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Question About Lactose Intolerance

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I have searched the internet and cannot find the answer to this question. I realize this question has probably been asked many times but if someone could answer I'd really appreciate it.

I understand that a person with celiac can have a temporary lactose intolerance until the villi heal completely. If you ingest lactose before the villi have completely healed, will it slow down your healing process? I want to know if I can occasionally eat cheese and just put up with the symptoms of the lactose intolerance, or is this damaging to my intestines?

(I don't have a diagnosis of celiac yet, but until I have a diagnosis, I want to be cautious and try to make sure I'm healing any intestinal damage, if in case I do have it.)

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Lactose intolerance, whether temporary due to villous atrophy, or permanent, is not an autoimmune condition.

No damage to your body tissue will result from ingesting lactose. You may FEEL like your intestines are being torn apart, but the symptoms will pass. Nobody will want to be downwind of you, and you may want to stay close to a toilet. :ph34r:

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The gluten is responsible for the damage to the villi

The lactase to digest the lactose is made at the tips of the villi

You will most likely be lactose intolerant until your villi heal

Until they heal the lactose will ferment rather than digest in your gut and and cause the side effects Peter mentions, but it should not cause any damage to your body.

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Have you tried aged cheeses? There are alot of aged cheeses that lose their lactose during the aging process. Where I live they are labeled in the cheese section as dairy free. Some cultured yogurts are the same although I think more lactose stays in the yogurt than in the cheese.

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Thanks so much for your answers. I'm OK with some occasional discomfort as long as I know I'm not damaging my body.

I ate some gluten-free pizza and had some upset afterwards (first time I'd eaten cheese since going gluten-free), and realized I'm probably lactose intolerant. The next day I ate the same pizza with a lactaid and it went much better. (So it doesn't seem to have been CC or anything.)

I have indeed found that aged cheese seems to go down easier, which is great since that's the kind I prefer anyway! :)

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"You may FEEL like your intestines are being torn apart"

Yes...That is EXACTLY how I felt the last time I ate a cheese sandwich on wheat bread, like I was being torn apart, it was so painful. Nice that there are people that understand.

Eating just cheese by itself (ie, without the gluten), seems to be manageable for me though, fortunately. Uncomfortable, but not painful.

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I was referred to a dietician to discuss my Celiac diet. I asked her the same question. She said it would be good to take a lactase suppliment if dairy gave me discomfort. She said if adding some cheese or butter to things made them taste better to encourage me to eat, go ahead and do so.

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"She said if adding some cheese or butter to things made them taste better to encourage me to eat, go ahead and do so."

The nut-thins do taste a lot better with some cheese!

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Here is a statement from MedScape (which I cannot link)

Although villous atrophy is not exclusive of celiac disease, it is considered a crucial finding. Other causes of blunted villi include tropical sprue, malnutrition, intolerance to cow's milk, soy protein intolerance, and infectious gastroenteritis. However, most of these conditions can be readily excluded on the basis of clinical history and laboratory data.

I do feel that the previous posters have answered your questions, though.

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The gluten is responsible for the damage to the villi

The lactase to digest the lactose is made at the tips of the villi

You will most likely be lactose intolerant until your villi heal

Until they heal the lactose will ferment rather than digest in your gut and and cause the side effects Peter mentions, but it should not cause any damage to your body.

Wow...it's been 3 months since I've been diagnosed and this is the first time someone explained WHY celiacs can't have lactose..my Dr. just said DON'T DO IT...she never said why!!! I know I'm casien sensitive but this really explains the dairy intolerance on a whole new level...espeacially the rotting breath before I stopped all dairy!!!

thanks for clearing that up! Its amazing what I learn on this site every day!

And Peter... LOVE the evil pumpkin!!! :D:D:D It's delicously wicked! B)

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"Wow...it's been 3 months since I've been diagnosed and this is the first time someone explained WHY celiacs can't have lactose..my Dr. just said DON'T DO IT...she never said why!!!"

Oh that's too bad--I think it's so important to your health to have that piece of information where you understand what's going in inside your body. I'm glad you could find some answers here.

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