Cow’s milk may cause ENT problems

Researchers from the Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO of the American Academy of Otolaryngology have said that persistent ear, nose and throat problems in babies and children could be related to food allergies. Dr Angela Paddack and colleagues reviewed 101 youngsters with suspected cow’s milk protein allergy who had visited gastroenterology and otolaryngology clinics. They found food hypersensitivity is a common diagnosis, but where some children recover with standard reflux therapy, those with ENT problems do not.

All the 101 children Dr Paddack and colleagues reviewed had gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea, vomiting, reflux and constipation, and when they were put on a cow’s milk protein elimination diet 91% of them improved. Twenty-five of the children who improved were found to have ENT issues that had not responded to reflux therapy. The most common ENT issues were oropharyngeal dysphagia (swallowing issues) and persistent upper airway congestion.

Sixty percent of the children with ENT disease improved with an elimination diet. Dr Paddack advised that allergy to cow’s milk causes the same reaction in the upper airway as it does in the gut, and the children experience a chronic inflammatory response, such as congestion, sometimes necessitating air tubes. Ear, nose and throat doctors need to look at cow’s milk allergy being a possible cause of these type of symptoms, if the symptoms do not improve with traditional management.

Source: Health 24

Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF)

First published in September 2011


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