Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Dairy Allergies Damage Parents Too

Act Against Allergy sent out a press release titled Cows' milk allergy in infants causes considerable distress to entire family.

Here's some of what it said:

Cows' milk allergy (CMA) has considerable negative effects on the family unit, as exposed by findings from an international survey. In addition to coping with the disturbing physical effects of the condition on the child (including vomiting, diarrhoea, failure to thrive and eczema), 70% of parents of children with CMA said that it makes them feel guilty and distressed and 82% said that it has caused them to lose sleep.1


Dr Martin Brueton, an Act Against Allergy Advisory Board Member and Emeritus Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, UK, commented: "Having a child with cows' milk allergy can be very stressful for parents. The average baby with cows' milk allergy may suffer from an array of symptoms, from skin rashes to gastric problems, cries a lot and often shows problems with weight gain. Parents feel helpless as the instinct to feed their infant even more milk - usually the infant's sole food source - compounds rather than solves the problem. Until the child is properly diagnosed and put onto a suitable milk substitute, the impact on the parents and the family as a whole is considerable."

In the survey, commissioned by Act Against Allergy, further impact on family life was revealed. As a direct result of having a child with CMA, half (49%) the respondents have missed work, over a third (38%) have argued with their partner and 39% said the lives of other children in the family have also been disrupted.1

(1) Telephone Survey among 1,000 European Parents of Children Aged 0-3 Years and 505 healthcare professionals (HCPs), spread equally across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. KRC Research, November/December 2005

More specific findings of that survey include:
▪ 82% of parents say that their child's CMA has caused them to lose sleep.

▪ 70% of parents say their child's CMA makes them feel guilty.

▪ Half (49%) of parents say they have had to miss work because of their child's allergy.

▪ Half (49%) say their child failed to thrive as a result of CMA.

▪ 39% say the lives of other children in the family have also been disrupted.

▪ 38% claim that CMA has caused arguments with their partners.

Who is Act Against Allergy?
Act Against Allergy is an interactive communications programme designed to increase the awareness of cows' milk allergy in infants, spearheaded by an International Taskforce of experts in the field and sponsored by SHS International.

The Act Against Allergy website is and features a wealth of information on CMA, including interactive tools for parents such as an online clinical diary to track their child's progress, a forum to share experiences with other CMA parents and an 'Ask the Expert' section enabling direct interaction with the Chair of the Act Against Allergy taskforce.

I checked the site out. It is actually sponsored by the makers of Neocate Infant Formula and other specialty formulas for babies who cannot have milk- or soy-based formulas because of allergies. Even though it is a commercial site, it appears to have solid, reasonable information, without especial biases. You can also ask questions in their forums about your individual problems.

They are correct about lactose intolerance, something that also impresses me, since that's rare.
Lactose intolerance is a popular but not-evidence based diagnosis in crying babies, but primary lactose intolerance at this age is almost non-existing, and secondary lactose intolerance is at this age very transient and related to infectious GE or caused by CMA as primary factor.

You should check them out and decide for yourself.

Just a small point. I don't mind reading press releases. (You should never have to. Only trained professionals can put themselves through that agony.) I know enough to throw out the hype and keep just the parts that actually offer some useful information. They are not easy to write. I know. I've done many myself. But putting a completed press release out to the public shouldn't be that tough.

Yet, apparently it's too tough a job for the supposed professionals. The one at EurekAlert was so curtailed that it left off half the release, including all the footnotes. Even so, the morons kept the footnote numbers in the text, inviting you to search all over for something that wasn't there. The one I quoted was from ANP Pers Support, which is a joint venture of ANP and PR Newswire. Their release was complete. Almost. They managed to leave out all the % signs from the entire survey, making it almost unintelligible.

Hey, Act Against Allergy. Get your money back!

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