How to Cure Lactose Intolerance | Chris Kresser

How to Cure Lactose Intolerance

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Lactose intolerance is one of the most common food intolerances, affecting up to 65% of the world’s adult population. (1) Many people choose to completely cut out dairy as a way to avoid the gastrointestinal symptoms that frequently come along with eating dairy foods. But is true lactose intolerance really the cause of their digestive distress, or are many people prematurely eliminating dairy because of a perceived inability to digest milk products? And is it possible to cure lactose intolerance, even as an adult?

The major reason some people can’t digest dairy products is they lack the enzyme lactase, which is necessary to break down lactose in the small intestine. It has been determined that continued genetic expression of this enzyme, known as lactase persistence, is dependent on ancestry and racial background. (2) The ability to consume dairy probably gave early herdsmen a distinct survival advantage, allowing for the spread of the gene in certain regions of the world such as northern Europe and parts of Africa; today, only about 40% of the world’s adult population maintain full lactase function following childhood. (3, 4)  Lactase deficiency makes digesting dairy products more challenging for these individuals.

However, true lactose intolerance is rarely diagnosed by medical testing, and adults frequently mistake their gastrointestinal symptoms as a sign that they are unable to digest dairy products at all. Studies have shown that even diagnosed “lactose malabsorbers” are capable of consuming moderate amounts of dairy, tolerating an average 12 grams of lactose when administered in a single dose (the lactose content found in 1 cup of milk) with little to no symptoms. (5)

Additionally, many adults who believe they have lactose intolerance are actually suffering from other gastrointestinal disorders such as SIBO, celiac disease, or IBS, and do not see significant benefit from eliminating dairy. Ultimately, there are many people who avoid dairy products without reason for doing so.

Can lactose intolerance be cured? Tweet This 

Why dairy is worth eating

You may be wondering why eating dairy even matters; after all, there are many examples of ancestral cultures that had no dairy in their diets and maintained superb health. However, it is believed that certain ethnicities may have had physical adaptations to their low calcium diet, and also traditionally consumed animal foods that are higher in calcium but probably not so appetizing to us Westerners, such as fish heads, bones, and skin. (6, 7) Therefore, they were able to meet their individual calcium needs without milk and dairy.

Calcium is a mineral that is difficult to get adequate amounts of in a modern Western diet without the inclusion of dairy. While the adequate levels of fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K2 reduces the amount of calcium an adult needs to maintain bone health, it can still be challenging to get enough calcium simply from leafy greens and bone-in fish. Several studies have shown that individuals with lactose intolerance have lower bone density and are at higher risk for fractures and osteoporosis, likely due to their inadequate calcium intake. (8, 9, 10) This risk is possibly exacerbated by low K2 consumption, as grass-fed dairy is one of the best sources of vitamin K2.

Pastured dairy products, in particular, are also a good source of the fat soluble vitamins A, D and K2 – which can also be difficult to obtain elsewhere in the diet. In fact, the only other significant sources of K2 are goose liver and natto, foods that aren’t typically eaten or easy to find. And, as I pointed out in a recent article, dairy is the primary source of the natural trans-fat conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which may have anti-cancer and other beneficial properties.

So what can you do if you believe you truly have lactose intolerance but want to begin eating dairy again? It may surprise you to learn that the quality and quantity of your gut bacteria can play an important role in your ability to tolerate dairy products.

By taking certain kinds of probiotics and consuming fermented dairy on a regular basis you can improve, if not eliminate, many of the symptoms of lactose intolerance that come with eating dairy.

Using probiotics to cure lactose intolerance

Studies have shown that supplementation with probiotics, in addition to consuming yogurt that has been enhanced with certain types of bacteria, can alleviate symptoms of lactose intolerance by modifying the metabolic activity of microbiota in the colon. (11, 12, 13) These bacteria may even produce their own lactase enzyme, and consuming lactose from dairy products can promote the growth of these bacteria in the colon. Over time, these effects can lead to greater lactase content in the gut, improved lactose digestion, and eventually the elimination of intolerance symptoms.

If you plan to use yogurt and probiotics to improve your digestion of dairy products, it’s important to start slowly and build up tolerance gradually. Often, negative effects from dairy consumption come from simply eating more lactose in one sitting than one’s gut can completely metabolize. I recommend starting with probiotic supplementation first, and focusing on bifidobacterium longum, a strain that has been shown to efficiently metabolize lactose. (14)

Jarro-Dophilus, a shelf-stable probiotic that doesn’t require refrigeration, is one option. Taking prebiotics is another way of significantly increasing bifidobacterium levels; in fact, some studies suggest prebiotics are more effective than probiotics at doing this. Biotagen is the prebiotic I use in my clinic. Remember to start at a very low dose and build up slowly over time with both pre- and probiotics to avoid any unpleasant side effects.

In addition to this supplement, I suggest consuming a few spoonfuls of a high quality full-fat yogurt every day, with each meal if possible. This will introduce beneficial bacteria into your gut that are effective lactose metabolizers, and by slowly increasing the amount of yogurt you eat every day, you may be able to work up to eating two or more servings of fermented dairy every day.

If you tolerate the yogurt well, and want to try diversifying your dairy intake, my next recommendation is to start including full-fat hard cheeses (raw if possible); these cheeses are great sources of calcium and vitamin K2 and are very low in lactose. One ounce of hard cheese contains about a third of the recommended intake of calcium, and gouda is the best source of vitamin K2 of all cheeses. (15) These hard cheeses are extremely low in lactose, and make a nutrient-dense addition to a whole foods diet. As you become more tolerant of dairy products, you can try higher lactose items such as soft cheeses, cream, and even fluid milk. Just remember to stick to the full fat and grass-fed versions as often as possible.

Of course, another option to try is raw milk. Anecdotal evidence from raw milk drinkers around the country suggests that many people who cannot tolerate pasteurized milk have no trouble drinking raw milk. (16) Research conducted on this theory, however, indicates that truly lactose intolerant individuals do not experience any benefit from drinking raw milk over pasteurized milk. (17)

Some feel this result suggests that while many people believe themselves to be lactose intolerant, there is only a small percentage of people who are truly lactose intolerant from a clinical perspective.

The best way to figure out which dairy products work for you and your digestive system is simply to try them yourself. By taking the time to introduce lactose fermenting bacteria through probiotics and high quality yogurt, you may find your lactose intolerance symptoms decreasing over time. Of course, if you’d rather eat fish heads to get your calcium, feel free to skip the dairy!

Have any of you ever cured yourself of lactose intolerance? What method did you use? Let me know in the comments below!

463 Comments

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  1. Chris, I’ve never had a problem *digesting* any kind of dairy product – my problem has always been related to respiratory. 24 years ago my midwife/doula suggested I avoid dairy for the last month of my pregnancy to prevent my newborn baby needing to be suctioned. I didn’t notice much of a change but of course after my baby was born I went right back to having it – that was when I noticed the thick phlegm in my throat that had not been present those weeks while avoiding dairy products. But I wasn’t about to give them up for a little bit of phlegm. Fast forward 11 years and I had a terrible bout of pneumonia, was so sick I was in a bed for a month. 6 months later I was diagnosed with asthma and put on a corticosteroid inhaler (I understand the asthma was likely related to adrenal fatigue). My asthma allergy specialist did the scratch test and I was allergic to most everything for which I was tested. I had seasonal allergies with my nose running, sinuses clogged and sneezing over any slight amount of dust for most of the year. We got dairy goats a couple of years after the pneumonia and the raw milk seemed to help with my symptoms and I was able to go off my medications but only for about six months. In Dec. 2009 I started on the GAPS Diet. Since I knew dairy was a problem, I eliminated it from the start and did full GAPS (I’m okay with butter and ghee though). After I did intro 4 months later I tried to reintroduce but my sinuses clogged and my asthma worsened. After 10 months on GAPS I was able to taper off my asthma medication and have been off it ever since, no symptoms whatsoever, no seasonal allergies at all and I live in the same dusty area and rarely sneeze. It is so wonderful! I am so thankful when I see those around me struggling and remember how it used to be for me. I have only had to use my Albuterol (rescue inhaler) one time the first day of a bad cold I had in 2011 (about 5 months after being off all meds). I have tried to introduce fermented dairy (yogurt/kefir) but the clogged sinuses come back with a vengeance and it is almost impossible for me to sleep when my nose is so clogged, plus I would hate to see the asthma symptoms return. We finally decided to let go of our small herd of dairy goats since we can’t drink the milk without symptoms cropping up. Do you think one day I’ll be able to heal to the point where I can have fermented dairy products? I miss sour cream, yogurt, kefir and cheese! Thanks.

  2. Another great article that promoted optimal health backed by evidence in a very common sense way. Thank you!

    I am wondering if I am getting these same health benefits from ghee made from 100% grassfed butter. With a casein intolerance, it’s the only dairy I can eat right now. What do you think?

    • I don’t think so. The benefits come from the bacteria in the fermented dairy and probiotics, and their effect on our own gut flora.

      • I have tried unsuccessfully to add dairy back to my diet a couple of times. I always start with ghee or butter oil and I don’t tolerate them. I have never started with yogurt. Do you think it is worth a try or does my intolerance of ghee and butter oil over-ride this? I’m confused as to what I am reacting to with ghee or butter oil.

  3. Some thoughts based on the article.

    1) Properly 24/hr fermented yogurt in theory should not have any lactose in it at all because the bacteria should have fermented on all of it to produce lactic acid. That’s why yogurt should be easier to tolerate.

    2) The bacteria that ferment on lactose in yogurt will probably not permanently colonize your gut, but instead be temporary, transient. Think of yogurt as a lactaid pill.

    3) Supposedly kefir might have tiny/negligible amounts of lactose left over even after 24/hr fermentation from what I’ve read. Some say kefir is more likely to colonize the gut than yogurt.

    • This is all correct. Kefir is way more potent than yogurt and includes more enzymes. IMHO, home-made kefir is the way to go, preferably from goats or sheep.

    • Hey I have thought for a long time that I was lactose intolerant but yogurt bothers me as well. I am on a diet of avoidance but I really miss the yogurt and real ice cream too. Is there something else going on besides lactose intolerance?

  4. I was having gut problems with milk (but not with cheese), and even kefir raw milk was giving me problems. However, I experimented and found that I have no problems with *clabbered raw milk* – which is so much easier to make than kefir even. Just leave the raw milk on the kitchen counter for a day or two and it will thicken to the consistency of yogurt. Nice and mild-tasting. If left on the counter for longer period, it separates into curds and whey – which is a different but equally nutritious food product. Thanks for this article, Chris.

    • That’s how fil/filmjölk is made (or used to be made, today starter cultures is added) in Scandinavia. 🙂 Milk is lactofermented at room temperature, about 25 degrees C instead of at 40 degrees C like yoghurt. Delicious!

    • There are lactaid pills, lactaid milk, lactaid ice cream. Not sure if anything else. The pills are the enzyme that breakes down lactose (the 3 part sugar in milk). The lactaid milk already has the lactose broken down & same with the ice cream. I’m sure the dairy products are not organic nor grass fed and certainly not raw.

  5. Hi Chris-
    I had food sensitivity testing done (igG??) and shows that my intolerance to dairy, specifically yogurt, cottage cheese etc was very high. I have wondered I this is due to the fact the dairy isn’t raw and I lack the enzyme or because I had the classic sensitivities to gluten, dairy, yeasts etc, and it’s a gut issue from chronic inflammation? Do I rely only on this test and take dairy out totally? I never noticed a actual lactose intolerance issue but my blood work said otherwise.

  6. This article leaves wondering about a few things. People always claimed dairy is good for you but recent studies have shown that its actually not good for your bones rather the opposite. I wonder how that fits with what you’re writing? Another thing is: what exactly is the difference of using prebiotics vs. probiotics? I have not been tested for lactose intolerance ever but I never liked milk and my stomach has a lot of trouble when it comes to eating anything containing cream (whipped or not doesn’t make a difference) I started the paleo diet and cut it out and I haven’t missed it. However since risengrød and ris a la mande (basically dishes containing milk/rice and cream/rice) are traditional dishes for Christmas, I recently tried lactose free milk and cream and wonder what is your take on that? I noticed that I did well with the milk but cream is still an issue dispite being lactose free. On the plus side I had no migraines 🙂 love the articles and podcasts btw. Wish you would do a complete one on migraine sometime especially in connection with periods as I’m still struggling despite dietary changes that actually have helped quite a bit – so Ty! (Sorry for the length of this) /Tina

    • They say wheat is good for you, then others say it isn’t .. everybody knows somebody who gets on well with a particular food when others don’t every body is different, everybody is an individual with different tolerances. , lifes short, why worry, just eat and be happy

  7. A few months ago, I stopped eating dairy for breakfast and started eating eggs. This was just as an experiment, because I do not notice any symptoms from eating yoghurt and only feel bloating if I drink multiple glasses of milk.

    Interestingly, my weight effortlessly dropped 3 kilograms over several weeks and then seemed to level off. As I occasionally, started to eat yoghurt again (for the rest still mainly eggs), the 3 kilograms came back again. Then I stopped with dairy 2 weeks ago and now my weight seems to be stable, but did not decrease again.

    I wonder what is going on.

    • Weight lifters, football players and others trying to gain weight have long used raw milk with good effect. It is considered to have a pretty strong anabolic effect, helping to put on mass and helping with recovery. John Welbourn talks a lot about using raw milk to bulk.

      • A gallon of milk is approaching 2500Cal, so that would bulk you up. Old time lifters used it. Milk contains protein (casein and whey), carbs (lactose), electrolytes (calcium, sodium, and potassium), etc.

        Research has shown that milk is better than water and sports drinks for rehydration. It improves protein synthesis after training; whole milk is better than fat free milk in this regard. It may be the combination of both fast and slow protein that makes it so beneficial for post-workouts.

    • Hard to say without a lot more experimentation. Could be the fat, carbs or inflammation caused by a casein or severe lactose intolerance.

      • A lot more experimentation!. All the time, I have eaten butter, so milk fat is likely not the problem.

        First experiment: I drink milk again (hay milk from Austria) and the weight stays stable. So either it is something in yoghurt and not in milk, or the effect has saturated. Will now experiment with eating yoghurt again.

        I doubt the the weight changes are due to muscle. I did not notice a decrease in strength while losing weight. Furthermore, I have no body building talent and have never gained 1 kilo of muscle a week and also did not notice a clear increase in strength during the weight increase.

        My impedance scale claims that I have gained 1% body fat. 3 kg would have been 4%. The scale also knows my weight and probably takes that into account in its body fat estimate. Thus there may well have been no fat gain at all.

        Thus I expect that the 3 kilos up and down are mainly water. On the other hand, with an increase in water, you think of inflammation, but I did not notice any change in health. Life is one experiment. 😉 Thanks for thinking along.

        • Yoghurt has tons of milk protein in it….casein. Greek yoghurt even more so, since the water is drained out. What you get is highly concentrated casein, with the lactose pre-digested. I have a son who bloats up and gets “fat” on lactose and casein. He just has to stay away from it.

    • I stopped all dairy and lost a lot of weight, I ended up underweight, even eating lots of fatty pork and beef and egg yolks. Dairy seems to stabilise your weight or helps you gain muscle weight, which is great.

  8. I gave up dairy for fifteen years. Whenever I ate it I would get weak, have difficulties breathing and feel terrible, like having the flu and asthma at the same time. A friend suggested I try raw Roquefort sheep cheese. Not only did I not react, it was delicious! I added more and more raw cheeses, then yoghurt, and finally raw milk. We now own dairy goats and I enjoy drinking upwards of a liter of raw milk a day and feel amazing! I have a friend who reacted the same way with regular dairy and she tried to eat raw cheese but it still wrecks her, so I guess everyone needs to find out what works for them. I can now eat small amounts of pasteurized dairy without problems too. I’m so glad I can once again enjoy souffles, crisp apples with Blue Cheese, Gouda with rice crackers, cheesy tacos, and our home made Roquefort Cheddar!

      • Probably worth mentioning we also are mostly gluten free (I eat 1-2 slices of sourdough bread a week), eat a strict Weston-Price/Primal diet that includes lots and lots of fermented foods like home made kimchee, ketsup, kefir and cheeses. My friends and family think I’m a tyrannical food nazi, but we’re healthy and that’s what’s important. I’m also going to +1 for Chris’ comment about healing the gut before trying raw dairy.

    • Greg, your story isn’t far from mine. I went over 30 years withour dairy, if I had ice cream i paid the price with diarrhea, sometimes within minutes. (sometimes Ben& Jerry won the argument in my head though, dam.) I made serious life style/ diet changes in Jan of this year, and went all Weston P and started raw milk, and made kefir and even ice cream from it. My wife was the same as me with dairy, and also tried the raw dairy, within a month, we both tried civilian ice cream, without diarrhea or even gas. That saying about not ” I’m not Lactose intolerant, but Pasturezation intolerant”, sure made sense then, to both of us.

  9. Hey Chris,

    This reminded me of your article on Kefir, particularly that it could be even more helpful in populating the gut than yogurt. I’ve switched from yogurt to Kefir, mostly because it’s so easy to make. I recommend it to anyone trying to consume a highly digestible form of dairy.

    -Wade Gwin

  10. I did!!! First, I changed my woe to grain free, and then I started making my own kefir from raw milk. It is wonderful not to feel the pain and discomfort anymore, no need to take lactase enzyme digestive supplements, and enjoy dairy again!

  11. I live in the UK and have found that pasteurised dairy milk seems to cause a big problem – along with wheat, so I’ve eliminated them from my diet. I either drink coconut milk or grass-fed buffalo milk. The buffalo milk is absolutely delicious and I have no problems digesting it.

  12. Hi Chris,

    This sounds like a reasonable approach, starting with small amounts. My tendency in the past has been to eat a lot of yogurt in one sitting, which did not work. I’ve been concerned about getting enough calcium and have taken to sucking on, and even eating when soft enough, the ends of chicken bones when I make broth from the leftovers of a chicken meal. I heard Robb Wolf say he does this for the calcium. Anyway, I think I will try your suggested method.

  13. Another possible factor to throw into the mix: I think that lactase is produced on the brush border of the vilae in the intestines, and that lactase production could fail if you had intestinal damage – the sort that occurs in celiac disease. But then when the gut recovers, lactase production can resume. Does this make sense? In that case lactose intolerance would only be temporary. It also might be a reason why so many people that cut out wheat sucessfully also find benefit when eliminating dairy

  14. Hi Chris, Thanks as always for the great post. I’m wondering about claims I’ve heard that dairy is highly inflammatory – what is the basis for those claims? Are they accurate? Also, what is your take on Mark Abram’s position (The Blood Sugar Solution), in which he strongly argues against dairy products for people with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes? Thanks, Jane

    • The claim that dairy is inflammatory is based on the idea that casein is immunogenic and allergenic. I think that’s true for some, but not all people. As for Mark Hyman’s position, I don’t think there’s much evidence supporting it. In fact, studies suggest that full-fat dairy (but not low-fat) is actually beneficial for T2DM and CVD.

      See these two articles by Stephan Guyenet summarizing the research:
      http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2010/12/dairy-fat-and-diabetes.html#_jmp0_
      http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2010/04/full-fat-dairy-for-cardiovascular.html#_jmp0_

      • My daughter has impaired glucose tolerance and milk sends her into the diabetic range with her blood sugars. The evidence is conflicting in that there are reports that dairy is protective and there are also reports that only fermented dairy is protective. There is at least one cell study that shows cross reactivity of casein antibodies with auto-antigens present in Type 1 diabetes, but it is not all the cell lines tested. My daughter also has an extremely high IgG response to dairy proteins. I’m with Chris in the “your mileage may vary” response – dairy is great for some people and not so good for others. I would be inclined to try an elimination diet if I were diabetic (Type 1 and Type 2) to see if it helps and then introduce dairy as suggested here. I would also recommend making your own yoghurt and letting it ferment for ~24 hours.

        • I don’t think your daughter should be drinking unfermented milk in that case. But home-made goat kefir fermented for 24 hours should work with her. The long fermentation removes most lactose, and the goat part minimizes the casein problems, since goat/sheep casein is different than that of US cows (or older kinds of cows that the West doesn’t use anymore).

  15. Hi Chris! Is full fat goat yoghurt made with raw goat’s milk as beneficial as cow’s? I am only able to obtain raw goat’s milk dairy products in my area currently. Thank you!

    • you lukcy man. i wish i had access to that! goatmilk is the healthiest milk one can wish for. expensive like hell too (at least here in Europe).

  16. Hi,

    How about casein sensitivity? I’m diagnosed with a casomorphin defect due to the missing of the dpp iv enzyme.

    What’s your opinion about that? Is there room for dairy or not at all?

    Thanks.

    • What type of doctor did you go to to find something like this out. Seems very thorough. I haven’t had good luck with doctors.

  17. I’ve tried probiotic supplements, prebiotic foods, and a whole lot of yoghurt (which I digest fine), but raw milk still makes my skin break out like a 13 year old who runs on Twinkies.

  18. I have a 14 year old dd who has gluten intolerance (perhaps even celiacs but we don’t know). She has had trouble with dairy for a long time but 8 months after going off gluten she can no longer tolerate any dairy. Is this just part of her healing or might something else be going on? Could she have a casein allergy and is that different from a lactose issue? We do drink water kefir regularly and eat some fermented vegetables. She ate some of my homemade goat yogurt a few days ago and had much stomach discomfort and some loose bowels. We have tried goat yogurt, goat cheese, raw cheese, raw milk of both cow and goat and she does not seem to be able to tolerate any of that at the moment.

    • In my experience it’s necessary to get the gut inflammation under control before trying this experiment. On the GAPS diet, for example, the intro phase does not permit even fermented dairy. Give it more time before trying again, and if she continues to react, I would suspect casein intolerance.

      • Thank you.
        Would you recommend the GAPs diet for awhile or just continue gluten free, casein free with as many probiotic (but non dairy) foods as we can get in?

        • Jennifer,
          If you have an hour or so you should watch Dr. McBride’s full explanation of the GAPS diet, it’s extremely helpful in understanding gluten intolerance and the scope of gut problems. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_0NvcJZwa8
          When I discovered I was gluten intolerant, I immediately felt better upon eliminating it but also found I was much more sensitive to a lot of foods that I previously hadn’t been. I was on GAPS for about 8 months and am now able to eat even cream cheese sometimes (!) I’ve worked really hard at building my probiotic bacteria and keeping my starches low. The value of sticking to GAPS is that it truly heals and seals up the gut lining. If you just do GF/CF, she may feel better while eating that way but never truly heal whereas with GAPS, she will most likely eventually be able to eat dairy and gluten again as well as return to full health. Wish you both well!

          • Thanks Christine. This is the kind of info I need. I will find time to watch that video. I have had a feeling this may be necessary for true healing for her but can’t get anyone to really make the kind of clear recommendation that you did.

            • I would like to chime in here, as we have experience with this as well. After going gluten free with our son (after a celiac diagnosis), we soon discovered that he couldn’t tolerate milk either. Not even small amounts of ghee. This went on for years. Then we did the GAPS diet (actually, we’re still doing it). After about six months of full GAPS (without milk) and about 3 months of intro, we were able to very, very slowly add in ghee, then raw butter, then raw yogurt. He even had some whipped cream (raw cream, but unfermented) with his pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, and he can eat small amounts of raw hard cheese. I don’t know how far we’ll be able to take this progression, but we’re amazed that we’ve gotten this far. And just for the record, our son was tested and he reacted to casein. I don’t know about his ability to digest lactose.

              I should also add that Dr. Campbell-McBride (who wrote the GAPS protocol) does that about 10% of people will not be able to tolerate dairy, even after GAPS healing has happened. But really, that’s a pretty small percentage. It means that 90% of us WILL tolerate it.

              In my opinion, based on our several years of experience, a person who has celiac can have a LOT of gut damage, and eating GFCF, and even grain-free and legume-free, won’t heal the gut. You will do better eating this way than not, but the gut won’t heal. GAPS does not just remove certain foods, it adds in foods and protocols that will heal the gut. This is very important.

              Now, I have to disagree with Christine on one point. I don’t think a celiac should add gluten back to the diet, even with great gut healing. Yes, the SCD diet and GAPS are supposed to heal the gut sufficiently that you can. BUT, I have never read of any tests done to show that the eating of gluten isn’t doing unseen damage. And there are a lot of tests that have been done that show the damage that can happen, even if the person is experiencing no symptoms at the time. Gluten damages the gut. Period. So, after going to all the work of healing the gut (and it IS work), why would anyone go back to eating something that most likely will cause damage again. Even Dr. Campbell-McBride says that her family eats GAPS at home, and as close to it as possible when traveling. They stay healthier that way, she says. I fully believe that. And our family plans to do the same (we’re still working on the healing part, though). It’s a very healthy diet.

              One last thing to add is that healing takes time. Some people heal faster than others, and some people heal slower. And you can’t necessarily predict which you will be. Every body is different. Just keep that in mind if you decide to do try it (it’s definitely worth it, in my opinion). Be prepared to be patient if that’s what your daughter’s body needs.

              • Thank you Christie. I am thinking right now to really focus in December on adding in as many probiotic foods as we can (just made some raw sauerkraut and carrot/ginger salad and also cooking my turkey bones down for broth) and then checking how she is after Christmas. Then we will consider the GAPS diet at that time. Christmas is not the time to get super radical. So probably after her 15th birthday in Jan we will be doing some months of the GAPS and that gives us time to get ready.

                • Yes, this is definitely not a good time to start GAPS (at least not if you want compliance). I think your plan sounds good. It seems to be really good for many people to not just jump in, but to kind “back” their way into the diet. Add in a bunch of good healing food (ferments, broth, organ meats, fats, etc.), slowly reduce grain/starch intake, try a few GAPS treats (to assure you and your daughter that you really can enjoy food while doing GAPS) and before you know it, there you are, eating full GAPS, and enjoying it. And from full GAPS, it’s easier to do intro (than from a non-GAPS diet). No need to add stress! This is about healing, not stress.

                • Christie made some really good important points. We backed our way in too because of Baden Lashkov’s advice in The Gaps Guide. She basically tells you to take a deep breath and not freak out and change everything immediately. I took my time learning the basics like making sauerkraut, yogurt, and broth. First we dropped grains, then sugar, then switched to raw dairy, all while gradually getting used to the probiotic foods and allowing our metabolisms to switch from glucose burning to fat burning. GAPS is an enormous shift for your body as well as your kitchen but its so worth it. And we’ll be the same as Dr. McBride, our diet will never return to what it was, but I do hope to be able to someday eat the occasional sourdough, or holiday pie, that sort of thing. For now though we definitely stick to the diet and plan to do so for quite a while longer. If I had celiac I might keep gluten out forever, but I just have a pronounced intolerance that I’m hoping to heal.
                  Plus GAPS inadvertently healed my long term anxiety, depression, adrenal, weight and skin problems. I mean it’s really been a lifesaver. It also remedied my husband’s ADHD and weight as well as my son’s sleep and skin problems. Good luck to you, it’s so worth it to have your health back!

              • Generally speaking: the healing phase is about the same length of time as the conflict active phase i.e. if the condition was present for two years, expect the healing (completely) to take as long, provided there are no interruptions or any recidivism, in which case it will take longer.

          • Caution: Christine Celiacs should never eat gluten again. The gluten free diet is the only safe way for us to eat for the rest of our lives. Gluten causes damage even if we are not feeling it and I think that probably applies to those who are gluten-intolerant.

        • I have lactose intolerance so I started taking lactase enzyme my issue is I started probiotics that do have milk in can allergies to milk make me have allergies to probiotics shortly 1 week after I have severe internal itching but my meds do also how can I tell which is making me feel like this

      • Hi Chris. I’m a huge fan and am so grateful for all of your teachings. I just wanted to point out that Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride recommends fermented dairy in GAPS intro. On page 146 of Gut and Psychology Syndrome when she is explaining Stage 1 she states, “Probiotic foods are essential to introduce right from the beginning. These can be dairy-based or vegetable based.” She does suggest they be introduced slowly, starting with 1-2 teaspoons a day to avoid reactions and that people do a sensitivity test first.

      • As previously posted, the cause for Acne is a biological conflict, initiated by the Psyche in response to a feeling of being soiled. (bullying and ‘spitting into the face’ come to mind.)
        http://learninggnm.com .

    • The possible reason that your daughter can no longer tolerate dairy is that a Gluten Free diet over time also eliminates some good bacteria in the gut. Gluten promotes certain bacteria in the gut. I am not suggesting you go back from a Gluten free diet but not all of that diet is great.

      • Just make sure your daughter is eating resistant starch, no need to reintroduce gluten. Resistant starch will provide all the gut benefits without causing the damage to the gut that gluten does.

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