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.   

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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on May 5, 2007, in Celiac Disease, Digestive Woes, Medical Stuff, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. My dd is very lactose intolerant. I am so happy to read that you followed your instincts. So many mothers ignore the symptoms and deal with horrible reactions. We were anti dairy before we realized her intolerance so we were lucky!

  2. Wow! I can’t imagine dealing with that on a daily basis. That must have been hard to figure out how to handle. It sounds like you are doing a tremendous job though! 🙂 I hope you get it all figured out and life will be a little simpler for you! haha!

  3. Gah, this does not sound like fun but at least you have identified the culprits. When Kiko was going through the bad eczema and rashes from 5-8 months old it took two scary reactions before I realised banana was causing it. As soon as I eliminated banana from his diet, the eczema cleared up like magic and his skin, which I had thought was “problem skin”, was perfect. Oddly, he is crazy about bananas and will go wild to eat them… we can’t even mention the word “banana” or he goes daft, we have to call them the “b-words”!

    I got a real taste for goat’s cheese/milk in UK but was astonished at how expensive it is here in Australia (probably similar to the cost in the US). I wonder why that is? If we had a garden, I’d consider getting a goat!

    I hope Wesley and Audrey are OK.

  4. Cow’s milk made our daughter throw up when she was still an infant. We had to switch to Soy.

  5. Have you tried almond milk with either one? I believe it is more nutritious than rice milk. It gets complicated responding to everyone’s dietary needs, but it’s worth it when you see how health can be improved.

  6. Nina ~ Have you looked into casein problems? Usually lactose intolerance is not a huge deal… one wouldn’t typically be “very” lactose intolerant. But someone who was allergic or intolerant of casein could have very severe symptoms. Funny — I thought it was so odd, a year ago or so, when I “ran into” some anti-dairy sentiment on a homeschooling forum that I visit (roughly, it was “Milk is the perfect food — for baby cows.”) Now, though… I find find myself being very suspicious of dairy in general, and have cut *way* back on my own dairy usage.

    MLBAH ~ Funny, too… If I had all of this thrown at me at once, it would be overwhelming. But, it’s kind of like just “one more thing.” It’s not so very difficult to adapt to. Easier, in fact, than I thought it would be.

    Helen ~ I’m so glad you figured out about b-words! Isolating the cause of allergies can be so difficult! And, poor you (and poor Kiko!), since Kiko craves the bananas! At least Wes has the awareness — and had it from *very* young — that his off-limits foods cause him such problems that he willingly stays far away from them.

    TT ~ Does your dd still drink soy milk? Any other dairy problems?

    Sara ~ Wes has had bad digestive reactions to tree nuts, so we avoid them. Long ago, I tried almond milk with him… we used it for a couple of weeks. However, I haven’t yet tried it w/ Audrey. That might be a good idea. I *totally* agree with your last sentence.

  7. Discover how can you get rid of lactose intolerance

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