Hydrolysate Formula: Nutramigen and Alimentum are hydrolysate formulas. Although these formulas are hypoallergenic, the protein in these formulas is only partially broken down. Therefore, allergic reactions can still occur to the protein fragments in this formula.
Amino Acid-Based Formula: Around the office, this formula has been called “super” hypoallergenic. That's because it is made from individual, non-allergenic amino acids. These "building blocks" of protein are the least allergenic source of protein, and are easy to absorb. Neocate and Elecare are both amino acid-based formulas. Neocate powdered formulas are made in a 100% dairy protein-free environment.
Sometimes, babies with symptoms of milk protein allergy are given a hydrolysate formula first to see if it resolves signs and symptoms. If the baby is still sick after several weeks, and signs and symptoms haven't fully resolved, the next step is often switching to an amino acid-based formula. However, that can mean many weeks (that feel like an eternity!) of a sick, miserable baby and exhausted, stressed out parents.
In certain cases, doctors may recommend starting with the amino acid-based formula – which they know will resolve signs and symptoms of milk and multiple food allergies. If the baby does well on it (for infants with milk protein allergy, symptoms usually resolve within three to fourteen days of starting Neocate), after a few weeks parents can try to transition the baby to a hydrolysate. If the Neocate doesn’t help the baby, that tells the doctor that the signs and symptoms are not related to a milk protein allergy, and the medical team needs to do some more investigating to find out what’s really wrong. If you have a baby recently diagnosed with milk protein allergy, talk to your doctor about the best approach.
If you think your little one might have a milk protein allergy, but hasn’t been diagnosed yet, make an appointment with your doctor.
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