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rogue

Confused About Casein

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After being gluten free for nearly 6 years, it turns out that I'm still having problems absorbing vitamins and found out that I don't absorb zinc or folic acid, along with my malabsorption of B12. It caused a sluggish thyroid, among other problems. It might be that I have a problem with dairy. After a 3-month trip to China, my digestion improved ten-fold and I realized that I don't consume milk products there, aside from chocolate. So I cut most dairy from my diet and my digestion improved, though I'm not yet sure about the malabsorption. But I'm confused as to the root of the problem. My main symptom with dairy appears to be constipation- but I'm having severe fatigue issues as well (though that might be my battle with the thyroid.)

I suppose my main questions are:

1. Can casein cause a similar immunological reaction in the same way gluten would for Celiacs (meaning only needs to be absorbed into my bloodstream) or is it more like an intolerance and must go through my digestive tract?

2. My sublingual vitamins use lactose as a binder. Is it possible to separate lactose from casein?

I suppose I'm just confused about why Celiacs go on a casein-free diet to begin with if it doesn't cause a similar immune response. Is it merely an intolerance or is it something a little more sinister? I have several other food intolerances but they don't usually bother me unless I eat a lot of it. But I only need to lick an envelope with gluten on it to get sick.

I'm confused! Help!

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After being gluten free for nearly 6 years, it turns out that I'm still having problems absorbing vitamins and found out that I don't absorb zinc or folic acid, along with my malabsorption of B12. It caused a sluggish thyroid, among other problems. It might be that I have a problem with dairy. After a 3-month trip to China, my digestion improved ten-fold and I realized that I don't consume milk products there, aside from chocolate. So I cut most dairy from my diet and my digestion improved, though I'm not yet sure about the malabsorption. But I'm confused as to the root of the problem. My main symptom with dairy appears to be constipation- but I'm having severe fatigue issues as well (though that might be my battle with the thyroid.)

I suppose my main questions are:

1. Can casein cause a similar immunological reaction in the same way gluten would for Celiacs (meaning only needs to be absorbed into my bloodstream) or is it more like an intolerance and must go through my digestive tract?

2. My sublingual vitamins use lactose as a binder. Is it possible to separate lactose from casein?

I suppose I'm just confused about why Celiacs go on a casein-free diet to begin with if it doesn't cause a similar immune response. Is it merely an intolerance or is it something a little more sinister? I have several other food intolerances but they don't usually bother me unless I eat a lot of it. But I only need to lick an envelope with gluten on it to get sick.

I'm confused! Help!

From what I've read, the protein structure of casein is similar enough to gluten to cause an immune response in some people. Considering that individuals make unique antibodies and not everyone reacts as severely, not all Celiac sufferers have a problem with dairy. Unfortunately, it seems that I do. I'm new to the the world of Celiac's, but I have a degree in chemistry, a minor in bio, and I'm in graduate school for medicinal chemistry. It helps being able to understand the molecular biology aspect. Lactose is a milk sugar that can be refined and, yes, separated from the protein portion of milk. Lactose intolerance is common among Celiac patients b/c of the damage to the small intestines, where the enzyme lactase is made. Some people, like my son, regain the ability to drink milk after going gluten-free. For me, lactose free/gluten-free dair still produced gluten-like symptoms, albeit milder than those from wheat.

So, in creative lay-man's terms:

Your antibodies are skeleton keys that match to gluten. If you are unlucky, then your key may also fit casein, but maybe not as well.

Not all casein is the same either. (cow, sheep, goat, etc) I haven't tried goat's milk or cheese yet, but plan to. I rather hope it's okay, b/c I'm very fond of dairy.

I hope this helps.

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