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Dairy Okay?
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I've been on a very restricted diet (no dairy, grains, starches, soy etc) for 10 months and I've been feeling 100% for about 3 months. Now, I'm starting to try out some new foods. I've been slowing introducing some dairy. Butter is ok now. As of last week, I started eating hard cheeses. I get gas about 4 hours after I eat the cheese. It only lasts for about an hour or so and I have no other gastro symptoms - no D, no cramps, no discomfort or nausea. So I'm trying to decide whether dairy is okay or whether I could be causing damage by eating it.

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Boy, I really don't know. Have you tried milk or is it just the butter and cheese you miss? What kind of cheese? I'm supposedly intolerant to everything but cheddar but I have a mild allergy on top of that and don't want it to get worse so I don't eat it anymore. I would think the gas would be a sign that your body is protesting though. Maybe just try the butter for awhile and see if you build up to the same reaction, or others with that.

Below is a paper my doctor gave me.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are a problem created by a disordered immune system. Normally, the immune system, or body’s military team, is designed to attack disease-causing germs such as bacteria and viruses. Sometimes, however, the immune system gets “confused”, and begins attacking harmless proteins such as those breathed in the air [pollens, mold spores, etc.] or ingested [proteins in our foods]. We call such a reaction an allergy. Allergy symptoms are many and diverse; the most commonly recognized being itching of eyes and nose, runny or stuffy nose and sinuses (“hay fever”), difficulty breathing or asthma, and rashes such as hives or eczema. Not as commonly appreciated is that these immune system reactions can also cause many other symptoms such as; headaches, especially migraines, fatigue, sore throat, arthritis or joint pains, stomach distress, colitis, gall bladder attacks, etc. Even such disorders as epilepsy, spontaneous miscarriages, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, high blood pressure, etc., may have an allergic basis.

You might say, “I feel fine nearly all the time; why should I check for allergies. While it may not be necessary, many individuals discover that they are able to enjoy even better quality of life when they avoid their “problem foods”.

How does one know which foods are “problem foods”? That can be a difficult question. Fortunately, several tests can be useful. One measures the amount of immunoglobulin G present in the blood which is specific to a certain food, another measures the amount of immunoglobulin E. Other tests check for concentrations of antigen:antibody complexes, or look for swelling in white blood cells. The test most frequently useful is that which measures the concentration of the immunoglobulin G, or “IgG”.

Depending in which type of testing is performed, the significant levels will be listed differently. If RAST testing is done, [e.g. Serolab], usually the important foods will have counts greater than 3,000 (or _____). If ELISA testing is done, [e.g. US Biotek], levels greater than “No Reaction” are usually considered relevant.

However, laboratories can make mistakes. Therefore it advisable to experiment with the “problem” foods to see if they actually do produce any problems.

The preferred method is called “elimination diet and challenge testing”. It means strictly avoiding any food which is on the “problem list” (shows an elevated level of antibodies) for about 3 weeks [at least 2 weeks]. Then testing or “challenging” each food one time only, beginning with those foods having the lowest positive [but significant] reaction. Do not eat the tested food again until all problem foods have been tested. The next food is tested after 3 days, (or 24 hours after any reaction has subsided--whichever is first). The amount of the test food is usually not critical. Any amount from 1 tablespoon to 1 quart is acceptable. Other “safe” foods may be eaten at he same meal as the test food.

Observe carefully for any symptoms, especially within the first hour, 6-8 hours after ingestion, and 24 hours after the test meal. It is wise to keep a diary or journal, so you can recall what specific symptoms were experienced, and how long it was after the test meal until they occurred. It is sometimes helpful if a family member also is observing for any personality changes or other objective symptoms.

A typical reaction to a problem food might be as follows. The “problem food” [cheese, for example] is eaten for breakfast at 8:00 am. Half an hour later, you notice some sniffling and sneezing. An hour later, you feel jittery, shaky inside. Four hours after breakfast slight nausea is noted. Seven hours after the test meal [3:00 PM], you get a headache. This continues, gradually worsening, the rest of the day. The following morning you awaken feeling very tired, exhausted. As you drag out of bed, you notice that your joints feel stiff and a little sore. They gradually “limber up” as the day progresses, but you feel tired throughout the entire day. The following morning you awaken beginning to feel more like your normal self. Just eating one problem food once could cause this 48-hour ordeal.

After all problem foods have been tested, decide which ones caused symptoms worse than the trouble of trying to avoid the causative foods. Ideally, one strictly avoids all those foods for a period of 4 to 6 months, after which they are each tested again. The goal is to assist the body in “forgetting” those foods are “problem foods” so they may be safely eaten again. This may take some time, but can be worthwhile.

Another method of dealing with allergy foods is to eat them only occasionally. Eating a problem food at intervals of 4 days or more frequently minimizes the symptoms produced. This can be easier than strictly avoiding the food, though the immune system may not “forget” to “fight” a food that is eaten intermittently. The “bottom line” rule of thumb is to be no stricter about your diet than you need to be in order to feel as good as it is possible for you to feel.

If you would like a more thorough explanation of this topic, please consult one of several excellent books that are available.

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I've been on a very restricted diet (no dairy, grains, starches, soy etc) for 10 months and I've been feeling 100% for about 3 months. Now, I'm starting to try out some new foods. I've been slowing introducing some dairy. Butter is ok now. As of last week, I started eating hard cheeses. I get gas about 4 hours after I eat the cheese. It only lasts for about an hour or so and I have no other gastro symptoms - no D, no cramps, no discomfort or nausea. So I'm trying to decide whether dairy is okay or whether I could be causing damage by eating it.

Try taking lactaid before having cheese - it's been so long since you've had any dairy, you're probably not producing any lactase at all. If you still have problems, it's probably the casein.

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Thanks for the paper and info. That's what I've been debating is whether it's caseine or lactose. I'll try some lactase for now and see if that helps. I'm hoping it's just lactose. I love milk especially puddings, creme brule etc. I can't substitute for milk either because I don't tolerate soy or rice (for now anyways).

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What about almond or other nut milks?

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Unfortunately, I get sick from almonds (all nuts except peanuts), coconut, soy, rice, corn and potatoes. So that pretty much eliminates all dairy alternatives.

I was really hungry yesterday so I ate a big piece of cheddar cheese and I've been sick today - cramps, nausea, D, so I guess that's the answer. I was hoping so much to add something new to my diet. Too bad dairy is still off limits.

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That's a tough one. I'm sorry. :(

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