Milk Protein Intolerance

Both Jackson and William have (or had in Jack’s case) an intolerance for milk proteins (and we believe soy protein too). Their intolerance was so severe that even on a complete non dairy diet I still couldn’t breastfeed them. Jackson’s intolerance was discovered at 10 days old. We suspected William had an intolerance at 3 days old and confirmed it at 5 days old.

Signs of milk protein intolerance
Blood and mucous in their poop – blood doesn’t have to be visible, pediatrician can test for trace amounts
Crying and discomfort after feeding
Inconsolible crying
Abdominal pain – pulling legs up

All formulas are not created equal
The “hypoallergenic” formulas available over the counter still have trace amounts of milk proteins. Jack bounced around with these “hypoallergenic” formulas (Nutramigen, Allimentum and Progestimil) for 4.5 months, before we realized that they were still bothering him. It was after he had a feeding tube and we were filling up his stomach with these that we knew they were a problem. He would wake up screaming in the middle of the night.

Neocate was the only formula that worked of my boys. It has no complex proteins. Unfortunately it is difficult to get and expensive. We have been lucky that our insurance has covered most of it for both boys. For both boys Children’s Home Care Services has been provided it.

Intolerance vs. Allergy
Jack was allergy tested at about 5 months of age to determine if he had an allergy or an intolerance. They will grow out of an intolerance. All of his allergy tests (he did the most common 10 foods) were negative. He grew out of his soy intolerance by 15 months and his milk protein one by 18 months.

We have not tested William for allergies yet. We are assuming that he also has an intolerance and not an allergy.

Is milk protein intolerance the same as lactose intolerance?
No. Lactose is actually milk sugar, not a protein. People can be lactose intolerant as well and that typically causes them abdominal pain. Babies typically don’t have lactose intolerance.

Solid foods and snacks
Baby food is usually dairy free, since you aren’t supposed to introduce dairy until they are closer to a year old. However, the snacks, biter biscuits and other items might not be. The best advice is to read the labels; just because it is listed as organic, natural or even vegetarian doesn’t mean it is dairy free. A teething biscuit was recommended to me and by the first glance at the box it looked OK. Untill I read the ingredient list which said contains trace amounts of milk. I have started a list of dairy free and dairy containing foods as a resource.


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