evelyn Lim is determined to fight a successful war against it. She shares her tips about food allergy on her site. For more free information, please visit