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lactose intolerance vs milk allergies


Lactose-Intolerance vs. Milk Allergies

Have you ever been curious about the differences between lactose-intolerance and milk allergies? Maybe you assumed they were the same thing  – sufferers of both avoid milk, after all.

Let us clear up any confusion. Here are the most significant differences between the two:  


When you’re lactose-intolerant, your body has insufficient amounts of lactate, which is the enzyme that helps to break down the lactose in dairy products – you have a digestive problem.

A milk allergy, like other food allergies, is characterized by the allergic reaction it gives when you (whether you knew it or not) are allergic – you have an immune system problem.

Side Effects

People with lactose-intolerance will suffer from stomach discomfort after eating dairy products. If you only have an intolerance, the side effects will be mostly digestive, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.  

People with a milk allergy, however, might experience this same stomach discomfort in addition to traditional anaphylaxis symptoms. These symptoms may include itching, swelling of the lips and throat, and even trouble breathing.

Because of this, milk allergies can be much more dangerous than a lactose intolerance.

When it develops

This is one of the biggest differentiators, as milk allergies can mostly be diagnosed in the early childhood – even infant – stage. Milk allergies are actually more common in small children, with the children often growing out of the allergy with age.

Oppositely, lactose-intolerance usually develops later in life. It can develop as a result of an infection, because of your diet, or simply because our ability to break down lactose decreases with age.

Do you show the symptoms of a milk allergy?

It’s important that you sort out the cause of your discomfort soon, so that you won’t have a serious anaphylaxis reaction without an emergency plan.  Schedule your consultation with our allergy experts today, so that we can work to end your discomfort for good!