Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) is the most common food allergy in infants and children, affecting around 2-7% in the UK. In CMPA the allergy is to one of the proteins found in cow’s milk.
CMPA usually develops early in life, after the baby’s first tastes of cow’s milk, either as formula milk or used in weaning foods. Sometimes it can occur in babies which are breastfed if the mum drinks cows’ milk (although this is much rarer).
Diagnosis of CMPA can be difficult. It helps to be aware of the symptoms to assist the health professionals in reaching a diagnosis. Many babies have digestive issues such as colic, reflux or lactose intolerance and CMPA can often be misdiagnosed. There are many symptoms a baby may suffer from when reacting to cow’s milk protein and the problem with diagnosing CMPA is that they are very common ailments, and often not linked to CMP in the first instance.