Food Allergies/Milk and Kiwi allergy
Hello, I would like to ask the following questions on food allergy and I hope you can help solving my problem.
Ever since I go to primary school, my mother makes me drink milk and yogurt every day, claiming that they can help me growing taller as I have a short stature. But after a while, I can feel my stomach twisted like a towel for the whole morning. I don't have diarrhea or most of the symptoms that a person with milk allergy will have, and I don't feel a thing when consuming cheese. Is my case counted as allergy or what?
Second question is that when I eat kiwi fruit (especially green ones), my throat sores and burns. But when I eat other citrus fruits like orange or clementines, I am perfectly fine. Is that counted as allergy? If so, what may I be allergic to?
None of my family members have such kind of problems, and my mother thinks that I am just making up an excuse of not taking those food. And I am ethnically Chinese and a teenager. I really hope I can get rid of these problems one day.
Firstly, I apolgise that this reply is delayed. The People who run this site no longer recognised my password for some time. It now seems to work again!
If you are ethnicaly Chinese, then it is 95% certain you have congenital acquired hypolactasia. This means that in many racial groups the ability to digest the sugar lactose drops severely after childhood. This can produce a variety of symptoms (pain, diarhoea, loose or runny stools/ faeces) on eating milk and other milk products. Lactose is in all milk, but is usually removed by making cheese and most kinds of yoghurt. Chinese babies naturally loose gut lactase levels from the age of 3 years onwards. Which may explain why milk products are rarely used in most Chinese and Asian traditional diets. It causes no harm and the effects are variable, being related to a combination of the residual levels of gut lactase and the dose of lactose eaten. With very low gut lactase levels, lactose is not digested and passes into the large bowel. This sugar is then digested by bacteria in the colon producing the things that increase lower gut action. Rates of congenital hypolactasia are 95% in normal Chinese, 50% in Indians and 5% or less of British/West Europeans.
Some people find they can tolerate these foods by adding commercially made lactase enzyme. This is available in pharmacies and some supermarkets in the UK.
A simple test is to swallow 50G of lactose sugar and seeing what happens! Warning (1): In one chinese patient of mine who did not suffer diarhoea normally, this produced very severe diarhoea. Warning (2) Absent lactase can also be due to some kinds of gut diseases. These can include coeliac disease (which can produce growth retardation in children); and inflamatory gut diseases. If you have aneamia or other more general symptoms, you should take medical advice to exclude these conditions.
Allergy to Kiwi fruit is a true food allergy. Kiwi is not a citrus and does not cross-react with citrus. Allergy to latex is said to go along with it ocassionaly. That can be demonstrated by a simple skin prick test using a needle that is pricked into a Kiwi immediately before.
If you need more information about any of this, just write again.