In a Dairyless World...

December 9, 2012


This is totally random, but I was sitting here thinking about the holidays and all of the delicious goodies we get to eat and not feel guilty about. But unfortunately, some of us don’t get to enjoy because our bodies decide to revolt against us.

Lactose intolerance. All my fellow dairy allergy peeps out there let me get a woop woop! Because we have to stick together to make this a lactose free world we can live and eat in.

If you are lactose intolerant you understand my pain when I say that the barista at Starbucks accidently made my drink with real milk and not soy. Bad night.

For those of you who aren’t, image food poisoning mixed with the flu mixed with eating five Big Macs in one sitting. Milk suddenly becomes your worst enemy.

For those of you who don’t know what lactose intolerance is, I shall explain. I do not understand the complex chemistry behind it, but in a nutshell your body lacks the lactase enzyme that breaks down the lactose in dairy products. Therefore it kind of just flies right through your system…

I discovered I was lactose intolerant my senior year of high school. I always had at least one glass of milk a day sometimes more. I could drink that stuff like water. Not to mention that a good portion of foods we all eat on a daily basis have some sort of dairy product in them. It can turn a delicious meal into hell on earth and a night in the bathroom for the dairy allergic community.

Nearly every time I would eat, I would feel sick and my stomach would become so bloated. I also spent way too much time in the bathroom for my comfort. I eventually stopped eating because I would always feel sick and I lost a lot of weight. After 4 months of bellyaches and bathroom trips I decided I should figure this out.

I casually brought it up to my mom thinking maybe it really wasn’t a big deal and I was just overreacting. But my mom (a fellow dairy allergic) thought I might have a wheat allergy. I went on a strict diet with zero wheat for a while hoping it would solve the problem. It didn’t. She then suggested I try cutting out dairy. This was a nightmare for me. Dairy was my favorite of all of the products and being lactose intolerant felt like the end of the world.

Sure enough, I cut out dairy products and I felt a hundred times better. I tried one last glass of milk to confirm and sure enough. My dear mother was right.

From that point on I cut out dairy and was forced to get used to a dairyless life. No milk. No ice cream. No fettuccini alfredo. No processed cheeses. No real butter. The list goes on. It was awful. But eventually I got into the habit of reading labels and caring around stomach medicine.

But alas, the world is finally able to understand that a milk allergy is a serious difficulty and not a made up excuse for people to pitty your food baby. Not all hope is lost.

There is a great pill out there called the Dairy Digestive Supplement. A lactase enzyme supplement that you can take before you eat dairy products that helps break down the lactose. This doesn’t mean that I can eat a bowl of ice cream, but I can now handle some buttered bread and the occasional fettuccini alfredo. This pill is wonderful and you can buy it over the counter! If you are lactose intolerant, make sure you check this out. You can find it anywhere and is a total life saver! 

Our wonderful supermarkets are also developing products that are lactose free such as:
Lactose free ice cream from Breyers.
Lactose free yogurt from Yoplait
Lactose free milk
Lactose free chocolate milk
Lactose free cottage cheese

And others! So make sure to check out those products in the grocery store if you suffer from this allergy.  

Hope my fellow Dairy Allergens found this helpful and just know you are not alone.

Together we can find the cure.

(or just kill the baristas that forget to make our coffee drinks with soy).

Goodnight and happy lactose free holidays! 

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