Health & Wellness

Why Can Goat Milk-Based Baby Formula Cause Allergic Reactions?

Milk allergy is a significant problem that causes inconvenience and suffering to both a baby and its parents. The symptoms are manifested in itching and rashes on the skin, stool disorders, and constant belching. Even though the goat milk protein causes allergies less often than the cow one, however, it still happens.

Goat milk is a valuable product that has many nutrients, and its composition is similar to breast milk. That is the reason why it is used as the base for many baby formulas. If a kid suffers from an allergy to cow milk protein, then goat-based milk formula can be a way out. According to ScienceDirect research, goat milk formula can be used as a substitute for those allergic to cow milk. However, it might not work in some cases. So let’s find out when goat-based infant formula may cause an allergic reaction.

The Difference Between Cow Milk and Goat Milk Formulas

Children under three years old usually are prone to allergies because their immature organisms are still developing. The most common reason for allergy is the intake of Alpha S1 Casein milk protein. Unlike cow milk, formula based on goat milk is considered less allergenic. For example, Holle goat milk formula has the presence of this element 89% less than others.

It is necessary to distinguish allergy to milk protein from lactose intolerance. In the case of the second one, the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for the assimilation of milk sugar, is insufficiently produced. At lactase insufficiency, there are only disturbances of the gastrointestinal tract. So can there be an allergy to goat milk formula? Cow and goat have several types of protein molecules that cause allergies. However, the milk of different animals with the same type of proteins has individual amino acid components. It suggests that a child who is allergic to cow milk will not necessarily have the same problem with goat milk formula. Statistics show that the allergy to goat milk is 30% less than to cow milk.

Reasons for Goat Milk Formula Allergy

As it was mentioned before, the main reason for allergy is Alpha-S1-casein. This fraction forms a dense clot in the kid’s stomach. Therefore, when such a dense clot enters the intestines, undigested casein easily enters the bloodstream, causing food allergies. However, casein or other milk protein is not always the reason for allergy to goat milk formula. Healthline also defines the following facts causing babies’ allergy to goat milk formula:

  • The presence of various chemicals that get into milk from feed and the environment. It’s a huge problem for manufacturers, and that is the reason they try to produce organic food for kids. For instance, Holle goat milk formula is made from fully organic goat milk, thus minimizing the risk of allergies
  • allergic reaction to the components of milk formula
  • violation of the baby’s intestinal microflora
  • the transition to bottle-feeding

Signs of Allergic Reaction to Goat Milk

The classic symptom is atopic dermatitis which is accompanied by redness or itching of the skin, as well as a rash in the form of many small bubbles with transparent contents or large blisters (urticaria). Usually, rashes are localized in the back of the head, neck, cheeks, elbows, knees, and perineum. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction are the following types of digestive disorders:

  • diarrhea
  • liquid stool with mucus or blood
  • bloating
  • cramps
  • nausea, vomiting
  • nasal congestion and runny nose
  • asthma attacks
  • redness, swelling, and soreness of the gums (gingivitis)
  • superficial ulcers on the mucous membrane of the palate, cheeks (aphthae)

In some cases, an allergic reaction to casein and other milk proteins leads to the development of Quincke’s edema and even anaphylactic shock. It’s worth noticing that any of these symptoms may indicate the development of inflammatory diseases of the digestive system (allergic esophagitis, gastritis, colitis). At the same time, a baby gains weight very slowly or loses weight. A child may have anemia and delayed physical development in the future.

Casein can accumulate in the body for a long time. Therefore, an allergy to a formula based on goat milk may not appear immediately, but when its amount is increased. Whatever the cause of the allergic reaction, timely diagnosis and therapy are essential to avoid complications. For parents to reduce the risk of problems, it’s important to pick up the formula correctly with the help of a pediatrician or correct the diet of a nursing mother.

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