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goodlife

Lactose Intolerance After Going Gluten-free?

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All of the research articles I have read and online forum postings have addressed the problems of lactose-intolerance occurring before one goes off gluten, with typical improvement of lactose symptoms when one's villi heal. Well, I had the reverse happen. I went off gluten and after 3 months I started having strange, occasional pains in my upper GI. One episode was so bad I thought I had gall bladder problems and went in to get a sonogram of my upper GI. They found nothing and within a couple weeks I figured out I had lactose intolerance.

I cut down my dairy to a minimum and within a few months I was able to eat dairy with pretty much no problems.

Then, I started eating gluten for a couple months and my lactose intolerance started popping up again. I have been gluten free for many months now and my lactose intolerance is as bad as ever.

I am stumped as to why this is happening. Any ideas or theories? I do not have celiac disease, since I don't have the gene and my endo was negative. But I have taken Enterolab's test and have the next best set of genes for gluten intolerance, as well as extremely high IgA and IgG levels. (blood and stool confirmed). Also, my two elimination diets verify that gluten and I don't mix.

Thanks for any input. I figured that this forum would be the best source of ideas than any other place.

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Hi Goodlife,

Its true those with gastrointestinal reactions to gluten run very high in lactase deficiency because of the damage that has occurred to the upper intestinal tract. The classic reaction to dairy products due to lactase deficiency is gastrointestinal pain, diarrhea, and anxiety attacks. The anxiety attacks occurs because in the presence of low lactase, lactose ferments and produces lactic acid, which is absorbed into the blood and consequently ties up calcium magnesium.

There is a condition called galactosemis in which the liver is unable to adequately change galactose into glucose. The first step in the metabolism of lactose is to split lactose into glucose and galactose. The second step changes the galactose into glucose. So it could be a problem with the liver and usually its inherited. For some reason chedder cheese can be consumed for those with galactosemis.

I would wait for awhile before trying dairy again. It takes one to two years for an adult to heal and sometimes people never regain a total healing. But give it another try every so often.

Gail

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Hi Goodlife,

Its true those with gastrointestinal reactions to gluten run very high in lactase deficiency because of the damage that has occurred to the upper intestinal tract. The classic reaction to dairy products due to lactase deficiency is gastrointestinal pain, diarrhea, and anxiety attacks. The anxiety attacks occurs because in the presence of low lactase, lactose ferments and produces lactic acid, which is absorbed into the blood and consequently ties up calcium magnesium.

There is a condition called galactosemis in which the liver is unable to adequately change galactose into glucose. The first step in the metabolism of lactose is to split lactose into glucose and galactose. The second step changes the galactose into glucose. So it could be a problem with the liver and usually its inherited. For some reason chedder cheese can be consumed for those with galactosemis.

I would wait for awhile before trying dairy again. It takes one to two years for an adult to heal and sometimes people never regain a total healing. But give it another try every so often.

Gail

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Gail,

Thanks for the very, very interesting information. It gives me some key words to search the journal articles to see what exists on this topic. I am also thinking that my newfound lactose intolerance could just be a coincidence, spurred on by my drastic changing diet, that would have happend to me anyway as I aged.

I was very intrigued by your comment about the anxiety. Before going off wheat/gluten, my intestines used to have a feeling I would call "anxious" because there seemed to be a sensation of pulsation, etc.

Anyway, I appreciate the info.

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I have found that I can't drink the big wonderful glass of milk that I used to either but I can eat a 2 lb container of plain yogurt every 2 days. Apparently it's easier to digest and you get lots of calcium and protein plus the benefits of helping with the yeast overgrowth that some have talked about. Just drop some fresh fruit in and I think you'll find a pleasant and healthy treat.

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I have found that I can't drink the big wonderful glass of milk that I used to either but I can eat a 2 lb container of plain yogurt every 2 days. Apparently it's easier to digest and you get lots of calcium and protein plus the benefits of helping with the yeast overgrowth that some have talked about. Just drop some fresh fruit in and I think you'll find a pleasant and healthy treat.

ah yes i too have found since going gluten-free that i know seem to be having a problem with dairy, mostly ice cream, sour cream, cheeze, the heavy stuff, but i can handle salad dressings and yogurt so i use lactaid again and we will see how that goes. GOOD LUCK!!

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I have found that I can't drink the big wonderful glass of milk that I used to either but I can eat a 2 lb container of plain yogurt every 2 days. Apparently it's easier to digest and you get lots of calcium and protein plus the benefits of helping with the yeast overgrowth that some have talked about. Just drop some fresh fruit in and I think you'll find a pleasant and healthy treat.

Okay. My understanding is that some (or all?) people who have celiac disease/gluten sensitivity also show symptoms of lactose intolerance when they first give up gluten. I think this is happening to me. I have not been able to drink milk for years, but I have always been able to eat cheese and most other dairy products. I had been feeling so much better since giving up gluten, but now I am beginning to feel very "gassy" and have a cramping tummy and lower back. If I take the lactase pills before I eat the dairy products, will that take care of it? I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian, so if I have to give up an entire food group, there's not going to be a whole lot left for me to eat. After 30 years as a vegetarian, I really don't think I could start eating any kind of meat again. I could probably gradually get used to eggs, I suppose. Is it normal to start being lactose intolerant with foods that were fine before I gave up gluten?

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