Move over, peanuts: milk allergy more common in kids, study says

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(Avichai Scher/ NBC News) — Peanuts get a lot of attention, but the most common food allergy for kids under 5? Milk.

In a study released on Friday, researchers found that milk allergy affects over half of 1-year-olds who have food allergies, accounts for 40 percent of food allergies for kids 1 to 2, and is the most common overall food allergy for children under 5.

“The general public needs to be more aware of milk allergies. They think it’s all peanut,” Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a professor of pediatrics at the Northwestern school of medicine in Chicago and an author of the study, told NBC News. “We set out to build awareness so families can get the proper diagnosis.”

Milk allergy is different from lactose intolerance or other milk sensitivities, which generally cause gas, bloating and other gastrointestinal issues. The researchers were looking for symptoms of an immunoglobulin E-mediated allergy, such as hives, throat tightening and trouble breathing, which come on quickly after exposure to the allergen, in this case, milk. (…)

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