Unimaginable Health Benefits From Going Dairy Free


Mark ~ I’ve recently become dairy-free due to health issues, and it’s been a life-changing experience.  I had been having digestive issues for a few months (I’ll spare the details).  Occasionally I’d have a really bad sickness that felt like food poisoning but only lasted a few hours, but after looking at the timing and what I’d consumed I couldn’t peg it as a particular type of food causing it all and was beginning to worry that I could have a more serious health issue.  After one day where I’d taken in much more dairy than normal and the usual upset stomach et. all forced me to go home sick from work it finally clicked that dairy might be the first thing to cut out …

It was then that I decided to avoid dairy to see what would happen, and the results were startling.  After three to four days it was obvious that dairy was the cause of my problems; I had been unaware that I had a pretty strong lactose intolerance and my body was fighting the constant dairy consumption for months, maybe years.  The upset stomach issues stopped completely.  My trips to the bathroom were greatly reduced and no longer a concern.  I felt my energy spike and was surprised to go several days in a row without feeling fatigue.  I had often needed to take a 20 minute nap after coming home from work or on a weekend afternoon, but no more. 

I also noticed my appetite was stronger and the food I was worried would be bland was tasting better.  This led to the most unexpected development, which was the affect on my mouth and throat.  I had suffered from excess phlegm and tonsil stones for several years.  This problem was so bad that I often had to rinse with mouthwash when I woke up at night because the gag-inducing taste in my mouth was so bad that it would keep me awake if I tried to go back to sleep.  The mouth and throat issues also made me feel ill during the day quite often, particularly when a tonsil stone would be in the back of my throat.  I always had to have mouthwash and breath mints handy.  Doctors didn’t have an answer for me; I went in a couple times when it was really bad and was just prescribed antibiotics.  I had looked several times into sinus surgery as well as tonsil removal surgery, as I believed the two to be the culprits of the problem that had plagued me for years.  It was unbelievable when after four days of going dairy-free my throat was completely clear, I could get through the night and the day without relying on mouthwash, my mouth just felt clean, and everything was tasting better as well. 

It’s a little hard to believe that I will never drink milk or eat cheese or butter again (as well as the thousands of things they seem to be added to), at least the dairy varieties.  I know I could take in a little dairy as opposed to the exorbitant amount I had previously eaten and it probably wouldn’t have a noticeable affect on me, but why, especially when my body treats it like poison?  It was quite the experience to completely change my diet.  My first trip to the grocery store took three times as long, reading labels, being shocked at how many things contain milk, and trying to figure out what my breakfast, side dishes, and dessert were supposed to be now that milk, doughnuts, buttered and cheesy noodles, and cookies were not an option. 

But the change in diet has been rewarding as I’ve discovered some great new foods, and without the throat and mouth issues I had in the past old foods taste much better.  Because of this I’m enjoying the new diet more than the old.   It’s truly been an amazing and life-changing experience due to the health benefits alone.  What started out as an experiment to see if I would be a little healthier has had unimaginable benefit, and I’m happy to say I’m now dairy free.

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. Hello I’ve been suffering from tonsil stones and excessive phlegm and nasal allergy since March this year, and this is the first time I’ve had that in my life. I’ve tried everything, I’ve tried antibiotics and so many gargles but they keep coming back after a while. I’ve been thinking about a tonsillectomy for while until I came across this post. This post was convincing enough for me to try cutting out dairy from my diet because the only thing that has changed in the past couple of months is that I’ve increased dairy intake and I believe that this is the reason for the tonsil stones and nasal allergy. I’ve reduced my dairy limit in the last couple of days but from time to time I eat some things that have a very small amount of dairy in them. For example today I ate oats and the box said that it has milk powder, but in small quantity. Is reducing my dairy intake by like 95% fine or will I have to COMPLETELY cut out the dairy from my diet? I’m also curious to know if you have eaten any dairy products since you decided to abstain from it. Thanks!

    • Unfortunately, I can’t advise you on diet or medical issues. This question has to be addressed to a physician. For many conditions, people don’t see complete relief from a symptom unless they completely remove the trigger.

  2. Linda Davey-Tott on

    I also have had a problem with tonsil stones and post nasal drip for a long time. For quite a while I noticed that the tonsIl stones and p-n drip had stopped. I had stopped having yogurt. However, I also have a problem with my throat and esophagus being extremely narrow and tight and I cannot swallow certain size pills and must chew small sizes of food to get it down. I also suffer from acid reflux. The doctor gave me a new med for the acid reflux and the pill was ‘chokable’ so I am able to cut it open and sprinkle the contents on some yogurt in order to get it down my throat. Since then, the stones have re-appeard. Bad taste in my mouth and I assume, bad breath. I guess I will have to switch to apple sauce. In the meantime, I am able to get some of the nasty stones out with Q-tips…not a pleasant experience, but it helps. Still can’t imagine having tea or coffee without milk. But thanks for the information.

  3. Same result for Elle with the same symptoms! Doctor told me ´we don’t know how/why people dry tonsil stones’. The phlegm was a mystery too… then I stopped dairy due to intollerance and now I’m fine ?

  4. I can confirm 100 spot-on…I did the same test. This was before seeing this blog. I was having the same issue with digestion. I cut out dairy 98%…not easy as 98% of store bought food has dairy. I can tell you if something has dairy in it because the stones come back to tell me. I am trying another test. I am not vegan on any level…however the product of vegan food is life changing. I’ve never felt better. I cheat now and again, but only because I caught the fish and dry camped…we caught dinner or we didn’t eat. 🙂

  5. I’ve sudfered with tonsil stones for over a year now – the taste and odor were unbearable! I tried everything and nothing worked… 4 days ago I finally decided to completely eliminate dairy and I am truly astounded at the fast results. My throat is cleaner than it’s been in so long. There is no taste there is no odor and there are no new stones as far as I can see. I can not believe the difference. I suffer from allergies and asthma and I wonder if I have had a sensitivy to dairy and not known it. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing how else my quality of life improves thanks to no longer consuming dairy.

  6. Amen! I did the same thing…every now and again I’ll test it and it never fails. Dairy is poison to my body…never thought of it that way but it is true.

  7. Amen.. I’m a singer and recently went dairy free.. I have gained almost an octave in my register and phlegm seems to have completely disappeared.. my nasal passages are even clearer.. all things I had previously blamed on allergies.

  8. Hi Mark/Alisa,
    I can relate to your story regarding the halitosis and have just started a dairy free diet (3 weeks). My airway has definitely opened more, but I am still getting postnatal drip and beadth problems early morning or sometimes just out of the blue.
    I am finding no cheese difficult and of course biscuits and chocolate.
    I would love some practical advice to help persevere.
    Not many people understand the whole ‘tonsil stone’ problem.
    Catch me : atmmad@yahoo.com

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