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Can going grain-free worsen lactose intolerance?

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  • Can going grain-free worsen lactose intolerance?

    I think I've narrowed my bloating/gas issues since going grain/legumes/sugar free on possible lactose intolerance. I've actually noticed a bit of this before I changed my diet, if I drank a glass of milk too fast for example, but never like I am experiencing now. Really bad, even after yogurt (it's homemade, a lot milder in flavor than store bought, so maybe the lactose isn't being broken down as much?). Butter doesn't seem to bother me, and neither does cheese, like shredded cheese on my salad, but cream cheese or sour cream do. Before I could have those no problem. The only thing that caused trouble was a big glass of milk or a milkshake (ice cream was fine). Does that even sound like lactose intolerance?

    I went all day yesterday without milk products, and the bloating was a non-issue, but in the evening when I ate a bit of my husband's spaghetti squash casserole made with cream cheese and sour cream, I got a tiny bit bloated and gassy. Then this afternoon I had some yogurt and BAM! Two hours later I'm in major discomfort which has lasted all evening. I can't think it's anything but the dairy.

    Is it common when dropping grains to notice such a sudden increase in lactose intolerance, and if so, why? Does this indicate that I am sensitive to gluten, even though I didn't have any noticeable symptoms of it before? And why would symptoms of gluten sensitivity show up after giving it up?

    I'm going to cut way back on the dairy that seems to be causing me issues (milk, sour cream and cream cheese), and when I do decide to indulge, take a Lactaid and see if that helps. Just curious if anyone else has experienced this? Does the Lactaid really help?

  • #2
    Eating grain actually caused my former lactose intolerance.
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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    • #3
      Did your LI symptoms worsen after going grain free?

      It sounds like now you have no LI issues? How long did it take for your LI to go away after going grain free?

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      • #4
        I would think eating grains would only perpetuate your digestive discomfort. If lets say you are gluten intolerant, it will literally start to destroy the small micro villi in your small intestine making it more permeable to non-beneficial bacteria/organisms. Removing grains can only help your digestion in that case. But if you are also lactose intolerant (like myself) your small intestine will never repair itself if you keep consuming dairy, regardless if you have given up the grains. What worked for me was to completely stop dairy and gluten all together with. After a few months my gut healed itself since I was no longer consuming the big offenders. Now I have slowly introduced raw dairy (raw cheese, butter) and they do not give me any issues. But I think if I was to go back to drinking milk it would still bring back the lactose intolerance symptoms.

        Raw dairy works a lot better for people with lactose intolerance because it is not pasteurized or homogenized. Pasteurization destroys a lot of the enzymes in milk, particularly lactase. Lactase is an enzyme that assists us in digesting lactose. You do not find much if any lactase in pasteured milk and that is why there are so many people who end up reacting badly to it.
        "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

        People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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        • #5
          I became more sensitive to dairy after eliminating all grains. I assume that the sensitivity was there before, but I was just used to feeling a little bloaty from the grains that I didn't realize the dairy was partly to blame....at least that is my current theory!
          For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -http://lifeasadreger.wordpress.com/

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          • #6
            But if you are also lactose intolerant (like myself) your small intestine will never repair itself if you keep consuming dairy, regardless if you have given up the grains.

            This is what I was afraid of, and I find it really discouraging. I knew I had a chance succeeding at giving up grains and sugar if I could keep dairy, but honestly a diet of meat and veg with occasional fruit just depresses me. Giving up stuff because you want to is a whole hell of a lot easier than doing it because you have to.

            Thanks for laying it out there though. It seems I have some hard choices to make.

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            • #7
              noncommittal, Primal is a whole new cuisine and it's possible to cook very well without dairy. Try using lots of olive oil, lard, suet, duck fat, bacon fat. Think of how our grandmothers cooked, all those concepts we've tossed away since low-fat became the rule. My grandmother never ate a yogurt in her life. She did love to douse the veggies in butter, but butter might still be an option. I've eliminated dairy short-term and now I am looking at a long-term experiment. It's definitely doable.

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              • #8
                My dairy issues started after I went gluten free, it's something that happens to a lot of people if you go out and browse the celiac forums. Technically, milk products should cease after we are weened and some groups of people just never have enough lactase to digest milk products when they are adults. Personally, I love cheese and yogurt but have come to realize that they are condiments and not food groups. Your tummy will thank you for seeing it that way.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by noncommital View Post
                  But if you are also lactose intolerant (like myself) your small intestine will never repair itself if you keep consuming dairy, regardless if you have given up the grains.

                  This is what I was afraid of, and I find it really discouraging. I knew I had a chance succeeding at giving up grains and sugar if I could keep dairy, but honestly a diet of meat and veg with occasional fruit just depresses me. Giving up stuff because you want to is a whole hell of a lot easier than doing it because you have to.

                  Thanks for laying it out there though. It seems I have some hard choices to make.
                  It is a tough decision. It was something I had to really think about as well since I was having milk on a daily basis. But I knew it was making me ill the more I consumed it. And in the end, it was worth giving it up. Now my gut is much more healed and I can have cheese, butter and yogurt (raw versions mostly). But I still will not mess with milk and I found that coconut milk was a really great substitute. Depending on where your ancestry is from, a lot of people lose the ability to properly digest milk proteins after the age of 4. It makes sense because in traditional cultures mothers would breast feed their children up to that age. Especially if your ancestors are from a non-herding country where milk isn't readily available it even makes more sense that after you stop obtaining milk from mom, cow's milk gives you digestive upset.
                  "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                  People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Balance View Post
                    If lets say you are gluten intolerant, it will literally start to destroy the small micro villi in your small intestine making it more permeable to non-beneficial bacteria/organisms.
                    Not always. I'm gluten sensitive, but my tests were clear. The gut lining showed no visible damage. In my case, I think it's connected to oral allergy syndrome rather than celeac - I don't fully understand the biology of it, but I've seen many studies showing that people with no measurable damage or antibodies had symptoms improve (as mine have) when wheat gluten is out of the diet.

                    Possibly gluten was causing low level inflammation and mucus production that actually protected the gut; possibly the wheat fiber absorbed or slowed the impact of lactose on the gut.

                    At any rate, it seems like the symptoms are problematic and very apparent, so the solution is simple. Just stop eating lactose.
                    If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder

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                    • #11
                      oh, just out of curiousity, have you had a bout of gastroenteritis (severe tummy upset, vomiting etc) recently? I've read that it may be implicated in creating IgA deficiency and sensitizing the gut to foreign proteins. It happens that I had such an illness shortly before I remember noticing the wheat sensitivity symptoms. (And also going on a health kick, taking aspirin and running, both of which increase the blood circulation of allergens, while eating lots of 'healthy' whole grains! w00t, way to create your own allergy!)
                      If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder

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                      • #12
                        oh, just out of curiousity, have you had a bout of gastroenteritis (severe tummy upset, vomiting etc) recently?


                        Nope. I very rarely get sick, fortunately, and when I do it's stuff like a PMS headache or the occasional mild cold symptoms (which I promptly beat down with my neti pot). My bowels were pretty happy before I switched over to PB.

                        Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions.

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                        • #13
                          Have you tried raw dairy? Many people can tolerate it just fine, even though they can't handle the pasturized stuff. The Raw Truth « NightLife
                          Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

                          Latest post: Stop Being Stupid

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                          • #14
                            I am lactose intolerant, and have very little dairy, but when I do want dairy, I take lactase enzyme, and then I don't get sick from it. I found when I dropped grains, I was more aware of the dairy issue, simply because I had eliminated the other `tummy problem`. Getting your probiotics up may help in the long run with lactose intolerance too, although I don`t think their are many adults designed to have much dairy in their diets.
                            Karin

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