What should I think about before visiting the doctor?
Now you maybe wondering, 'Is it cow's milk allergy?' If you think that your baby might be showing some signs and symptoms of cow’s milk allergy, it’s important to make an appointment to discuss this with your doctor.
Before you see the doctor, it’s helpful to gather all the information that the doctor might want to know about your baby’s symptoms. You should also think about all the questions you want to ask to make sure you get the most out of your appointment. Here are a few things to think about.
1. How would I describe my baby’s symptoms?
Cow's milk allergy can cause a wide variety of possible symptoms. In your baby's assessment, the doctor will ask you lots of questions to try and build up an accurate picture of what's going on.
To help you prepare for these questions, fill in this questionnaire before your appointment and take it along with you. You’ll need a good idea of your baby’s symptoms to fill it in accurately, so it’s helpful to track their symptoms until your appointment. Use this symptoms diary to write down what you notice and at what time of day, as well as what you’re feeding your baby.
2. What questions would I like to ask my doctor?
To make sure you get all the answers you need from your appointment, it’s a good idea to make a list of all your questions as and when they come to mind, so you don’t forget them later on.
Here are a few basic questions to get you started:
- What could be causing my baby’s symptoms?
- Is it possible that my baby has a food allergy like cow’s milk allergy?
- Do we need to do any allergy tests?
- If tests are being done, how long will it take to get the results?
- Should I make any changes to my own diet if I’m breastfeeding my baby?
- Should I switch my baby onto a hypoallergenic formula designed for babies with cow’s milk allergy if they are being formula-fed?
- How soon after making these dietary changes should I expect to see changes in my baby’s symptoms?
- Does my baby need to see a specialist?
Find out more about how your GP will work with you to diagnose a food allergy from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK.
Once your doctor has had a detailed discussion with you about your baby’s symptoms, it’s possible that they may ask you to try some treatments to help with the individual symptoms as a first port of call. For example, you might be asked to use emollient and steroid creams for eczema, or be given advice on feeding or bowel symptoms.
If your baby’s symptoms don’t improve, your doctor may consider cow’s milk allergy. There are two types of this food allergy that they might consider: IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated allergy.