CMA usually develops before a baby's first birthday
Approximately 3 out of every 100 babies will develop CMA in their first year of life.
CMA is very rare in children older than 5 years of age.
Food allergies occur when the body's immune system (the body's own defense mechanism) responds abnormally to certain foods.
For people with food allergies, the immune system incorrectly identifies certain food components as harmful and produces an inappropriate response. This leads to an unpleasant and on occasions life threatening signs and symptoms associated with allergies.
Cows’ milk allergy (CMA), also known as cows’ milk protein allergy (CMPA), is one of the most common food allergies in babies, and usually appears before 1 year of age.
CMA is commonly confused with lactose intolerance but they are very different: lactose intolerance does not involve the body's immune system. The two share some signs and symptoms, such as stomach and gut problems (like wind and diarrhoea).
It is important to know the difference between lactose intolerance and CMA, as the two have different causes and also treatments; in addition, CMA usually develops early in life, whereas lactose intolerance is extremely rare before the age of 5 years.
CMA is a type of milk allergy where a baby's immune system responds to the proteins found in cows’ milk, causing the baby to have allergic symptoms. These can include problems with the skin (rash, hives, dry, scaly or itchy skin), digestive system (diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation and reflux) and respiratory system (noisy breathing, coughing, runny nose). CMA usually occurs before a baby’s first birthday.
Lactose intolerance does not involve the immune system. Instead, it is the inability to digest the lactose sugar found in cows’ milk, and it is very rare in children younger than 5 years of age. Lactose is one of the most important carbohydrates (sugars) in breast milk and provides many benefits to babies, such as helping to promote a healthy gut and calcium absorption.
How do I get CMA diagnosed?
Diagnosing CMA can be challenging. If CMA is suspected, you should visit a doctor who can assess and if necessary perform specific tests to help make a diagnosis.Learn more about the diagnosis
How can I prepare for the doctor’s visit?
For a faster and accurate diagnosis of CMA by your doctor, the SmilesBack app helps you to easily record and keep track of your baby’s symptoms and feeds in preparation for your doctor’s appointment.
We believe breast milk is the best food for infants. When in consultation with their healthcare professional, mothers and families find that optimal breastfeeding is not possible due to their infant’s medical condition, formulas for special medical purposes play a vital role in providing essential nutrients to infants. We have a global commitment to market breast-milk substitutes responsibly.
This website is about the management of cows’ milk protein allergy and nutritional solutions intended for infants. By continuing on this website, you accept that Nestlé Health Science supplies the information at your own request.
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