The main difference is that CMA is a food allergy, which means that the immune system overreacts to one or more proteins contained in cow’s milk. To avoid a food allergic reaction, it is important to avoid the intake of the protein.
Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest the milk sugar which is called lactose. It is a food intolerance which means that the body cannot deal with this nutrient. The immune system is not involved so that no allergic reaction takes place. Symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, flatulence, or diarrhoea can be signs for lactose intolerance. The skin or the respiratory tract are not usually affected. Here again, the symptoms of lactose intolerance can only be managed by avoiding all foods containing lactose, e.g. all sorts of milk and dairy products. Fortunately, lactose-free milk and dairy products are available in most shops and can be a good alternative.
Please go and see your child’s doctor if you’re worried or not sure about your child’s symptoms.