There are simple blood tests you can take that will tell you positively whether you have a Dairy Intolerance. Those tests are great and strongly recommended for all the population having any health problems whatsoever and no matter how minor. Something to keep in mind, however, is that sometimes people may have an intolerance that does not show up on those tests. Perhaps it is a low level intolerance that affects you greatly, but is not enough to show up on a blood test. The only true way is to eliminate the dairy from your diet and see how you feel. If symptoms improve, you likely have a dairy intolerance.
How Did I Get This Dairy Intolerance?
A Dairy Intolerance often starts with a condition called “Leaky Gut.” Leaky Gut is a condition of the intestinal lining that is the result of damage to the intestinal lining. It causes increased gastrointestinal permeability, which makes it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. Inversely, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. YIKES!
The causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome range from chronic inflammation to damage from taking large amounts of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to cytotoxic drugs and radiation or certain antibiotics to excessive alcohol consumption to compromised immunity.
The Food Intolerance / Leaky Gut connection is kinda like asking the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” We know that when we heal the leaky gut, we often cure the food sensitivity. But did the food sensitivity cause the leaky gut to start? We don’t know. BUT, what we do know is that if you eliminate foods you are sensitive to, the leaky gut often heals as well and you can reintroduce those foods into your diet down the road. That is said with much caution though because if there is a food you are sensitive to, such as dairy, it is really best to avoid that food indefinitely so as to not re-damage the gut again.
How Common is Lactose Intolerance?
Lactose intolerance, the inability to digest lactose, affects about 75% of the world’s population. In other words about three out of four people have a hard time digesting lactose. It is not life-threatening – just a challenge to overcome.
How Many People Are Affected by Dairy Intolerance?
Dairy intolerance affects up to 75% of the world population.
How Many People Have Dairy Allergies?
True milk allergies ”not just a dairy intolerance” is not as common as you think. Less than 1% of children are allergic to milk. Two out of three that show symptoms of being allergic as infants outgrow it by the age of six.
How Many People Have a Casein Intolerance?
A very few people (less than 3%) are allergic to Casein (the protein found in milk). This is usually detected in babies but can be undiagnosed till later.
What is Casein?
Casein is the predominant protein found in cow’s milk. It make’s up about 80% of the cow’s milk and the other 20% is whey. Casein protein is extracted from the milk through ultra filtration, without the use of chemicals. This process increases the amount of bioactive milk peptides that support immune function as well as enhance muscle growth. Casein protein has an excellent amino acid profile and is primarily known as an extremely slow-digesting protein.
Casein is often the culprit in dairy allergies or intolerance, not lactose. It’s easy to simply blame the dairy product as a whole, but this is where we really sort out what it is that our bodies are reacting to negatively. Cheese, for example, has a high level of casein. The harder the cheese, the more casein.
What is Whey?
Whey is a protein derived from cow’s milk. It is 20% of the cow’s milk and as a dairy derivative people with a dairy sensitivity or allergy should avoid it, even in their workout diets. Whey is the byproduct left when making cheese, an extremely soluble protein and very nutritious.
Are There Any Butter Substitutes?
Answer: Yes! Fruit-puree butter, vegetable oil spreads, rice oil spreads and extra virgin olive oil are all safe alternatives for people who are unable to consume dairy. Margarine, while not dairy is not a healthy alternative due to the high content of trans-fat it contains. Our favorite butter alternative to butter itself, because it tastes the best, in our opinion, is Earth Balance Buttery Spread. Delish!
Are Eggs Dairy Products?
In addition to the previous questions there are always additional issues. One ”eggs are not dairy products. Dairy products are produced by the mammary glands of animals and clearly eggs are not. The confusion may derive from the terms animal byproduct and dairy products. They are not the same. Eggs are not dairy, they have no lactose, and are safe for someone to eat who does indeed have milk allergies. However, individuals with milk allergies are oftentimes allergic to several foods, including eggs. That does not make it causal, it is just an unfortunate coincidence.
Are There Blood Tests To See If I Have A Dairy Allergy or Intolerance?
Yes. The IgE test and the Alcat are clinical blood tests to check for allergies.