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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes

Casein Or Lactose Intolerance?

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Hi All

Lately, I've been having trouble when I have milk. Not so much stomach-wise other than a bit of nausea, but dizziness, headache, pressure in my sinuses, general brain fog. I've been dealing with mild vertigo (non-vestibular) and milk tends to make it worse.

Because of that, I've started cutting cow's milk out of my diet as much as possible. Instead eating sheep and goat's milk cheese, drinking almond milk (cause I hate soy/rice milk), and even cut back on yogurt (which I can usually handle ok)

I've been doing a bit better in the head department, and notice that if there's butter, milk, or too much salt in something my head goes a little swimmy.

The question is: am I developing an intolerance to lactose, or to casein? Is there a difference in symptoms?

I've been trying my best as usual to stick to the gluten-free diet, but these symptoms seem a bit different, more immediate and more to do with head/concentration.

A friend of mine recommended trying raw milk (she gets it from a supplier, and brought a bit to try) Perhaps the bacteria etc in raw milk might make it easier to digest. I had a sip of it this morning and felt not so hot after, but will try a bit more and see how it is.

Any advice would be welcome.



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HI Peggy,

I went round and round with this question for a few years of what is it about milk that is bothering me? Is it casein? lactose? some other component? Is is an autoimmune issue? a functional issue? and never got anywhere by looking at symptoms and reading up on it. I recommend that you try some tests. There are a number of them. You can do skin or blood allergy testing for casein, cow and goat separately. You can also get what is called a milk subfraction test(blood) that looks at about 4 components of milk if I remember right. It may help you to figure out which products your body will be ok with. I ended up being casein allergic(skin test). I wanted to know if my immune system was involved because I suspected other immune isssues and didn't want to be consuming dairy if it challenged my immune system even if I didn't have symptoms. I found that even if I didn't have significant symptoms, cow dairy raise my blood sugar quite a bit, showing that immune system component.

At some point I also did a omplete elimination and could breathe SO much better! I had no idea it was affecting me that way and so much!

After the pos. skin test for cow dairy and eliminating all dairy for a while I tried got and could successfuly consume it and had a neg test. I was good with that for about a year and then started getting symptoms and found that my cow casein allergy had crossed over to goat :( I really miss it.

Good luck to you sorting it out.

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Neuro symptoms are usually casein, not lactose.

Lactose gives gas, diarrhea, and other purely GI issues because it gets broken down by bacteria and/or pulls excess water into your intestines. Casein causes allergic and intolerance reactions that affect your whole body.

Raw milk will still cause you trouble with casein issues. It's also not particularly safe to drink. This article is worth a read - it's pretty balanced.


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Neuro symptoms are usually casein, not lactose.

Lactose gives gas, diarrhea, and other purely GI issues because it gets broken down by bacteria and/or pulls excess water into your intestines. Casein causes allergic and intolerance reactions that affect your whole body.

Raw milk will still cause you trouble with casein issues. It's also not particularly safe to drink. This article is worth a read - it's pretty balanced.



I'm also thinking it's casein more likely than lactose. It's a bit like getting glutened but without the bloating, and I get the head-fogginess almost immediately.

I think I will try an elimination diet for a few weeks and see how it goes. I've also cut back on salt significantly, since it gets my dizziness going too.

I've heard both sides of the raw milk issue, and think its likely safe as long as you get it from good sources (there's been a huge controversy here in Ontario about farmer selling raw milk. His house/farm got raided and was treated like he was cooking meth or something! Ridiculous!) in any case, I don't think cow's milk is for me anymore...

Anyway, any further advice would be great. If I can't figure it out on my own, visiting a GI specialist or an allergist might be the next step.



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Thinking its definitely casein. Just clued in that casein being similar to gluten also means it could be causing some intestinal damage. It hasn't gotten as bad as before I went gluten-free, but I have lost a lot of weight over the past several months (though i'm clinging to the hope that I'm eating right and getting exercise and won't suddenly gain it back once I figure this out. ie: I just bought new pants).

Also did a little reading concluding that it (along with salt, naturally occuring and added) is causing and/or aggravating my head symptoms (mild vertigo/dizziness, brain fog, sinus pressure/congestion, fluid in ears...)

Of casein intolerance: "Symptoms in adults can include headaches (yep), gastritis, light-headedness (seriously), vertigo (yuhun), skin rashes, jock itch (unfortunately), nasal and sinus congestion (sniff. off and on all the time), depression and anxiety (thankfully not too much lately, but feeling bleh), nausea (a little), asthma and bronchitis (thank god no)."

ding ding ding!

So (despite the fact that I just bought some yogurt) no more cow's milk for me. I'm hoping goat will still be ok, since it's supposed to have a lot less casein, or a different form, but will figure that out later.

Now, to figure out a Gluten and Casein-free diet... yey.

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