It is a struggle to eliminate dairy from your diet, especially when you live in the Wisconsin Dairy state.My body is already thanking me because my digestion has improved and my right side doesn’t hurt.
About a month ago,food allergy testing confirmed that I’m indeed very sensitive to lactose, whey and any milk products. For years I have known I can’t drink cow’s milk or eat ice cream, but not until recently had I really started to eliminate all milk products.
A Milk allergy is a food allergy, an adverse immune reaction to a food protein that is normally harmless to the non-allergic individual. Lactose intolerance is a non-allergic food sensitivity, and comes from a lack of production of the enzyme lactase, required to digest the predominant sugar in milk. Adverse effects of lactose intolerance generally occur after much higher levels of milk consumption than do adverse effects of milk allergy. Lactose intolerance is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which is produced by the cells lining the small intestine. Lactase breaks down lactose into two simpler forms of sugar called glucose and galactose, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. Milk allergy is a reaction by the body’s immune system to one or more milk proteins and can be life threatening when just a small amount of milk or milk product is consumed. Some people inherit a gene from their parents that makes it likely they will develop primary lactase deficiency. This discovery may be useful in developing future genetic tests to identify people at risk for lactose intolerance.
There are many protein allergens in cow’s milk that cause allergic reactions. Casein and whey are the two main components. The curd that forms when milk is left to sour, is called casein. The watery part which is left after the curd is removed, is called whey.Casein accounts for 80 percent of the protein in milk and is the most important allergen found in cheese. The harder the cheese, the more casein it contains.Whey accounts for the other 20 percent of milk. It consists of two main allergenic proteins – alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactaglobulin.
Secondary lactase deficiency results from injury to the small intestine that occurs with severe diarrheal illness, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, or chemotherapy. This type of lactase deficiency can occur at any age but is more common in infancy.
People with lactose intolerance may feel uncomfortable 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming milk and milk products. Symptoms range from mild to severe, based on the amount of lactose consumed and the amount a person can tolerate.The principal symptoms are gastrointestinal, dermatological and respiratory. These can translate to: skin rash, hives, vomiting, and gastric distress such as diarrhea, constipation, rhinitis, stomach pain or flatulence.
The symptoms of a milk protein allergy fall into 3 types of reactions:
* Itchy red rash
* Swelling of lips, mouth, tongue, face or throat
* Allergic “Shiners” (black eyes)
Stomach and Intestinal Reactions:
* Abdominal pain and bloating
* Diarrhoea (usually very runny)
Nose, Throat and Lung Reactions:
* Runny Nose
* Watery and/or Itchy eyes
* Shortness of Breath
Milk and milk products are often added to processed foods—foods that have been altered to prolong their shelf life. People with lactose intolerance should be aware of the many food products that may contain even small amounts of lactose, such as
•bread and other baked goods
•waffles, pancakes, biscuits, cookies, and mixes to make them
•processed breakfast foods such as doughnuts, frozen waffles and pancakes, toaster pastries, and sweet rolls
•processed breakfast cereals
•instant potatoes, soups, and breakfast drinks
•potato chips, corn chips, and other processed snacks
•processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and lunch meats
•liquid and powdered milk-based meal replacements
•protein powders and bars
•non-dairy liquid and powdered coffee creamers
•non-dairy whipped toppings
Checking the ingredients on food labels is helpful in finding possible sources of lactose in food products. If any of the following words are listed on a food label, the product contains lactose:
•dry milk solids
•non-fat dry milk powder
Lactose is also used in some prescription medicines, including birth control pills, and over-the-counter medicines like products to treat stomach acid and gas. These medicines most often cause symptoms in people with severe lactose intolerance.It is also commonplace for milk derivatives, like casamino acid, to be in vaccines.