A casein allergy is an allergy to the milk protein, casein. The allergic reaction is due to the immune system reacting to contact and/or ingestion of the protein.
Are there other products with casein besides milk?
Yes, all dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, kefir, butter and so on contain casein. This protein is also used as an emulsifier and binding agent. You may find the following casein derivatives on ingredients labels: caseine, caseinate, ammonium caseinate, calcium caseinate, casein hydrolysate, iron Caseinate, magnesium caseinate, paracasein, potassium caseinate, rennet casein, sodium caseinate, and zinc caseinate for example. If in doubt about an ingredient call the manufacturer to clarify whether it is safe to consume.
What calcium rich foods should be eaten if I cannot eat dairy products?
You can use rice, almond, and soy milks in place of milk. Look for calcium and Vitamin D enriched alternative milks that have no casein, whey, or dairy in the ingredients. Broccoli, molasses, figs, leafy green vegetables, salmon (with bones), and sesame seeds are all calcium rich foods. There are safe calcium supplements you can take on a regular basis in order to protect bone health. www.GoDairyFree.org has more information about substitutions, dining out, cooking, baking, and more. We also recommend seeing a qualified nutritionist who has experience working with people with food allergies.
If you suspect you have food allergies, see your doctor or allergist for testing and diagnosis. Knowing what foods to avoid and carrying emergency medicine like epinephrine, if needed, can save your life if you have a serious allergy.