Can Milk Allergy Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Can allergy to milk stimulate rheumatoid arthritis?

Doctor's response

There were 2 whole (not skim!) cases reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in the early 80's from Florida. In these patients, the joint inflammation coincided with milk intake. Whether or not milk allergy caused the flare up has never been satisfactorily proven. I am unaware of any follow up cases or studies.

Food allergy is not felt to be a significant factor in either precipitating or aggravating rheumatoid arthritis.

Thank you for your question.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018