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Going Dairy Free - Questions

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I was diagnosed with celiac about a month ago and have gone strictly gluten free (including cleaning out the kitchen, etc).  I wasn't seeing much relief from only going gluten-free, so I reluctantly went dairy free as well.  This is sad because do LOVE milk, cheese, etc - anything dairy!

I am hoping to hear from people who had to go dairy free but WERE able to successfully reintegrate it into their diet.  I know many people go dairy free forever, but I just can't imagine it.  Going gluten free seems much easier to me than going dairy free (cooking with butter, cheese, sour cream, etc!).


- How long did you stay dairy free before successfully reintroducing dairy?

- What dairy foods did you start with, and how slowly do you reintegrate them?

- What is the difference between lactose and casein intolerance? How would I know which I have? I have removed all dairy, but I've heard that butter isn't as 'bad,' and I'm not sure if lactose-free milk is ok?

- In the interim, any tips for dairy-free sour cream substitute? I'm specifically thinking for Mexican food or something like mashed potatoes!

Thank you!

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Glad to hear you're feeling better going dairy free. It's something I should be doing as well and I agree it seems easier to go gluten free than dairy free. I don't drink milk but don't know what to do without butter, whipped cream, sour cream and cream cheese. 

I'm not doing well six or more weeks gluten free- so dairy is the next step for me. 

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Time.  It takes time to heal from celiac disease.  For some it can take months or a couple of years!  Seriously!  Why?  The learning curve for going gluten free is steep.  Plus, everyone has different levels of damage.  Your best bet is to eat whole foods (well-cooked for easier digestion) that you prepare yourself.  Avoid eating out.  Avoid processed foods because they add things that might not agree with you because of your damaged gut.  Keep a food journal to help track traces of gluten or to identify a new intolerance.  

Many celiac are lactose intolerant.  The enzymes to digest lactose (milk sugar) are released from the villi tips.  But what if your villi are flattened or non-existent?  Other enzymes used to digest food may be missing as well.  Once healed,  many celiacs can allow  lactose-containing foods back into their diet.  If you are genetically  predisposed to being lactose intolerant (huge chunk of world population) then you many never get it back. ?

Casein is a milk  protein.  You can be intolerant to it as well or allergic to it.  

To reintroduce lactose-containing foods, start with those with the least amount of lactose, like hard cheese.  There is plenty of information on the internet that explains this.  

Hang in there!  ?


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Hi Anyana,

Lactose is a sugar in dairy.  Casein is a protein.  If you are only lactose intolerant you can buy lactase (enzyme) pills or lactase milk that would be safe for you.

If you are casein intolerant that's a harder nut to crack.  Ain't a lot of help there.

While you are healing it might be better to just stop all dairy for a few months and give your body a better chance to recover.

You can use coconut oil as a sub for butter and it is even better for you.  There are almond milks and other milk subs available too.

There are some dairy free cheese subs like Daiya brand cheese-like substance.

For ice cream consider Italian ice type things.

Goldenbergs Nut Chews are a dairy free candy.

I never got dairy back so I guess I shouldn't have answered.  Sorry.

Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.

Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, celery, strawberries, pistachios, and hard work. Have a good day! 🙂 Paul

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