Have you ever asked yourself, “what’s the difference?” The Doctors clear the air about common health conundrums.
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Milk Allergies vs. Lactose Intolerance
Have you ever felt ill after drinking milk, and wondered whether it’s a case of lactose intolerance or a milk allergy? ER physician Dr. Travis Stork and pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explain the differences between the two.
A person who is lactose intolerant does not digest milk sugar, also known as lactose. It affects 30 million Americans, often after the age of 5, and can cause diarrhea, gas and bloating. Taking probiotics can aid in digestion, or you can use lactose-free or non-dairy milk like coconut, almond or rice milk.
A milk allergy, however, is different from lactose intolerance. A person with a milk allergy can digest the lactose, but they have an allergic reaction, such as hives or even difficulty breathing, soon after consumption. Milk allergies affect about 4 percent of adults, and if a child is allergic to milk, he or she will often outgrow the allergy by age 3.
“If you have a milk allergy – just like if you have a nut allergy or other severe food allergies – carry an Epi-Pen with you,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “I’ve seen Epi-Pens save lives, because … milk can be in products you don’t expect.”
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Antihistamines or decongestants? Capsules or tablets? Omega-3, 6 or 9? Antiperspirant or deodorant? The Doctors explain the differences between the products you buy at the pharmacy.
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