What’s The Deal With Dairy Intolerance?
Are You Lactose or Casein Intolerant?
Most people don’t know whether they have a dairy intolerance. Especially, if they’ve always had symptoms. These symptoms become the new norm and easily submissible. Some of the most common symptoms are excess flatulence, bloating, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain and discomfort. Dairy can also cause nasty skin issues like eczema, hives, and rashes. It can also cause headaches, fatigue, food malabsorption, and joint pain. Oddly, it can also cause coughing, stuffy nose, and mucus.
There are between 30 million to 50 million adults who are intolerant to dairy.
I’m going to break down the difference between lactose and casein, WHY we are intolerant to them and WHAT to do about it. First up….
What is Lactose?
Lactose is the carbohydrate sugar that is in milk. People that are lactose intolerant are unable to fully digest the sugar lactose in milk products.
Why Lactose Intolerance?
Our small intestines make an enzyme called lactase; lactase breaks down lactose found in dairy. If we aren’t making enough lactase, the lactose we eat and drink won’t digest in our small intestines. Our colon will break down the lactose with bacteria, thus causing those dreadful symptoms.
What To Do About It?
Limit the amount of lactose you consume in dairy products that contain lactose. You could also take a lactase enzyme to help your body digest the lactose you’ve consumed. However, this doesn’t always prevent symptoms but may decrease them.
Low Lactose Dairy Products
· Butter · Hard Cheese · Probiotic yogurt · Kefir · Heavy Cream
What is Casein?
Casein is one of the main proteins found in most cow dairy products. It can cause an immune response which causes inflammation.
Why Casein Intolerance?
Our bodies can mistake casein as a threat. This triggers a reaction to attempt to fight the casein off. Sometimes, this can lead to an allergic reaction.
What To Do About It?
Take a digestive enzyme like Dairy Assist ™ or GlutenEase™ (if your gluten intolerant, they go hand in hand). Look out for products containing milk or milk powder, such as cookies and crackers. Unfortunately, Casein can also be found in less obvious foods, like natural flavorings and nondairy creamers. It’s best to avoid foods with packaging statements like “made in a facility with milk” or “may contain milk” as these most likely contain casein.
Low or Casein Free Dairy Products?
· Butter · Ice Cream · Ghee (clarified butter) · Goat cheese or milk
Where to Get Calcium and Vitamin D if Not From Dairy?
· Spinach · White beans · Kale · Collards · Soybeans · Okra
· Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
Vitamin D Sources
· Beef Liver · Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon · Egg Yolks
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms after eating dairy, take a break from it. Give up dairy for 2 weeks and then slowly (small amounts building up to more each day) introduce it back into your life. Be patient with yourself and let your body tell you what it needs.