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Why I definitely can't eat dairy anymore (not just lactose)

Monday, October 14, 2013

I am writing this blog so I can come back here and remember next time I'm tempted to eat dairy.

Last night, after a day of particularly healthy eating, I had the SMALLEST amount of grated parmesan cheese on my dinner... literally, just like .1 oz., but that was enough to set off my intolerance symptoms. And they were awful. Today, I am still feeling awful. I'm so mad at myself, because it was completely avoidable. I knew I shouldn't do it, but I let my mind trick me into thinking a little bit wouldn't hurt. As it turns out, when it comes to me and dairy protein, a little bit hurts, a lot.

Parmesan is lactose-free, so there's no way I'm just lactose-intolerant. It's almost entirely casein protein... and, apparently, my body hates it. It's either an allergy, or an intolerance, or something else. I've read a few things online about fibromyalgia sufferers who avoid dairy and find some relief, so I am beginning to wonder if it might be that. Either way, it's bad for me, and I can't let it happen again. I just want to feel like a person again.

I REFUSE to let it happen again.

So here is a list of reasons why I can't eat dairy:
1. It gives me a "brain fog" which interferes with my ability to study or focus on anything.
2. It makes me feel fatigued, sore, depressed, and irritable.
3. Digestive symptoms: bloat, constipation, occasionally sharp pains.
4. It interferes with my ability to do physical activity -- every muscle in my body is cramped and tight and painful, as if I had just done a 5 hour strength training workout or something (and no amount of stretching or massage makes it go away, I just have to wait it out for the next 2-3 days).
5. The pain keeps me up at night, and the lack of sleep makes the pain worse.
6. I get very emotional, very anxious, and I have panic attacks.
7. I tend towards emotional eating when I feel like this, because I just want to feel better so badly, and I feel like cooking is impossible, so I always want to order take out or delivery.
8. All I want to do is sleep, so I blow off appointments and classes and end up sleeping much longer than usual in an attempt to repair my muscles.
9. I gain 5 lb overnight from water retention, and it tends not to go away very quickly (it takes at least a week of good eating, good sleep, and exercise for it to go back to my pre-dairy weight).

That is what happens to me every time I eat dairy, and it's counterproductive for my weight loss efforts, as well as my health in general.

So, after reading all of that, I hope my future-self will make the right choice and avoid that sprinkling of parmesan, that shredded cheese on my salad, that dollop of "healthy" greek yogurt on my potato, or those questionable restaurant foods which possibly contain dairy.

There is one exception to this rule: Ghee. It's made of butter that has been clarified to get rid of the proteins, so it's pure butterfat, and it doesn't bother me at all. It's the only dairy that doesn't seem to set off the symptoms above. This is the brand I buy:

I like using it on vegetables, eggs, and in curries. Grass-fed butter and ghee is a great source of K2 and CLA, so I'm glad that I can still incorporate it into my diet.

I'll be OK in a few days... and hopefully, re-reading this blog will keep it from happening again.


Sources which helped me realize I'm not alone in my experience:

"Dairy-free = Pain-free:" www.godairyfree.o

"A Massage Therapist's Experience With Dairy and Muscle Tension:"

"Allergic Tension Fatigue Syndrome: "

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    It might be that the cheese that you ate does not come from raw milk and is pasteurized and that is what is causing the problems. Most cheese products are from grain feed cows and are high in proteins that our bodies can not handle so we have problems. That is why you don't have problems with the glee. It is grass fed and not grain feed.
    1612 days ago
    Good for you...writing this blog will help you. You are such a smart cookie. I learn so much from you. emoticon
    1615 days ago
    FYI, I use Go Veggie Grated Parmesan Flavor Cheese Alternative. I find it at my grocery store. It works for anything you'd use real Parmesan in. If you're going non-dairy, it takes some experimenting to find substitutes that taste good and agree with you. emoticon
    1616 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/15/2013 9:18:00 PM
    clearly they need to make cheese flavored (real cheese flavor not salt) something or other for the rest of us. :o)
    1616 days ago
    I can really relate to this. I loooove cheese, but always regret eating it later.
    Why don't I ever learn? I hope you are able to stay strong. It is SO worth it.
    1617 days ago
  • KIPPER15
    So sorry you are experiencing these intolerances. I grew up on a dairy farm and always had raw, unpasteurized milk. I have no problems with any sort of dairy products. I always have felt that this has a large part in how I have no food allergies. The more natural products we get as children the better. I am glad you have figured out what triggers your attacks.
    1617 days ago
    That is wild- all those symptoms! At least you've figured it out and can avoid it.
    1617 days ago
    Very sorry to hear about your dairy reaction. It sounds like you've gained the wisdom to take good care of yourself. I've never heard of ghee - will have to look into it. I've been limiting dairy and noticed that the sprinkling of feta I've been putting on my omelets is causing diarrhea. Time to take stock myself!
    1617 days ago
    You have done the research and have a long list as to why you can not have dairy in your nutrition plan! I hope this personal blog reminds you every time you are tempted to try dairy again. When you have something that does not agree with your mind and body just do not put it in your system. Now that you know your allergy YOU can take control!!!

    It is wonderful that you have found something that does help, but it seems you are learning a hard way. Good luck as you tweak your future nutrition!
    1617 days ago
    WOW, that's crazy!!
    I get that from milk and some cheese, interesting about parm. I have to read up on that. I love almond milk now don't even miss regular milk.
    The cheese though...I love it!
    GREAT goals to keep in mind! I might have to copy and post on my fridge!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1617 days ago
    Sorry you feel so lousy but, on the bright side, at least you know what's causing it and the "fix" is relatively simple.

    Feel better!
    1617 days ago
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