Joint Pain (Sjogren’s) & Milk


Tiffany ~ I was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome (autoimmune disease that causes dry eyes, dry mouth, joint stiffness/pain) and Celiac disease (gluten intolerance) in Oct 2007. Also in my testing I discovered I was casein (milk protein) intolerant.  I went gluten free first and then 6 months later VERY hesitantly went dairy free. Gluten free was easy for me for lots of reasons, mainly because I was already convinced of the horrible affects that gluten had on my body.  Casein or dairy free was a big struggle.  Well, I'm 100% convinced now! …

At first, I tested the casein intolerance several times which revealed symptoms you cannot see when you are always eating something. This means I would go two weeks with absolutely no dairy in anything I ate, then would have a hot chocolate (made with whole cup of milk) from Starbucks. This went on several times.  Guess what?  I experienced things like eczema, which I've never had before, feeling very, very depressed for a short period of time such as only for a day, gas and constipation. These symptoms weren't as severe as with gluten, but it was enough for me to realize I needed to stay away from it.  With my body trying to heal and recover from the damage of Celiac, I didn't want to put further strain on my digestive system.  AND, I hated having eczema on my face too.  So, it's been nearly a year of dairy free.

Last Friday I fell off the wagon.  I just really wanted some ice cream. So, I took a chance.  My husband and I got some ice cream on our way to the movie.  I started to eat it and it was okay.  Certainly not as good as I wanted it to be.  I didn't even eat it all.  Within 1 hour, at the movie, I started having one of the most painful attacks of arthritis.  I've only ever dealt with joint stiffness in regard to my Sjogren's Syndrome.  This was way worse.  I felt like someone was stabbing my knee with a knife for about 20 minutes.  It was insane!  There is NO doubt in my mind it was caused by the milk.  I won't be eating dairy again.  I'm convinced and I really don't need it anyway.

If you are dealing with some issues related to dairy, have an autoimmune disease or arthritis of any kind, I urge you to consider being dairy free for a good period of time.  What you eat can have a tremendous impact on how you feel and what's going on in your body. It could change your life.  It'll be a challenge, but you'll feel so much better that it'll be worth it.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Thank you so much for your post! I have just stumbled on it after searching Milk Allergy.
    Last year I suddenly developed dry eyes and the doctors have no idea why. After seeing a naturopath and being advised to avoid gluten and take herbs, I feel significantly better but I still have to use eye drops once per day, and have joint pain. Then I developed Asthma during winter which won’t ease. The other day I noticed I was wheezy after having a cup of tea with milk in it and so since then I have stopped having milk and wow the difference is amazing.
    I really think I’m on to something as my joints are less stiff as well. Thank you for taking the time to write this post and putting it out there for us all. 🙂 Wishing you lots of good health for the future xxx

  2. I have just learned that I am Sjogren’s positive. I developed arthritis about 6 months ago and it got so bad I couldn’t move. I cut gluten out of my diet and my symptoms are significantly better! But I have been wondering about the casein and the more I read the more I think I have to give it up! I don’t mind the milk or the ice cream but will SO miss the cheese and the yogurt. Thank you for your post, I am encouraged that it will be worth it!

  3. Thank you for posting this. I’ve been gluten free for 3 years and have started having joint pain symptoms, dry eyes and mouth, etc. I can barely walk. I’m toying with the idea of going dairy free as well. i think I need to at least try it.

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