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Asthma and Milk Allergy/Intolerance

18 months ago whenever I had milk products or food that has milk as an ingredient I got severe catarrh and coughing and my voice became hoarse and sometimes went completely. My breathing was affected and my asthma went out of control and I was having asthma attacks on a daily basis. I had an intolerance test for milk which came back positive and was told that if I stayed off dairy for 6 months this would stop the problem. I did this but have now found the problem has crept back; every time I have milk or food that contains milk I have catarrh and coughing and my voice goes. I have now taken all milk from my diet as I do not want my asthma to go out of control again. Does anyone else have this problem and will I have to give up milk forever?

3 Replies

Is it a milk protein allergy, and did they specify if it was just Whey, or all milk protein. If its just Whey then you might be able to have some dairy stuff - i dont have a milk allergy so i'm not sure how it works (Dr Google might know!!) Unfortunately, i suspect it will be for life, i know recovering from allergies is pretty rare. If you are an allergic type of person then (if you arent already) there are anti-histamines and things like Montelukast (which i believe reduces allergic asthma) and its possible that on these treatments a small level of exposure wouldn't cause a significant flare-up, however they are unlikely to put you on anti-histamines for avoidable triggers only, and even if they do its probably not worth risking your asthma getting bad to eat dairy.

It's worth going back to your GP and discussing it with them, they may have suggestions, and a more specific list of foods to avoid so you can eat as much as possible!


Allergies dont tend to disappear to the best of my knowledge, so will need continual management. Luckily, if they have tested you and you have come back positive for milk, you can avoid it. I understand what a pain it is, as I have coeliac disease and cannot have gluten. But, if it keeps you well, its certainly worth it. Im severely allergic to grass pollen, have been since a kid (now almost 40) - unfortunately, I cant avoid that one lol.

Everyones allergies are individual, so I dont have a problem with any foodstuffs asthma wise. I guess the decision is yours as to whether you want to avoid it long term.

Lynda :)


I'm on a very restictive diet for my asthma and IBS. I am to avoid dairy, eggs, yeast and gluten. I am also veggie by choice.

If you definately need to be avoiding some foods it is best to keep clear of them as you have found that symptoms creep back. A true allergic reaction will cause symptoms pretty much straight away when food is ingested but a intolerance may allow you to eat a certain level of the food before symptoms creep in.

I have true allergy to diary and eggs and intolerance to yeast and gluten-so I can eat a little amount before my IBS goes mad-then I regret enjoying something I shouldn't really have eaten!!

I guess it all depends on whether gaining control over your asthma or eating foods you really shouldn't-and I think I *know* which one it would be.

Go to your GP or next cons appt and ask to see a dietician. They will be able to help you to still eat a balanced diet and talk to you about the substitutes you can have instead.



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