Learning about Lactose Intolerance


Calista ~ As a reference for you, if you're not sure whether you're lactose intolerant or not, I thought I'd share some of my personal symptoms since they weren't all the "typical" lactose intolerant ones.  This is truly an incapacitating illness that can totally catch you off-guard, no matter how young or old you might be.  I have struggled for the past 6 months, since my diagnosis, to cut dairy out.  It is difficult, but it's possible. Believe me, when my doctor first told me I could no longer have cheese in any form, I cried.  Right there in the office with my doctor looking at me awkwardly, I cried.  My favorite meal, being a college-aged student living in the dorms, was lasagna hamburger helper and mac'n'cheese.  And what college student doesn't have bagels and cream cheese in their room as a breakfast option?  Yeah, I cried …

But take heart–there are other options, and though it's hard, it's possible.  Take a look at my symptoms to see if yours match.  Then seriously, try taking dairy out of your diet.  I was the dairy queen (no pun intended), and now I live totally without it.  Try it.

My symptoms included:
–nausea after every meal
–intestinal cramps that buckled me over –muscle aches and tension headaches –terrible fatigue (no good as a college student, when you're pulling all-nighters and hanging out with friends into the wee hours of the morning) –PMS-like symptoms, only they lasted all month long –irregular bowel movements –switching from constipation to diarrhea, with nothing in between –ACID REFLUX to the max (I couldn't even run for a workout because it churned up acid so easily) –general irritability and difficulty concentrating

When I cut out dairy, my symptoms started dissolving.  Now that I've been dairy-free for 6 months, there is a total difference.  I feel healthier, I look healthier (my dad said I looked like a corpse when I came home from school), and I am healthier.  I can workout now without feeling like passing out, I can sleep better, and my mind is sharper.  I can tell immediately if something I eat has dairy in it, because my body reacts so strongly to it now. 

You don't have to do one of those nasty lactose intolerance tests to find out if dairy causes problems for you.  I love this website because it has options–give it a try.

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.

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