Are you experiencing stomach pain, wind, cramping, bloating and/or diarrhoea and you consume dairy foods? You could have a dairy intolerance. Dairy products have also been associated with eczema, dermatitis, acne, respiratory mucus congestion and sinus problems.

We are led to believe that milk and other dairy products are an essential and healthy component of a balanced diet and that reduction or avoidance will lead to nutrient deficiency, namely calcium. However, there is much evidence to support the reduction or avoidance of dairy products even if you are not allergic to them.

Health problems resulting from dairy begin with modern farming, breeding and processing methods. For example, hormones and antibiotics are finding their way into our milk, pasteurisation can destroy numerous essential enzymes, and the removal of butter fat, as in skim milk, reduces the ability of the body to absorb and utilize the nutrients in the milk and also removes the fat soluble vitamins.

Do I have a dairy intolerance lactose intolerance?

Lactose intolerance is a general description used for people who cannot easily digest lactose, a sugar found naturally in milk. Lactase, the enzyme in the digestive system that helps break down lactose, declines from the age of two. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, gas, cramping, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation. Symptoms may occur one hour to a few days after dairy consumption. Dairy products have also been associated with eczema, dermatitis, acne, mucous congestion and sinus problems.

Do I have a milk allergy?

Dairy intolerance including cows milk is more common than you may think

Dairy products contain a protein called casein, which is very hard to digest. Casein is 300 times higher in cow’s milk than it is in human milk. True milk allergy to casein will only affect about 3% of the population; however, milk (lactose) intolerance is more widely spread. Dairy allergy appears to be due to the Casein A1 fraction of milk. It is
worthwhile attempting consumption of A2 milk in those with demonstrable dairy allergy.

Best way forward to detect a dairy intolerance?

Book a consultation to find out if you do have a dairy intolerance and if the issue is milk, lactose and/or other foods triggering your symptoms.  Using testing in my clinic, I am also able to address causal factors as to why you may have a food intolerance in the first place: genetic reasons, intestinal dysbiosis, enzyme deficiency, chemical or heavy metal sensitivity, viral, bacterial or parasitic infection, and even candida.

In the meantime, try eliminating milk and all other dairy products and see if your symptoms improve. Some people can get away with eating yoghurt, as it contains organisms that produce lactase, which digests lactose – but if your intolerance is so severe yoghurt makes you bloated, it may be best to avoid it. Great alternatives are coconut or almond yoghurts.

Take a dairy-free Lactobacillus probiotic product that contains at least four billion organisms twice a day with meals. This restores helpful bacteria in the gut to aid in digestion. Digestive enzymes also help you digest food more efficiently (particularly as an ageing adult), so that less irritation is caused.