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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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    • I just now saw the second reply and I see what you mean. Again, the issue is that I may have to go with the gluten until close to the end of the year.

      However, an idea did just come to mind, and that is, can my primary care doctor do such a test? I had normal blood work done, but they didn't really say anything about testing for celiacs. I can get an appointment with my primary care doctor much sooner than a GI.

      When I was talking to my PCP last, I asked her what I should expect as far as testing goes or what she may have been concerned about. Her reply was about a HIDA scan for the gallbladder but also any test needed in case of IBS or Celiacs. Just the way she threw that in there like an after thought and left me hanging kinda had me worried.
    • I am not a doctor that's for sure.  So, I can't even answer your questions.  If you know you have pre-diabetes, you probably are working with a doctor.  Can you email them and ask for a celiac blood panel?   You can work on the weight loss and diabetes -- that you can handle yourself now and take action.  I have diabetes and my glucose readings are fairly normal now without medication and I'm thin.  Being overweight does not cause diabetes.  It's either autoimmune (type 1) or you become insulin resistant (type 2).  You can cut out all sugar and  processed stuff ASAP to help take action and start walking 10,000 steps (helps with the insulin resistance).    But the prediabetes is not going to kill you in the next year.  Whatever's in your gut is more likely going to get you much sooner.  But heck, I'm not a doctor and I don't even know you!    
    • Hi Steph, Yes, celiac disease can cause a myriad of symptoms and damage to the body,  Have you completed all celiac disease testing?  Usually they do the blood antibodies test first and then do an endoscopy.   You shouldn't go gluten-free until all testing is completed. Gluten is in many processed foods.  But if you stick with whole foods it is not hard to avoid gluten.  Getting used to eating gluten-free may take some time, as we need to adjust our preferences in diet.  But there are many foods that are naturally gluten-free.  Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley.  Some celiac disease organizations recommend avoiding oats also for the first 18 months of the gluten-free diet. Celiac disease impairs the ability of the body to absorb nutrients (including vitamins).  That can make it hard for the body to maintain itself and heal/repair damage.  So celiac can easily impact any part of the body. Sardines, tuna, mackeral and salmon have good amounts of vitamin D in them.  There are supplements available also, but not all are good.  You can check them at the labdoor website.  Nature Made is a good one and not expensive.  Internal damage from celiac can cause liver issues.  Those will probably clear up after being on the gluten-free diet a while. Recovery from celiac can take  months, and can be a rocky road.  The more you stick with whole foods and avoid cross-contamination issues the sooner you will heal IMHO. You may find that dairy causes problems for your digestion at first.  But it make stop being a problem after you have healed up some. welcome to the forum!
    • Will this be dangerous considering how long I have to wait for any testing? I may not even get a blood test in November but here is hoping. I just worry having to wait so long will cause serious issues, not to mention delay of weight loss which I need for the pre-diabetes. Do ulcers have a chance to cause yellow stools though? I suppose a stool test will be needed for that for any signs of blood in stools but visually it does not seem so. The biggest issue is not knowing what else could be causing the yellow stools as this would not be a diabetic or ulcer thing. And without negative signs on the gallbladder or liver, it is narrowing down the list.

      At the very least this is making me assume I can wait on a final scan of gallbladder and attempt blood tests and endoscopy if they recommend it.
    • The first step is getting a celiac blood panel.   Any medical doctor can order one.  Live near Chicago?  They are do free screenings this month (check their website).  The cost is less than $400 for the complete panel.  If you get a positive on any one of them, then you should be referred to a GI for an endoscopy to obtain intestinal biopsies.   Here's more information from a reliable source and not just some lady on the internet: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ Having had my gallbladder removed (probably ruined from undiagnosed celiac disease, but I don't know that for sure), I would recommend a HIDA scan.  I have no idea how expensive that one is.  It's a nuclear test that checks for functionality.  Basically, is your gallbladder squeezing bile into your small intestines when those fries or bacon come down the tube.  Mine happened to actually be rotting (infected).  ER suspected appendicitis, but it was a rotten gallbladder.  I never had any stones (that's what the CT or the ultrasound can find).  I am sorry that you are ill.  Keep eating gluten until all testing is complete.  This is important.  Go gluten free now?  Here's why you shouldn't..... http://theceliacmd.com/2013/04/six-reasons-to-test-for-celiac-disease-before-starting-a-gluten-free-diet/  
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