8 doctors weighed in:

How do milk allergies differ from lactose intolerance?

8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alex Martinez
Internal Medicine - Allergy
6 doctors agree

In brief: Antibodies

People with a milk allergy develop antibodies to proteins in milk; every time they are exposed to those proteins (whether it's a little or a lot), they have a reaction.
People with lactose intolerance are missing an enzyme that allows them to break down lactose; without the enzyme, the sugar in milk passes through their digestive tract unchanged causing symptoms. A little milk is often tolerated.

In brief: Antibodies

People with a milk allergy develop antibodies to proteins in milk; every time they are exposed to those proteins (whether it's a little or a lot), they have a reaction.
People with lactose intolerance are missing an enzyme that allows them to break down lactose; without the enzyme, the sugar in milk passes through their digestive tract unchanged causing symptoms. A little milk is often tolerated.
Dr. Alex Martinez
Dr. Alex Martinez
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Joel Selter
Also patients with lactose intolerance can usually tolerate lactose free milk as well as dairy items consumed with a lactaid pill or two.
Dr. Jack Mutnick
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology

In brief: Food Allergies

Milk allergy means you have an immune-mediated (ige) allergic reaction to the dairy proteins whereas lactose intolerance is simply the lack of the lactase enzyme which is used to break down lactose, the primary sugar in milk.

In brief: Food Allergies

Milk allergy means you have an immune-mediated (ige) allergic reaction to the dairy proteins whereas lactose intolerance is simply the lack of the lactase enzyme which is used to break down lactose, the primary sugar in milk.
Dr. Jack Mutnick
Dr. Jack Mutnick
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Marsha Davis
Board Certified,
24 years in practice
67M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors