Allergies & Mucus

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, cow's milk is the number one cause of food allergies in children. According to the former director of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Frank Oski, there is evidence to indicate that up to half of U.S. children have some allergic reaction to milk.

For these kids (and for adults who are allergic to dairy as well), milk is a mucus maker. This can lead to chronic problems such as coughing, sinus infections, asthma, and ear infections.

According to a report published by the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology Committee on Adverse Reactions to Food (part of the National Institutes of Health), the allergies of up to 1/3 of children tested cleared after milk was removed from their diet.

More and more physicians and dietitians realize that removing dairy products from the diet can be the solution to many childhood illnesses such as runny noses, constipation, colic, ear infections, and gas – and the list goes on.

In the famous book Baby and Child Care by Dr. Benjamin Spock 1998 said, "Cow's milk is not recommended for a child when he is sick or when he is well, for that matter. Dairy products may cause more mucus complications and cause more discomfort with upper respiratory infections."

In the book, Allergies to Milk by Drs. Sami L. Bahna and Douglas C. Heiner, reports that children who are allergic to milk:

    "may have breathing difficulty, particularly during sleep, or an irritating cough associated with a postnasal drip. … the cough is frequently associated with noisy breathing and excessive mucus in the throat, and sometimes parents worry that their child is 'gagging'.… such affected children are frequently diagnosed as having upper respiratory infection, viral illness, bronchitis, … or pneumonia. Accordingly, they may be given unnecessary medications, including cough syrups, decongestants, or antibiotics. Relief.. is not satisfactory until cow's milk is eliminated from the diet."

A 1997 report on food allergies in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that cow's milk allergies tend to hit children in their infancies. Recommended therapies for food allergies include "strict removal of the offending allergen" or possibly a diet centered on human breast milk.

A British study found that 93% of children diagnosed with cow's milk allergy experienced asthma and/or rhinitis when milk was included in their diet. (The book Asthma and Rhinitis states that rhinitis is "characterized by itching, sneezing, nasal blockage, and discharge.")

Frank Oski, M.D., the former director of the Department of Pediatrics of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and physician-in-chief of the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, said in his 1992 book, "The fact is: The drinking of cow milk has been linked to iron-deficiency anemia in infants and children; it has been named as the cause of cramps and diarrhea in much of the world’s population, and the cause of multiple forms of allergy as well."

In his book Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet, Dr. Michael Klaper explains why milk may trigger the production of mucus: "[W]hen the protein of another animal is introduced into one's immune system, an allergic/immune response is created in many places in the body. A common reaction to such an assault by a foreign protein in our immune system is an outpouring of mucus from the nasal and throat membranes. … The resulting mucus flow can create the chronic runny noses, persistent sore throats, hoarseness, bronchitis, and the recurrent ear infections that plague so many children (and their parents)."

According to the metastudy Milk Allergies, "Cow’s milk allergy, mainly a disease of infancy, is usually manifested within the first two or three months of life. … No age, however, is exempt, and milk allergy may be first detected during adolescence or adulthood."

Dr. Christiane Northrup states: "Dairy is a tremendous mucus producer and a burden on the respiratory, digestive, and immune systems." Dr. Northrup says that patients who "eliminate dairy products for an extended period and eat a balanced diet … suffer less from colds and sinus infections."

The mucus created by milk may cause other health problems, as well. Dr. William Ellis, who has studied the effects of dairy foods for more than four decades, says that milk is "simply no good for humans." Dr. Ellis believes that the excess mucus caused by milk can harden to form a coating on the inner wall of the intestines, hindering the absorption of nutrients and possibly leading to chronic fatigue.

According to an article in the June 26, 2003, Calgary Herald, milk is the most common source of allergies in children. Sharon Tateishi, a Calgary, Alberta, nutritionist for more than 20 years, comments, "There are so many articles coming up. You can't ignore the issue any more. If a child has food sensitivities to milk, the symptoms can include eczema, bloating, runny nose, chronic ear infections, stomach problems. It could be asthma. Even things like kidney and bladder problems."

Interestingly, many people who have allergy with pasteurized milk do not have any problem with raw milk. However, if you want to drink raw milk, be careful that the producer follows the organic standard. Also, some people do not respond well from drinking raw milk. Click here to read more about raw milk.

There are many vegan alternative for milk as well such as soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, and etc. Click here for milk free alternatives.

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