Dairy-Free and Symptom-Free for 15 Years


Cari ~ When I was young I had multiple food allergies then they all seemed to go away once I hit puberty…or so I thought.  After 4 years of being treated for what they thought were ulcers it turned out to be lactose intolerance.  Once I pulled lactose out of my diet I noticed I was still getting sick so I pulled milk proteins out of my diet as well.  The constant nausea, intestinal pain, vomiting, lethargy and asthma issues were gone! 

I am completely dairy free and have been for going on 15 years. I was a label reader before it was cool (thank GOSH for the new simple allergy warnings!) and even have to educate doctors and pharmacist that even minute amounts of dairy in the coating of my prescriptions will set my insane intolerance off! I am so excited to have found this website where I can come and not hear "I couldn't live without cheese!" or "Dairy? So you can't have eggs either?" People who don't eat this way just don't get it. But they would if their body reacted like it had severe food poisoning if they ingested it like mine does! Stay strong my non-dairy friends!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food 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, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. Thank you so much Alisa for your posts.
    For me I think I am in a Telogen Efflivium phase (but for a long time…~2 years). I had a full head with thick hairs all my life, but since 3 years, my hair thinned and remained thin all those 3 years. But still I have almost a full head, slightly receding. I suspected dairy, because I almost never took dairy before and started back to take Dairy around 3 years too. But now if I stop dairy, my hair will shed again after few days. Its still very complex to me, because I have had almost all the vitamins (at least those known!) from food by diversifying my diet (carrots, tuna, oysters, vegetables, meat, chicken, fruits, green tea, etc). I am trying to stop my dairy but I am afraid it was the lack of dairy during all my childhood that cause my hair to thin.
    A lot of people reporting that abstinence may help. Others report veganism causes hair loss after few months and almost all those predisposed to acne seem to pinpoint milk/dairy to cause acne (but not sure about hair loss for those people).
    So I am stock with two problems: Hair loss and hair regrowth. I completely stopped hair loss. But my hair is thin. And I am trying to get regrowth, because I don’t think my thin hair can sustain more that 2-3 years. I will update you if I get any interesting results. The only problem with hair is that experimenting may take 1 to 4 months to see results (carefulness and patience are requirements).
    Thank you again.

    • I’m not a physician, and can’t advise you medically, but I would recommend consulting a physician on this as it could be something that runs much deeper than diet. If you are eating a balanced diet, then general nutrients are rarely the issue. You can read more about what makes dairy “special” here – http://www.godairyfree.org/health-info/all-about-milk/contents-of-milk. But from my personal experience, when you are talking about hair loss and acne, you are often talking about hormones. Some studies have speculated that the hormones in dairy could be an acne trigger, especially during the already “hormonal” years. Likewise, perhaps a dietitian and physician could shed some light on if your hair issues are also hormonal, and perhaps the hormones in dairy are helping in that respect. Low thyroid hormone can cause hair loss, and I’m not certain on this, but I thought I’d read that low Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone) can have similar effects. Most dairy is fortified with vitamin D, so those who get no sunshine (without sunblock) and cut out dairy without adding vitamin D in via supplementation or diet could possibly be at risk for low vitamin D. There are other hormones that an endocrinologist might be able to address. Again, I am not a physician and this should not be construed as medical advice.

  2. Hi Alisa,
    By going dairy free, did you notice hair thinning and any hair loss after all these years? Also did you have acne when teenager?

    • I’ve always had super-fine hair, but a full head of it! No thinning at all, in fact quite healthy and no grays yet 🙂 I only got acne from dairy consumption, which was minor. Acne hasn’t been a notable problem for me.

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