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Cow's milk allergy

20th November 2006

04102006_breastfeeding1.jpgDoctors are failing to recognise or properly treat milk allergies in babies, says a new study.

The survey of 500 doctors by Act Against Allergy found many did not know the best treatment, while almost eight out of 10 thought colleagues confused symptoms with other conditions.

Cow milk allergies are fairly common affecting around 10,000 babies in the UK. But experts say symptoms are problematic, as they include skin rashes and diarrhoea, which are common.

But that lack of knowledge could prove deadly. Without treatment food allergies can be distressing and even kill.

Experts recommend a low-allergy or hypoallergenic milk, such as an amino-acid based formula, but many doctors said they would advise a soy-based formula, despite guidance against it because soy contains high levels of certain compounds which could pose a risk to the fertility of infants in later life.

Now the taskforce, which includes expert paediatric gastroenterologists, has developed guidance for doctors that will be published next year.

Breastfeeding is recommended for the first two years by the World Health Organisation. 



 

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