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Understanding Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy in primary care

Hetal Dhruve explains what nurses need to know about diagnosing and treating this allergy

In recent years, there has been a significant rise in the number of adults and children suffering food allergies. An allergy can be defined as an adverse health effect arising from a specific immune response on exposure to a given food.1 Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) is specific to the abnormal response to proteins found in cow’s milk or milk substitute products containing the proteins.2

Identification of CMPA can be difficult and is often over-estimated due to possible misinterpretations of presumed reactions to milk. Typical symptoms of CMPA can be both vague as well as being common in children who do not have allergy; including commonly presented symptoms such as skin rashes, reflux, colic and diarrhoea.1

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