The link between asthma and dairy products of cow’s milk is familiar to many young asthma sufferers and their parents. Some patients start suffering from severe asthma attacks including hospitalization for asthma related pneumonia in their infancy. Responding to this problem by temporarily eliminating milk and dairy products from the diet usually works well. It is a practical experience that milk can worsen asthma problems by stimulating mucus production in the respiratory tract. However, studies also revealed that along with excess mucus production, milk also worsen asthma due to some undiagnosed milk allergy. For all respiratory diseases, mucus stimulating dairy products like cheese and milk must be avoided because clogging of lungs may occur as a response to this excessive mucus creation as when more mucus is created in the respiratory tract than what can be eliminated this triggers an asthma attack. This theory is popular with doctors since many decades and many doctors still support it.

Many doctors and researchers also started considering the link between undiagnosed milk allergy and asthma and such doctors are of the opinion that elimination of dairy products from the diet of asthma patient is not because of excessive mucus production but because milk and its products are a common cause of allergy including respiratory allergies like asthma. Milk is among the most common food allergens but the majority of people allergic to milk and its products remain undetected because of the mildness of their allergic condition.

Researchers believe that up to 60% of the American population is allergic to milk and its products to some extent. But only people with severe allergic reactions like anaphylactic shock are revealed as being allergic to milk and its products. The manifestation of allergies especially food allergies changes with the passage of time and an allergic reaction may change its intensity as well as symptoms in the later life of allergic patients. Milk allergy also changes its symptoms with the passage of time, for instance a child suffering from milk-related asthma may suffer from severe acne as a teenager as allergy is retained by another organ system of that child but symptoms are changed. This often misleads the patient as well as the physician that the original allergy is actually outgrown. Half the population of infants in America may be sensitive to cow’s milk but due to the masked and milder response to allergy in them, most allergic cases remain unnoticed.
Milk allergy can also be manifested as behavioral problems, ear infections, frequent colds, bronchitis and sinusitis etc. Probably the milk protein is the cause of milk related asthma. Some physicians suggest that most patients are not allergic to milk but to the small amount of antibiotics passed into milk from cows. Penicillin is given to cows as a treatment of mastitis which is udder inflammation and cows are not allowed to be milked within 48 hours of receiving this antibiotic but this precaution is often not followed which is the root of such problems. The relation between mucus production and asthma is unclear but it is very obvious that there is a definite relation between asthma and milk and milk worsens asthma. A diet free from meat and milk which are the two most common allergens is greatly effective in lessening the asthma symptoms.

Author's Bio: 

Now you know what are the similarities between the symptoms of asthma and milk allergy (in Danish the term is Mælkeallergi)