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.