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jabberwife

How To Start Casein-Free Diet

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I have non-celiac gluten intolerance, and have been gluten-free for almost a year (June 24 is my "anniversary"!) While my health has improved (I no longer need Prilosec, as my heartburn is non-existent except when glutened, my brain fog is gone, my fatigue has decreased, swelling in feet and hands is gone, my intermittent nausea is gone), I still suffer from chronic C, and the accompanying gas and bloating. After visiting a gastroenterologist, keeping a food diary for months, and taking what seems to be a million different laxatives, all I've been told is that I have a slow colon (and a moderate rectocele). I still take magnesium citrate and occasionally, senna, to keep things moving - but even then, some days are bad. So I decided to remove dairy from my diet for 2 weeks. I seemed to get a bit better - things were moving a bit faster, and I actually had to cut back the laxatives. I wasn't "all better", but after 2 weeks, I reintroduced dairy into my diet. I enjoyed fresh, local, raw cows milk, yogurt, and cultured butter. And while I tried to ignore it, and pretend like dairy wasn't the cause, my C came back - plus some. I also have dealt with insomnia and excessive sweating, and some nausea. It's time to face the truth - I can't have dairy.

So - I have no idea how to do this! I know a lot of people with lactose intolerance can have SOME dairy, but if this is a casein intolerance, which I have a sneaking suspicion it is, then I don't know if I need to treat this with the same level of scrutiny I give gluten. I'm extremely sensitive to gluten, and so I have taken care to dedicate certain pans and cookware to gluten-free cooking, I make sure all of my cosmetics, vitamins, and pills are gluten-free, and I am very careful about processed foods and restaurants, as most that say they are gluten-free still can make me ill. Do I need to do the same with casein? Will it cause damage if I ingest casein, the same way gluten causes damage? I'm afraid of being unable to heal if I don't do what I need to do, but I don't want to unnecessarily complicate things either.

Those of you with casein intolerance, please let me know what your habits are and how closely you monitor dairy in your diet. Any other advice would help!

Thank you!

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I was diagnosed with casein intolerance at the same time I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance by Enterolab stool tests. So I immediately abstained from all sources of dairy (lactose, casein, whey, rennet, etc.). I then noticed I no longer had the chronic sinus congestion, frequent colds and sinus infections, but best of all I had less intense constipation (no more impacted stools).

However, I still needed magnesium supplements while I figured out the other causes of my chronic constipation. Everything that affects my intestines also affects my regularity. As I was diagnosed (by ELISA blood test) with each of my other allergies (soy, cane sugar, eggs, vanilla and nutmeg), my constipation decreased a bit. Nevertheless, I still needed to eliminate the source of intestinal infections and take lots of probiotics to resolve bacterial dysbiosis.

During the past 4 years, I've been diagnosed with (by stool tests) and treated for 5 different bacteria, 2 parasites and candida (a fungus). All of those infections increased constipation before treatment. Eliminating the gut bugs and taking high dose probiotics afterwards resolved the constipation problems.

So I now realize constipation is my body's symptom that my intestines are not well. Rather than 'treat the symptom' with laxatives, I regard constipation as a sign that I have another infection or have ingested an allergen. I also try to consume lots of fiber and liquids. However, I realize gut motility is easily affected by deficient good bacteria and/or excessive bad gut bugs. So I don't automatically assume my gut symptoms are related to food allergies.

SUE

I have non-celiac gluten intolerance, and have been gluten-free for almost a year (June 24 is my "anniversary"!) While my health has improved (I no longer need Prilosec, as my heartburn is non-existent except when glutened, my brain fog is gone, my fatigue has decreased, swelling in feet and hands is gone, my intermittent nausea is gone), I still suffer from chronic C, and the accompanying gas and bloating. After visiting a gastroenterologist, keeping a food diary for months, and taking what seems to be a million different laxatives, all I've been told is that I have a slow colon (and a moderate rectocele). I still take magnesium citrate and occasionally, senna, to keep things moving - but even then, some days are bad. So I decided to remove dairy from my diet for 2 weeks. I seemed to get a bit better - things were moving a bit faster, and I actually had to cut back the laxatives. I wasn't "all better", but after 2 weeks, I reintroduced dairy into my diet. I enjoyed fresh, local, raw cows milk, yogurt, and cultured butter. And while I tried to ignore it, and pretend like dairy wasn't the cause, my C came back - plus some. I also have dealt with insomnia and excessive sweating, and some nausea. It's time to face the truth - I can't have dairy.

So - I have no idea how to do this! I know a lot of people with lactose intolerance can have SOME dairy, but if this is a casein intolerance, which I have a sneaking suspicion it is, then I don't know if I need to treat this with the same level of scrutiny I give gluten. I'm extremely sensitive to gluten, and so I have taken care to dedicate certain pans and cookware to gluten-free cooking, I make sure all of my cosmetics, vitamins, and pills are gluten-free, and I am very careful about processed foods and restaurants, as most that say they are gluten-free still can make me ill. Do I need to do the same with casein? Will it cause damage if I ingest casein, the same way gluten causes damage? I'm afraid of being unable to heal if I don't do what I need to do, but I don't want to unnecessarily complicate things either.

Those of you with casein intolerance, please let me know what your habits are and how closely you monitor dairy in your diet. Any other advice would help!

Thank you!

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I was diagnosed with casein intolerance at the same time I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance by Enterolab stool tests. So I immediately abstained from all sources of dairy (lactose, casein, whey, rennet, etc.). I then noticed I no longer had the chronic sinus congestion, frequent colds and sinus infections, but best of all I had less intense constipation (no more impacted stools).

However, I still needed magnesium supplements while I figured out the other causes of my chronic constipation. Everything that affects my intestines also affects my regularity. As I was diagnosed (by ELISA blood test) with each of my other allergies (soy, cane sugar, eggs, vanilla and nutmeg), my constipation decreased a bit. Nevertheless, I still needed to eliminate the source of intestinal infections and take lots of probiotics to resolve bacterial dysbiosis.

During the past 4 years, I've been diagnosed with (by stool tests) and treated for 5 different bacteria, 2 parasites and candida (a fungus). All of those infections increased constipation before treatment. Eliminating the gut bugs and taking high dose probiotics afterwards resolved the constipation problems.

So I now realize constipation is my body's symptom that my intestines are not well. Rather than 'treat the symptom' with laxatives, I regard constipation as a sign that I have another infection or have ingested an allergen. I also try to consume lots of fiber and liquids. However, I realize gut motility is easily affected by deficient good bacteria and/or excessive bad gut bugs. So I don't automatically assume my gut symptoms are related to food allergies.

SUE

I think that's a great way to look at it. I've simultaneously reduced a lot of my sugar and empty carb intake, increased my raw and probiotic foods consumption, and eliminated a lot of the preservatives and processed foods as an attempt to improve my gut health. And I think it's made some difference - but there's still some way to go.

With your casein intolerance, do you abstain from foods that could be cross-contaminated with casein? How about your vitamins, etc that might have trace amounts?

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I was diagnosed with casein intolerance (IgG antibodies) while being tested for gluten/celiac (which tested negative). I'm extremely sensitive to gluten, but I don't avoid casein much. I often eat diary-free for weeks and never noticed any difference. I do have problems with cheeses and yogurts, can't eat too much of that, but pure milk, cream, sour cream is ok.

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I think that's a great way to look at it. I've simultaneously reduced a lot of my sugar and empty carb intake, increased my raw and probiotic foods consumption, and eliminated a lot of the preservatives and processed foods as an attempt to improve my gut health. And I think it's made some difference - but there's still some way to go.

With your casein intolerance, do you abstain from foods that could be cross-contaminated with casein? How about your vitamins, etc that might have trace amounts?

I adamantly avoid any sources of casein, because my reaction symptoms are excruciating gut pain, which feel like bad menstrual cramps or mild labor pain. So I've checked all my vitamins, supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, etc., etc. When I was first diagnosed with casein allergy I researched all the names for 'dairy' and/or 'casein'. I suspect I'll react to even miniscule amounts. Fortunately my casein reactions are unique and unlike my other food allergy reactions. So I know almost immediately when I accidentally consume casein, which I haven't done for at least 5 years.

SUE

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My spouse is very careful when eating out. I check all the supplements and vitamins. The immediate reaction is stomach pain. When casein was first eliminated, he noted mood improvement.

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I have just started a non gluten and non dairy diet also and it is so hard. Cutting out Gluten is so much easier than dairy as I love everything dairy and even finding recipes are challenging but have found a few really good sites that have gluten free vegan recipes which is awesome. The most challenging thing for me though is an upcoming trip to India for 3 weeks!!

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Thanks to everyone. I went through my house last weekend and removed any casein-containing items that the other family members won't eat and donated them to my sister and parents. I am feeling somewhat better - am finding that I'm less and less dependent upon laxatives to be "normal". We'll see how it goes!

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