Maybe it’s a cow’s milk allergy…
I blogged before about figuring out that my son Wesley’s asthma was triggered by cow’s milk. Since he has celiac disease, and the protein of wheat, rye & barley causes major problems for him, I figured that Wesley’s problem with milk was more ominous than a simple lactose intolerance, but probably a casein issue. (Lactose is the sugar in milk; easy to take out. Casein is the protein, which is nearly impossible to take out, and is present in all forms of all milk.)
Sad as it was, it became immediately apparent that milk was the culprit; even ONE Hershey’s Kiss had enough to make him wheeze, and one small slice of cheese found him hooked to his SVN a couple of hours later. I experimented with different forms of dairy, but found out that he couldn’t even tolerate butter, nor when I baked with a *small* amount of milk. It all, at a minimum, made him wheeze.
Since eliminating dairy about two months ago, we went from using the SVN 1-3x/day down to using it less than once a week. Also, his eczema has nearly cleared up, as well as the perma-drip (that’s a technical term 😉 ) from his nose and the mighty attractive accompanying crust.
However, I have found — by cautious, slow experimentation — that he can tolerate goat’s milk. I also found some sheep’s milk feta at Trader Joe’s, and that caused no reaction, either. Yay!! The only problem is that goat’s milk is **REALLY** expensive. At the few grocery stores that have it, it’s $3.49 a quart. That’s like paying $13 for a gallon of milk. If memory serves, it’s “only” $2.19 a quart at Trader Joe’s, but the closest one is a 25 minute drive from here. The feta is like $6 a pound, but a little feta goes a long way.
Oddly enough, though, my baby daughter can’t tolerate goat’s milk. I’ve known about her dairy intolerance since she was five weeks old when I, as a nursing mother, had to forgo all dairy. I thought since Wesley could do goat’s milk, that maybe Audrey could, too. But, she can’t. We’ve had the flu going around for the last two weeks and she’s teething, which could both be sources of her diarrhea. But when, yesterday, she broke out in the body-wide eczema rash, I knew the goat’s milk was the source of her skin and digestive woes.
I am going to try soy milk with her. Wes can’t have soy, but I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean Audrey can’t have it, either. She loves rice milk, but it has virtually no nutritive value, and I’m eager to find a more nutritious replacement for dairy.
So, Wes = no cow, no soy, but goat’s milk is OK. Perhaps there’s something — not casein — that is in cow’s milk, but not present in goat’s, giving him a cow’s milk allergy.
Audrey = no cow, no goat, but possibly soy. We’ll see. I have to wait for her goat’s milk-triggered symptoms to clear up before I start experimenting. Poor girl.