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RobynJ

Confused About Low Lactase But No Allergy To Milk?

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So my son just got his blood allergy test. They tested through US BioTek for IgG. He came back extremely reactive to gluten, wheat, rye, eggs, spelt, carrots, and radishes. This confirmed the issue for gluten. However, I am confused by the dairy results.

It showed no allergy to dairy (milk, casein, cheese). When they did the endoscopy it showed his lactase levels were half of what they should have been. Indicating lactose itolerance. So in short- what should I make the rule be for dairy? I am just confused- any help would be great.

Thanks!!!

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Being lactose intolerant is different than a milk (casein) allergy. The allergy is a histamine reaction that can also spill over into headaches as a result of the reaction to the protein in dairy. Lactose is the sugar in dairy that many of us cannot fully digest. This leads to many gastro problems.

Celiac disease shows as damage to the villi in the small intestine and the tips of the villi are what digest lactose. They are the first to be damaged. So many persons with celiac disease cannot tolerate dairy when they start their gluten-free diet. But after some healing, maybe a few months, dairy can successfully reintroduced. It doesn't work with everyone but each individual has to try it and see what they can safely tolerate.

I would say if your son is not allergic, back off the dairy for now then try a little in a few months and see how he does with it. He may be one of the lucky ones that can go back to dairy.

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Dairy allergy means that the body is producing an immune response (usually classic "allergy", IgE mediated, immune response) to casein, the primary protein found in mammalian milk. Lactose intolerance means that his intestines are not producing enough lactase enzyme to digest lactose, the primary complex sugar in milk.

You can buy and separately take lactase from the grocery store or pharmacy. It has to be taken just prior to eating, so the body has the lactase in the stomach for digesting the sugar. It's all that some folks need, while others find it helps, but doesn't entirely eliminate symptoms. Lactose intolerance isn't *dangerous*, but it can be horridly uncomfortable. Low lactose dairy products are often a good choice for those with mild to moderate lactose intolerance, like it sounds like your son has. This includes yogurt and hard cheeses, but not fluid milk.

Eliminating milk entirely is an option, but in those who produce lactase into adulthood, if you want fluid milk and softer cheeses to be an option, I would see if it's possible to not eliminate completely. Lactase production is a 'use it or lose it' type of thing - if your body doesn't sense any lactose to digest, it won't produce lactase to do the digesting. Adults who retain the ability to have lactose later in life can "rebuild" the ability to produce it if it's been 'deactivated', but it can take some time, and be unpleasant on the way there. (It's quite common for lactose intolerance to incrementally develop in adulthood throughout the majority of the world - being able to consume it later in life is a relatively recent genetic change.) (All that said, I'm dairy intolerant (casein) and don't think that you NEED milk in a diet for it to be healthy or to get calcium.)

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I agree with what everyone else has already said... casein is a milk protein and lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose. And you need to ingest lactose in order to keep producing the lactase enzymes to break down the lactose, so your son should avoid casein but not lactose :)

So my son just got his blood allergy test. They tested through US BioTek for IgG. He came back extremely reactive to gluten, wheat, rye, eggs, spelt, carrots, and radishes. This confirmed the issue for gluten. However, I am confused by the dairy results.

It showed no allergy to dairy (milk, casein, cheese). When they did the endoscopy it showed his lactase levels were half of what they should have been. Indicating lactose itolerance. So in short- what should I make the rule be for dairy? I am just confused- any help would be great.

Thanks!!!

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I agree with what everyone else has already said... casein is a milk protein and lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose. And you need to ingest lactose in order to keep producing the lactase enzymes to break down the lactose, so your son should avoid casein but not lactose :)

Okay. Thanks this all helps. I feel like an idiot and I should know this stuff. But we went from no known allergies to a whole bunch in like a month and a half so my brain is a little overloaded with all of this.

Now he tolerates goat milk and goat cheese. Do you think that is enough lactase to keep him going? Could we do just those two and some m&ms (while we are potty training) then in a few months try regular milk and cheese again?

One thing that is weird we have always noticed a bigger reaction from hard cheeses and yogurt than from regular milk.

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