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What Is a Milk Allergy Test?

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  • Written By: Jackie Myers
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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A milk allergy test detects whether a person is allergic to milk protein. An allergy specialist usually performs the test, which involves placing liquid extracts of milk on a person's back or forearm. The skin is pricked after the milk protein is applied to the skin. If any reddish or raised spots are seen, it is an indication that the person being tested is allergic to the proteins. Individuals with this type of allergy must generally avoid all milk products, though some treatments for milk allergy are available.

Blood testing may also be done to perform a milk allergy test. A blood test can measure the immune system's response to milk by determining the amount of immunoglobulin E antibodies in the bloodstream. After the blood sample is collected, it is sent to a medical laboratory to be tested for milk sensitivity.

Doctors can diagnose a milk allergy with a food challenge technique as well. The patient is not allowed to consume foods or drinks made with milk for a set period of time. During the food challenge period, the patient will eat foods containing milk under close supervision of a doctor. If any symptoms of a milk allergy occur after eating the food, a milk allergy is diagnosed.

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Before a milk allergy test is performed, a doctor evaluates the patient. The doctor asks detailed questions about the signs and symptoms experienced. A physical examination may be performed, as well. The doctor may ask a person with a suspected milk allergy to keep a detailed diary of all the foods consumed throughout the day.

The best way to treat a milk allergy is to avoid foods that contain milk or milk products. Individuals with milk allergies must read the labels on packages before consuming foods. Experts recommend that people with a severe milk allergy carry an injection of epinephrine for emergency situations. Some of the symptoms of a serious allergic reaction includes swelling inside the mouth, difficulty breathing, and chest pain.

Studies have shown that oral immunotherapy is effective for some people with a severe milk allergy. This treatment method requires the patient to increase the amount of daily doses of milk, as directed by a doctor, over a period of months. Some of the patients studied were able to increase the amount of milk they consumed without showing any symptoms of a reaction.

People diagnosed with an allergy after completing a milk allergy test must find ways to supplement calcium intake, as it is found mostly in milk products. Calcium is necessary for the proper growth and repair of bones in every age group. Those who do not take calcium supplements are at a higher risk of having fragile bones and developing osteoporosis.

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