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October 22, 2020 Thursday 01:09:34 PM IST

Cow’s milk protein intolerance risk factors

Parent Interventions

Jessica Stafford, PNP-C, a nurse practitioner at PSV in gastroenterology, at Children's National Hospital, Washington D.C., explains Cow’s milk protein intolerance, or CMPI risk factors. CMPI is a condition in which the body’s immune system reacts to a protein found in cow’s milk. For infants with CMPI, their immune system reacts unusually to the protein found in cow’s milk, and the reaction can cause injury to the child’s stomach and intestines.  The risk of developing CMPI in an older child is lower — it typically occurs in less than 1% of children under 6 years of age. Some risk factors that have been shown to be associated with developing CMPI include having a parent or sibling with asthma, eczema or seasonal allergies. Breastfeeding seems to protect infants from developing CMPI, but some breastfed infants will still have CMPI (it affects around 0.5% of breastfed infants).

Babies usually develop symptoms within the first week of starting cow’s milk in their diet, and most infants with CMPI show signs that involve the gastrointestinal (GI) system. This can include blood or mucous in the stool, multiple loose stools, vomiting, or apparent abdominal pain. Some babies will also exhibit irritability or poor growth.

CMPI is typically diagnosed after you have described your child’s symptoms and the doctor has performed a physical examination of your child. The timing of the symptoms in relation to feedings may also help to diagnose cow’s milk protein intolerance.

Treatment of CMPI includes eliminating cow’s milk protein from your infant’s diet. This is usually started with an extensively hydrolyzed formula, which is made up of broken-down proteins that can be digested without an immune reaction. Examples of these formulas are Alimentum or Nutramigen. If your pediatrician or pediatric gastroenterologist feels these formulas may be helpful, they can likely provide you with a sample at the office. They can also be found in most grocery stores.

About the Author:

Jessica Stafford, PNP-C, is a nurse practitioner at PSV in gastroenterology. She received her master’s in nursing at Johns Hopkins University.

(Content Courtesy: https://riseandshine.childrensnational.org/cows-milk-protein-intolerance/)