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Hello! My sister has two children. Her younger son is fourteen months old and he often has a runny nose and ear infections. When my sister was breastfeeding him he was healthy but when she started to give him cow milk the symptoms occurred. His pediatrician told my sister that he has a milk allergy and recommended to avoid milk for one year. I also heard of lactose intolerance. Is lactose intolerance the same thing as a milk allergy?

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Hello! Milk allergy and lactose intolerance are similar but they are not the same thing. They are both adverse reactions to milk but caused by different mechanisms. Young children and infants are most commonly affected by milk allergy and lactose intolerance is a disease that affects individuals over the age of five. Lactose intolerance is a result of decrease or absence of an enzyme (lactase) and milk allergy refers to adverse reactions involving immunoglobulin E antibodies to one or more protein fractions of milk. Some of the symptoms are the same and occur in both cases such as vomiting and abdominal pain but there are also certain symptoms that only occurs in milk allergy such as chronic runny nose, coughing, ear infections, excessive colic, fluid behind ears, irritability, nasal stuffiness, rash, hives and eczema, sinusitis, bronchitis.
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