Is It Possible for a 3-Year-Old to Suddenly Develop a Dairy Allergy? An Expert Weighs In

A mom writes in with a question about her 3-year-old son, whom she worries may have recently developed a dairy allergy/become lactose intolerant despite not having an issue with dairy previously.

Allergy-Freedom, Inc. founder Laura Dillon weighs in below with some expert advice.

Is It Possible for a 3-Year-Old to Suddenly Develop a Dairy Allergy? An Expert Weighs In

Mamas Uncut fan asks:

“My son has recently started showing signs of lactose intolerance or a milk allergy. No problems up until a week ago. We are waiting on an appointment to have him tested, but in the meantime, I am hoping to get some more insight.

My son is 3 and has been happily drinking milk, eating cheese, yogurt and everything dairy with no symptoms. A week ago he woke up with a bad rash in clusters all over his body. Doctors said it was contact dermatitis and gave him some steroid cream. Rash has cleared up since. But again he has woken up with the same rash, but all over his body. Yesterday he drank a good 8-10oz glass of milk. He is gassy but not bloated and isn’t in pain. Just a bit itchy he says. Until we know what’s happening, we aren’t giving him any milk products. (Appointment is Monday to get a requisition to then get tested). I will add that the rash has not shown up on his head or face. Just neck down. Is it normal to suddenly become lactose intolerant?”

– Mamas Uncut Community Member

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Advice from Laura Dillon

Is It Possible for a 3-Year-Old to Suddenly Develop a Dairy Allergy? An Expert Weighs In

Lactose intolerance can develop at any age. I developed lactose intolerance when I was 16 years old. Prior to that, I had no issues eating or drinking milk. What I have learned practicing holistic health is a concept called the “overloaded bucket theory”. If you have a bucket and you fill it to the top with water, anything that you add to it is going to make it overflow. Unless it is a rash from a virus, skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, etc. often have to do with an overloaded bucket.  What can be causing your son’s bucket to overflow? It can be many things.

It looks like you are already moving forward to get your son tested for dairy. If the allergy test comes back negative, he may still have a sensitivity to it. You can do a food sensitivity screening called an IgG test.  A naturopathic doctor in your area could help you.

Does he have any other sensitivities: other foods, dust mites, seasonal allergies, pets/animals, mold, etc.?  These can all contribute to an “overloaded bucket” or a heightened immune system. What type of detergent and cleaning products do you use?  A lot of mainstream household items contain a lot of chemicals and can contribute to one’s overloaded bucket or a heightened immune system.  Fragrance plug-ins, scented candles, etc. can all contribute to this. Use more natural or plant-based products when possible. And use detergents such as “All Free and Clear” without scents and dyes in them.

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