The diagnosis and management of cow milk protein intolerance in the primary care setting

Pediatr Nurs. 2005 Nov-Dec;31(6):486-93.


Cow milk protein intolerance (CMPI) affects 3% of infants under the age of 12 months and is often misdiagnosed as GERD or colic, risking dangerous exposure to antigens. Most infants out grow CMPI by 12 months; however, those with IgE-mediated reactions usually continue to be intolerant to cow's milk proteins and also develop other allergens including environmental allergens that cause asthmatic symptoms. Clinical manifestations of CMPI include diarrhea, bloody stools, vomiting, feeding refusal, eczema, atopic dermatitis, urticaria, angioedema, allergic rhinitis, coughing, wheezing, failure to thrive, and anaphylaxis. The research and literature showed that CMPI is easily missed in the primary care setting and needs to be considered as a cause of infant distress and clinical symptoms. This article focuses on correctly diagnosing CMPI and managing it in the primary care setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Breast Feeding
  • Colic / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Information Services
  • Internet
  • Intestinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Lactose Intolerance / blood
  • Lactose Intolerance / complications
  • Lactose Intolerance / diagnosis*
  • Lactose Intolerance / prevention & control*
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / blood
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / prevention & control*
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Skin Tests
  • Social Support


  • Immunoglobulin E