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I have had celiac for about a year, and just got diagnosed with lactose intolerance. Is it true that cheese with no sugar in it is lactose free, since lactose is a sugar? and can we have sharp cheddar. I know nothing...

Hi Hanna and welcome to this board!

Hey, there is a lot to learn about what we eat and we have all been there.

Ask away, we have all been there. And glad that you have joined us.

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Lactose is the sugar that naturally occurs in milk. It is in dairy products even if sugar is not shown on the product label. If you are only lactose intolerant, and not allergic to milk, then you could try Lactaid supplements. They work well.

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Here is what I have learned from dating someone from a family of biologists--

Lactose is the sugar that is naturally produced in cow milk. It is not normal sugar, but just part of the molecule, as in casein, the protein in milk. If you have a lactose problem in means that your small intestine does not produce enough lactase, the enzyme to break down the sugar in milk. Therefore, if you consume a product that originally started out containing lactose, but it was chemically changed (ie cooked, combined with other foods...), then some of the sugar could have been destroyed, making it easier for you to digest. Cheddar cheese is chemically changed to removed about 95% of the lactose in it (http://www.ilovecheese.com/lactose_intolerant_faqs.asp). Most people who are lactose intolerant can have small amounts of milk or dairy products because still produce small amounts of lactase. Go completely dairy free for 2 weeks, then try it out.

However, you may have been misdiagnosed. It is common. There is a strong possibility (because you are a celiac), that you have a casein allergy. This would mean that you are allergic or intolerant to the milk's protein. Unfortunately the protein in the milk cannot be destroyed through cooking or making cheese, so you will still get sick.

To figure out which one you are, go dairy free (read labels!) for 2-4 weeks, then have a small piece of cheese. If you don't get any stomach issues have 2 pieces of cheese the next day. Continue eating 2 pieces of cheese a day for a week. If you still have no problems it is most likely lactose, if you do, stop eating the cheese because you have a casein issue. Then, try adding a glass of skim milk (still eat the cheese) a day. See if you have stomach issues. If so, you have lactose intolerance. If you don't, try adding another glass the next day, if you are still fine you either have no milk problem or are lactase deficient (not producing enough to digest massive amounts).

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Here is what I have learned from dating someone from a family of biologists--

Lactose is the sugar that is naturally produced in cow milk. It is not normal sugar, but just part of the molecule, as in casein, the protein in milk. If you have a lactose problem in means that your small intestine does not produce enough lactase, the enzyme to break down the sugar in milk. Therefore, if you consume a product that originally started out containing lactose, but it was chemically changed (ie cooked, combined with other foods...), then some of the sugar could have been destroyed, making it easier for you to digest. Cheddar cheese is chemically changed to removed about 95% of the lactose in it (http://www.ilovecheese.com/lactose_intolerant_faqs.asp). Most people who are lactose intolerant can have small amounts of milk or dairy products because still produce small amounts of lactase. Go completely dairy free for 2 weeks, then try it out.

However, you may have been misdiagnosed. It is common. There is a strong possibility (because you are a celiac), that you have a casein allergy. This would mean that you are allergic or intolerant to the milk's protein. Unfortunately the protein in the milk cannot be destroyed through cooking or making cheese, so you will still get sick.

To figure out which one you are, go dairy free (read labels!) for 2-4 weeks, then have a small piece of cheese. If you don't get any stomach issues have 2 pieces of cheese the next day. Continue eating 2 pieces of cheese a day for a week. If you still have no problems it is most likely lactose, if you do, stop eating the cheese because you have a casein issue. Then, try adding a glass of skim milk (still eat the cheese) a day. See if you have stomach issues. If so, you have lactose intolerance. If you don't, try adding another glass the next day, if you are still fine you either have no milk problem or are lactase deficient (not producing enough to digest massive amounts).

That's really interesting...I didn't even know that they removed the whey when they make cheese or that some cheeses contain little lactose. You learn new things everyday. :D I would still recommend taking the lactaid when consuming all dairy at first so you can really determine if you have an allergy or just lack the enzyme lactase, unless you've been allergy tested. Some people are very sensitive. It's true that different people can produce highly variable amounts of lactase, but you may be one of the unlucky ones that produce little if any lactase. That's just my opinion.

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Then, try adding a glass of skim milk (still eat the cheese) a day. See if you have stomach issues. If so, you have lactose intolerance. If you don't, try adding another glass the next day, if you are still fine you either have no milk problem or are lactase deficient (not producing enough to digest massive amounts).

Why would drinking skim milk successfully mean it is lactose, is there no casein or whey in skim milk? My son is dairy intolerant and we are trying to figure out now if it is simply lactose or is it casein. Any new info. is helpful.

Nicole

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Why would drinking skim milk successfully mean it is lactose, is there no casein or whey in skim milk? My son is dairy intolerant and we are trying to figure out now if it is simply lactose or is it casein. Any new info. is helpful.

Nicole

If you react to skim milk, but not to cheese, that indicates a lactose issue. Both contain casein, and if you react to whey it is generally the casein in the whey. If you tolerate the cheese without problems, then that shows that casein is okay for you. Liquid skim milk contains lactose as well as casein.

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If you react to skim milk, but not to cheese, that indicates a lactose issue.

That's only true if it's a partial lactase deficiency. There is lactose in cheese - even the hard cheeses like Parmesan , which have the least - but it's less than is in fluid milk and varies greatly from cheese type to cheese type.

Some people with a mild lactose intolerance can eat cheese and yogurt (where cultures in the dairy product have broken down the milk sugar already, so that your body doesn't have to) without any symptoms. Some people can only have a small amount of these low-lactose items. Some people - particularly those who produce no lactase on their own at all - cannot handle any quantity of lactose without significant symptoms.

There is a medical test for lactose intolerance (it's a breath test, ironically), but you can also compare a low-lactose cheese or plain yogurt taken with a lactaid supplement (or two) to taking a glass of fluid milk without any supplement. In this case, assuming the serving size is similar, you're holding the quantity of casein to a similar amount, but varying the amount of lactose you are exposed to from virtually zero in the first case to as much as can be had in a serving of dairy - allowing you to test for lactose intolernace.

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If you tolerate the cheese without problems, then that shows that casein is okay for you.

Tiffany, my thinking here was that if you have ruled out casein as the issue, then what remains is lactose. There may be a small amount of lactose remaining in the cheese, and it will vary significantly among different types of cheese, but there is a large casein content in all cheeses.

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Tiffany, my thinking here was that if you have ruled out casein as the issue, then what remains is lactose. There may be a small amount of lactose remaining in the cheese, and it will vary significantly among different types of cheese, but there is a large casein content in all cheeses.

True, it's just that I've known a number of people who were lactose intolerant enough to react to cheese as well, so without taking lactaid as well, to consume any lactose present in the cheese, the test doesn't have any good control.

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