Common Signs of Cow Milk Allergy (Part 3 of 4)

Posted 10.20.15 | Nutrition Specialist

Unfortunately, a cow milk allergy (CMA) comes along with some uninvited symptoms as Rob discussed in last week’s post. In today’s post we’ll be focusing on two additional symptoms that are sometimes seen in an individual with CMA: slow weight gain and gassiness. For a more in depth list of common symptoms of a CMA, check out this video created by my colleagues, Rob and Mallory. 

Slow weight gain

You may be asking yourself ‘What factors are taken into consideration when diagnosing an infant or child with slow weight gain’? Slow weight gain is defined as gaining weight at a slower rate than other children who are at the same age and sex.

A child's weight and height generally track in a fairly consistent trend over time, with some occasional fluctuation. This pattern can be described as a percentile on a growth curve. By plotting a child's weight or height (length in the case of an infant or toddler) over time, a growth curve demonstrates their pattern of growth.

There is a range of possible reasons for why a child might gain weight slowly, and often more than one reason is contributing at a time. Individuals with a cow milk allergy often experience problems with digestion or absorption of food leading to malabsorption of nutrients. Malabsorption essentially means that the body cannot utilize the nutrients from food, potentially leading to deficiencies and possible slow weight gain. You can read more about slow weight gain here.

Slow weight gain can often lead to a diagnosis of ‘Failure to Thrive' (FTT). My colleague, Jody, will be discussing FTT during next week’s blog post. As always, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s healthcare professional if you are concerned about your child’s weight.

Gas (Flatulence)

Gas is defined as the state of having excessive stomach or intestinal air or gas. This can result in uncomfortable feelings of bloating, as well as increased belching (or burping, as it’s commonly referred to) or passing of gas from the bottom. Because of this uncomfortable feeling, an infant or child may become “fussy”, “cranky”, or “colicky”. If you feel that your child is unusually “fussy” and/or notice that your child is belching or passing gas excessively, reach out to his or her healthcare professional to discuss your concerns. Read more about this and other symptoms here.

Did you notice either of these symptoms in your little one before his/her healthcare team diagnosed CMA?

- Kendra Valle, RDN, LDN

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