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How to Cure Lactose Intolerance

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Lactose intolerance is one of the most common food intolerances. A reduced ability to digest lactose is one of the major causes, and this affects 65 percent 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.

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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.

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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!

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463 Comments

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  1. Ok I don’t want to sound harsh or insensitive, but most of this obsession with lactose intolerance, especially from those with northern and western European (or actually any area with caucasians upto and including India), is just nonsense. Easiest way to cure your “lactose intolerance” which doesn’t really exist at all is the following:. Go on a one week diet of nothing but milk. Yeah youll feel some discomfort initially, but after a day or two, when your body realizes ‘hey absorb the milk or youll get no other food’ you will digest the milk just fine. Three quarters of this lactose intolerance nonsense is just in your heads because of anti dairy propoganda out of the processed food set who have reduced dairy consumption in this country. Trust me, chances are you arent lactose intolerant, theres nothing wrong with you, and your body will get used to it if forced to. Thats why stuff like this gradual yogurt thing work for most people, because it was all psychological to begin with and your body can adapt to sustain itself on just about anything if it has to. Man up, drink that milk even if it causes you ‘discomfort’, do it every day, and within a week youll be fine.

    • All in my head, eh? Well then I must have been a brilliant baby. I’ve had lactose intolerance since birth. But it shows my interest in overcoming it by my presence here.

      Trust me, I really wish I wasn’t lactose intolerant. Some low lactose products (hard cheese for example) I can take in small quantities. High lactose products are a different story in any quantity.

      So, I don’t think you are callous, just dogmatic in thinking we are all brain-washed. I didn’t even have an opinion until I turned two!

    • Intllerance is real. I unfortunately just got it. About 2 months ago i got really bad food poisoning and was on an IV for a bit since i couldnt even swallow water without puking. after i found that i had stomach pains whenever I ate. I thought maybe i was still sick so just left it. weeks later i think something is wrong and see a doctor. Turns out that the bacteria that caused my food poisoning had attacked the cell wall of my intestines, destroying lots of my biotics and lactaze production. I had a high dairy diet and I am used to drinking 2-3 cups a day and cheese and sour creams so i never in my life thought i would be lactose intollerant. Low and behold after one day of not eating any dairy i felt like a million bucks (apart from the internal crying that i cant even eat milk chocolate ;_:)
      They say that what happened to me is more common than you may think and my body may repair itself, but i will be waiting 1-2 years and there is only a 75% chance of lactose tollerance. So essentially because of some bad indian chicken, I get a permanent food dissability, potentially for life. oh joy…

      • Have you ever tried Kefir? It’s lactose free, but may help rebuild your healthy gut bacteria? You should research it and look into it. I buy it from the supermarket, the plain one, they also have flavored ones. I add a bit of maple syrup to the plain Kefir milk and drink some everyday.

        • what about people with diabetes or pre diabetes who have to control carbs or calorie intake? kefir is high in carbs

        • Most keifer has lactose in it. It’s just liquid yogurt. That’s all. Yes the biotics in it r good for u. But doubt most peeps can with true dairy intolerance could tolerate it.
          Even when made from goat milk. 🙁

    • That is the most ignorant statement ever. I ate a spoonful of Greek yogurt today and have been in pain all day. I have gradually progressed into lactose intolerance as has all of my family and my baby was born with it. Lactose intolerance is not a fad. You don’t see lactose free bakeries popping up. You don’t see doctors coming out with statements saying they were wrong all along about it being a real thing. That would be gluten. Lactose tolerance (yes tolerance) in adulthood has only been around for a few thousand years and mostly in Europe, middle eastern, and African countries. Most Asian countries cannot tolerate lactose. Do some research before making ridiculous claims.

      • Hey there, maybe take your own advice and do some research before making such a careless statement?
        Just because gluten intolerance isn’t a problem for YOU, doesn’t mean it isn’t a real problem for others…
        Pot/kettle. Don’t be a hypocrite.

    • I have been tested for lactose intolerance and never built up enough to build up enzymes that aren’t there. To the ignorant person that said man up? I would like you to read up more on what this is. It’s not a damn pepper eating contest. It’s your body still trying to digest something that it doesn’t have the resources to digest. You probably believe in evolution too.

    • Chris, this is the stupidest thing I’ve read in a year!!
      What else is our heads? Viruses, common cold, diarrhea, head aches, flu, etc?? Get real dude.

      I loved milk and was drinking a lot of it until I started to have simptoms and I suffered for 1 years, drinking it every day and not able to know why I had so many issues like bloating, diarrhea, enormous amounts of gas, etc.

      When I found out and took dairy out or changed to lactose free milk products, I started to live normal life again.

      So next time, you talk about “it’s all in your head, maybe check your head!

    • Lactose intolerance is real. My little baby was diagnosed with it and he is not more than few months, way tooo young to consider the possibility that its ‘all in his head’ ‘its just psychological’ and such other nonsense. Lets face it no other mammal except humans drink the milk of another mammal. And certainly no species on earth drinks milk beyond its infancy. So there is nothing at all strange about a lot of people’s inability to digest this foreign protein.

      • Lactose is not a protein; it is a polysaccharide sugar, sugar. If you had your baby tested you should know this, right? 😉

        “Lets face it no other mammal except humans drink the milk of another mammal.” Untrue. Many adopted abandoned baby mammals will happily suck on the teet of a different animal.

        P.S. What is a “foreign protein”?

        • Go away. Ignorant. But those animals do not go to a store and PAY MONEY FOR THE MILK!!
          Your argument is lame.

    • All in my head? How would you explain getting gas, major bloating and then needing to run to the bathroom 30 minutes after consuming something that you did not even know had milk but finding out afterward? I had to literally take a highway exit and run into a coffee shop to let it out!

    • Yeah, it’s all in my head since I was 12 years old and didn’t know what lactose was that yogurt and milk make me throw up and any other lactose-containing products make me really sick. I’ve been testing my limits for years. It’s not mental, dumbass. It’s chemical. It’s hard being a lactose intolerant dairy addict. Of all dairy products, milk and yogurt are the only ones that make me actually vomit. So I guess this guy’s diet of probiotic and yogurt is half-out. I’ll try the probiotics and see if it helps.

    • Lol Chris. Pretty funny reply. I am LI and I can assure u that its not in my head. I am not caucasian and hit by a double whammy which is an extreme allergy to penecillan. I just about tried everything until my pain and hives outweighed my greed and i am a complete vegan pescatarian.

    • BE CAREFUL PEOPLE!! NOT EVERY COMMENT SUGGESTS A GOOD OUTCOME. BEWARE! FOLLOW SOUND, MEDICAL APPROVED ADVICE. A MEDICAL DOCTOR, A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL, ETC.

      With food intolerances, and eating that food can cause gut inflammation, leaky gut, and infection. If you’re advised to eat it, make sure you do some due diligence and it makes sense.

    • I would gladly do your suggestion if the effect is not SHORTNESS OF BREATH feels like dying and bloated stomach that gives me the sensation like I will lift off anytime.

    • “Discomfort” is NOT the word. Agony is more like it. My sensitivity to milk and ice cream has increased with age (especially since mid 20s to current late 30s), but I can handle yogurts and many cheese (all with low amounts of lactose…funny coincidence?) fine. Last winter I forgot about powdered milk in hot cocoa and accepted a cup from my grandmother. I only finished half of the cup, still hot in my hand, before cramps were doubling me over and I spent the rest of the day from fetal position on the bed and running to the toilet, despite taking Imodium AD and Lactaid tablets (too late after the fact). I was cramping so badly, in uncontrollable waves, that it felt like I was going to give birth! Nothing else does this to me. The article above makes a lot of sense.

      • This very thing happened to me last night. In bed, trying to sleep, the cramps were so bad that they felt like labor. ..then I threw up, just like morning sickness. Some sort of dairy slipped by me yesterday…

    • Chris, you are an idiot. If you think it’s all nonsense and doesn’t exist, then why are giving so called advice? Are you doctor or scientist? If you think it’s bs then why are you even on this site?

  2. After taking sweetened condensed milk 3 days ago I had constipation and a bloated stomach,I started having eggy burps. I woke up at night and felt like throwing up so I took baking soda after which I had loosed stools. Yesterday I didn’t take the condensed milk and I had no symptoms. Today I took the condensed milk and the symptoms began again,I had eggy burps,bloated stomach and I threw up and had loose stools. Am I lactose intolerant? I’ve been taking milk and other diary products including condensed milk a lot for seventeen years now with no symptoms until 3 days ago

    • I would say YES YES and YES!!
      When u can’t digest something it ferments in ur gut. That’s the sulpher burps. Funny I never had any allergies till I was 23.
      Milk produce and egg yolks. I could eat the whites tho.
      U r prob not producing enough lactase to digest it anymore.
      Have you been on anti biotics? I think that can cause this too.

  3. Can eating products with lactate in them
    Cause immunity problems if you are lactose intolerant

    • Despite the similar-sounding names, lactate and lactose aren’t actually similar chemicals. Though both can occur in foods, including dairy products, they’re not used by the same way in the body. Further, if you’re lactose intolerant, that doesn’t mean that you will have trouble processing lactate or eating lactate-containing foods.
      Lactate

      Lactate is a negatively charged molecule formed from a compound called lactic acid. Some bacteria make lactate when they metabolize sugars. Humans also produce lactate as a byproduct of metabolism, though only under certain conditions. Specifically, says Dr. Gary Thibodeau in his book “Anatomy and Physiology,” you make lactate when your cells process sugars for energy in the absence of oxygen, such as when you’re engaging in a hard sprint or power efforts during exercise.
      Lactate in Food

      Lactate can occur naturally in some foods, and in other cases, it’s added. Fermented foods like sourdough bread and yogurt contain lactate naturally. This is because these foods are manufactured by allowing bacteria to convert a certain amount of the sugar in the dough or dairy into lactate, yielding a sour flavor and change in texture. Because lactate changes a food’s acidity, it can make it hard for pathogenic bacteria to grow in the food. As such, lactate is sometimes added to foods as a preservative.

      Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/361244-lactate-lactose-intolerance/

  4. Lactose is only (a small) part of the issue.
    I am concerned about the casein and the connection between casein and cancer (particularly breast cancer, it seems).
    How about Dr Campbell’s work and the China Study? And the fact most people find that drinking milk makes them put on weight? And the acidic pH of milk/dairy? And the fact the US and New Zealand (largest consumers of dairy in the world) have the worst rates of osteoporosis in the whole world?
    Historical analysis of dairy consumption in the UK show that people are drinking less milk than ever but eating more cheese. Not sure that has helped as people are becoming fatter and osteoporosis is certainly not declining.
    Please write a more comprehensive article about the other aspects of dairy.

    • Oh give me a break. With all the garbage currently in the food supply, from processed vegetable oils, to sugar and corn syrup in everything, to all manner of unnatural foods, you think that milk, which is just about as natural a substance as there is and produced by a mammal is somehow dangerous? Milk has absolutely ZERO to do with why Americans are fat. You can lay that down solely to fructose and fructose containing sugars like sucrose (or regular sugar) which is added to just about everything. Milk contains glucose and galactose only, no fructose and isnt it amazing that when mammals in nature produce a milk for their young, it has (oh my god) no fructose and uses glucose as a primary sugar? So no, milk will not make you fat, is infinitely better than any procesed food, and is even better than any grain products as well. You might want to sit back and think: ‘what foods have we added to the normal diet that we didnt have for centuries before?’ Milk ISNT one of those things. Vegetable oils are, processed sugar is, processed food with no fiber is. Milk and its sub products like butter, yogurt are infinitely safer as a fat source, as a sugar source, as everything. The alternative is what made us fat.

      • Yeah Chris you may want to back it down some. I agree that we ingest all sorts of ugly things.
        BUT TO THROW A BLANKET OVER MILK IS JUST PLAIN BULL HEADEDNESS.. MILK IN THE WHOLE OR UNPASTEURIZED MILK WILL MAKE A STICK FAT. LEARN BEFORE RANTING.

        • I’ve done extensive research on food because of major food allergies in my children. Based off that research, I developed a diet for myself. Well, let’s call it a lifestyle change. I cut out white sugar and processed bread/pasta. Lost 30lbs. in 3 months. My daily “go to” treat was a fruit smoothie (sweetened with a banana) with homemade yogurt (started with whole raw milk…lots of cream on top!). So my almost nonexistent dairy diet, now contained dairy every day and I still lost 30lbs. This supported everything I had researched…fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat. It’s all about how you condition your body to burn. (By the way, I resisted this theory as well. It went against everything I had read and learned in health books growing up. But put to the test, my meats and milk were NOT the enemy.) Now three years later, I’ve kept the weight off and convinced my husband to do it. He’s tried MANY other diets and finally tried my “homemade” diet. He lost 12lbs. in 5 days. Others are telling him he can’t eat this or that on a “diet”, but again, fat isn’t making him fat…the proof is in his now 20lb. weight loss. It works!

          • Hi!

            I would love to hear more about your diet…like what can you eat verses what you don’t eat?

            I would love to hear some of your sample meals. I agree with you 100% about sugar vs fat.

            Thanks!

      • Actually, milk does contain caseine. Caseine is an animal protein, and is proven to be one of the most toxic carcinogens. Also, the issue with osteoporosis isn’t with NOT drinking enough milk, the problem is when a human consumes an animal protein, whether it be a steak or a glass of milk, it is a very acidic food for a human stomach, so in order for the human body to buffer the acidity, it uses calcium to do so…where does the human body store calcium? In the bones…what happens when your body draws calcium from your bones to buffer the acidic animal proteins? Osteoporosis…
        Now on another note, certain dinosaurs had fangs, talons and other such meat shredding devices….as do tigers, bears, lions etc…deer do not, dinosaurs that were vegetation eaters do not,….humans don’t either….if we were meant to be meat eaters I feel that we would have been built to hunt and kill like other carnivores in nature.

        Last thing is this…we are the only animal species that consumes the milk of another animal….so why don’t we drink tiger milk? Kangaroo? Hell….the milk from your house cat? Because it’s gross!

        Last point….I hate to point fingers….but truth is, cow milk’s primary purpose for existence is to feed baby cows right?
        Yes
        After the birth of a new born calf the average weight is what?
        50lbs.
        The average steer calf is expected to put on 65-75lbs a month. Or 500-600lbs by the time they reach 9 months.
        I doubt all the grass grazing is the main cause of such vast weight gain in such a short period of time….so what could it be?….
        COW MILK….

        Also these are not opinions…I’m just stating the scientific and physiological facts.

        • Humans are omnivores that have descended from carnivores. We have canines and sharp front scissor teeth for tearing flesh.

        • We are omnivores, meaning we have the capabilities to eat and digest plants AND animals. We have teeth for both and digestive enzymes for both.

      • Is sugar and all of its subdivisions bad for you? No. The reason Americans are so fat issss….
        *drumroll*
        Quantity control. You can have anything you want (that you’re not allergic to) and not get fat. As long as you use the appropriate servings of food per day. A serving size is a half a hamburger. What do we usually get? A double patty burger with fries and a sugar (or harmful chemical additive DIET) packed soda. Breakfast? Pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice/milk. Stop looking so hard at the ingredients and try looking at how much they’re stuffing in their face. An 8″ long, 1″ thick steak at a restaurant alone is too much meat, then piled on with mashed potatoes and salad, followed up with a fat slice of pie. Yeah, it’s totally the sugar.
        Look at a normal serving size in Japan or France. It’s a LOT smaller.
        Too much of a good thing is bad for you.

        • A 10oz steak or 10oz of sugar…which will fatten you up faster? Not all calories are created equal. 😉

  5. Whenever I eat dairy, even just a bite of grass-fed ghee, I get a major flare of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    I MISS CHEESE!

  6. Hi Chris. I cut out lactose last year after having eaten it all of my life as someone suggested it’d be good for my sinus problems. When i tried to reintroduce it i then had a very severe reaction. I recently tried to introduce a couple of spoons of probiotic yogurt every day to increase my tolerance. All was fine was around for 10 days and then suddenly i felt dreadful: diarrhoea, dizziness, terrible headache, cramps. I’m 31 weeks pregnant and am worried about my baby being lactose intolerant. Any supplements you can suggest that are safe for pregnancy? I read about Beano Dairy Defense…does this work? Many thanks, Nicola

    • All beano does is help with gas. It doesn’t make ur body produce more lactase digest milk products.
      I’m sure uve had ur baby by now.
      Was there a dairy allergy with ur baby? Even if u were t allergic ur baby still could have been. Usually they out grow if. But it seems to appear sooner in people that were allergic has babies. I
      In fact I read that people that were preamies seemed to have more dairy allergies.

  7. Hello I am struggling so bad every single time I eat something that contains just a little tiny bit of dairy I get super bloated I mean super Duper bloated it looks like I’ve gained so much weight no matter how much I workout can someone please help me I used to be lactose and tolerant when I was really little after four years old a completely went away now I am 22 years old and it has came back very badly when I work out my body tones up but my stomach won’t because of the bloat just a tiny Bit of dairy causes my stomach to blow up I don’t know what to do I love to dress up but it affects my clothes can someone please give me some advice will this forum help me should I see a doctor what is the true resolution ?

  8. Hi Chris
    The situation I am dealing with is complex
    could I speak with you so I am dominating this chat?
    I can give you my number!

    • To speak with Chris, you’ll need to wait until he opens his clinic to new patients again. Join his email list if you haven’t already and you’ll get notified when the next open enrollment is scheduled.

  9. I could eat dairy just fine until about 3 weeks ago. A friend of mine gave me some of his kefir culture and I started eating it daily with my morning oats. Now I seem to be completely unable to eat any dairy (except butter). I feel that one or more of the bacteria or yeast in the kefir has destroyed the bacteria that help digest lactose. I am going to head out and buy some acidophilus tomorrow and hope that it will help – will I be able to find any prebiotics or biotagen in a health food store or do I need to see a doctor or specialist?

    • Inulin, the fiber used in Fiber Choice chewables, is an excellent prebiotic! You can also find prebiotics with the dietary supplements at a store, next to the probiotics.

      I hope that helps. 🙂

    • I had it that bad too. Honey, u just have to start reading ingredients if u really want to avoid the dreaded dairy bloat.
      It’s AWFUL! I felt 6 months pregnant just from dairy bloat. Even bread that had dairy in it. Like non fat dry milk as an ingredient. Whey is in everything. Specially baked goods.
      Read read read. It’s the only way.
      Maybe it will get better maybe not.
      I was allergic as an infant. Then ate whatever I wanted till I was 23. Then BAM!!! It was back. Made me so miserable until I learned what has dairy and what foods r dairy. Casein casinate
      Proprianate. Hidden in foods.
      When I turned 50 it just went away. It’s been 10 yrs now. I never ever thot that would hPpen. Not after 30 yrs of no milk stuff.
      So just stay away from it.
      The side effects aren’t worth it.

  10. For any of you that have constipation from lactose, as I do, I use a wonderful product made of dates, prunes, prune juice and raisins called fruit-eze that is a delicious jelly that needs no refrigeration – I drink it with my gluten/wheat free fake, delicious coffee called Dandy Blend containing roots of Dandelions and other herbs. Both products are only available online!

    I also have acid reflux and I have found read further into the side effects of baking soda, which I was taking, and although it does help one to go to the bathroom, it can be bad for you if you take too much. I have laid off of it for now. Fresh crushed garlic in honey is good for the stomach if you don’t mind the aftertaste or if it doesn’t give you acid==look up the health benefits of garlic as an anti-bacterial, good for heart problems etc. 🙂 To your health! Amanda

  11. Hi Chris,

    I recently read a headline somewhere telling of a major long-term study which suggests milk isn’t as healthful as many think it to be. Have you come across such a study? Are these claims misguided? I also remember something about milk causing a bile buildup in the body that may be linked to cancer… Just some the the negative press I’ve come across at one time or another.
    I’m a 38 y.o. circus artist performing aerial acts six days a week, so I follow your advice (along with Dr Cate Shanahan’s, Mark Sisson’s, the Jaminets’, etc) as much as I can. I love dairy products amd have recently begun drinking the odd glass of whole milk from grass-fed animals and hope to continue. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
    Thanks!

    • Beware the rantings of the anti-milk crusaders. Whole milk in its natural state is an extremely valuable food. Low-fat and skim milk have “vitamins” added which may increase one’s risk for bone thinning, allergies and several types of cancer. There is no reason for anyone to drink defatted milk. It should be taken off the market.

      • Also, we don’t have access to raw milk as of yet. Whole milk (organic, grass fed) is the best we can do for now.

  12. As a teenager, many decades ago, I had severe daily abdominal pain followed by bouts of diarrhea. I loved milk and had no concept of lactose intolerance but did discover that if I ate really strong cheese I had much less abdominal pain. As an adult and years later when I was told I might have lactose intolerance, I went off milk and over the next year gained 15 pounds, going from a previous very thin 130# to an acceptable to me 145# (5’10”). I still drink milk, but varieties low in lactose, as well as kiefer and yogurt. I suspect ‘strong’ cheeses contain lactase in one form or another and that’s why it helped tolerate lactose containing milk.

    • no. strong cheeses just have a much lower amount of lactose. that is why you could handle it

  13. Some of my medications have a small amount of lactose in them. they say that can’t hurt me but when I take them I get bloated, constantly have an urge to defecate. Can a little in medications do that?

    • Nancy that would totally depend on the medication. The GI is VERY sensitive to many medications. I would talk to a holistic doc or naturopath. Are the medications you take connected in any way to digestion issues? You see how your question is a bit complicated! If medications create digestive symptoms for you, you probably alreaday have IBS. If you have IBS then you have to look at diet. The DigestiveHealth Institute is a good place to start.

    • Nancy, the same things happens to me. I get medications that contain no lactose or have them compounded and they do not bother me. It has nothing to do with the medication in my case and everything to do with the lactose. I am also sensitive to dairy proteins, having been tested twice, the last time while I was only having microscopic amounts without realizing it and test still came up with positive antibodies to dairy proteins. I wonder if I am allergic/sensitive to milk proteins I could also be allergic/sensitive to lactose. Sure makes life difficult!

    • Yes. It happened to me every time. U can’t just ask the pharmacist to look at the ingredient list either. I called a pharmacy first talked to the pharmacist and asked here to read the label for me.
      She did. She said.
      Got it filled took it. Sure nuff 20 mins later I can FEEL IT!!! So I called her back. Turns out she didn’t read the label. But said she new it didn’t have any milk in it. I said ur wrong. Get out the insert and read out loud to me. She did. When she came to the words lactose and whey, she got quiet. She apologized.
      I tried hard not to be a &itch.
      But I was angry. I was going to suffer for the next 24 hours.
      Then I really got mad and said what if I had the type of allergy that causes anaphylaxis ? Huh? Huh? Huh???? What about that.
      Anyway. She looked thru a few other brands for me and found some other dairy free choices for me. I apologized to her for getting so ANGRY! She was young. But geezus. Ud think u could count on ur pharmacist to be honest about ingredients.
      Guess I’m still mad. It was years ago. Lol.
      Guess I gotta work on that.

  14. Dairy in general is very difficult to digest and has a very high fat content. Also puts a hige strain on your digestion which can cause other problems. Its best to eliminate dairy from your diet and consume alternatives like almond milk and coconut milk – youll stay healthier and live longer 🙂

  15. For the people who have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance (LI), what test did your doctor use to diagnose it?

    I’m from the UK, and I visited my doctor because I have reason to suspect that I had developed LI, but I was told that there is no test to diagnose LI on the NHS.

    • I have been diagnosed with LI, they made me fast 12 hours, then I had to drink a solution of lactose and water. Then they did a diabetes sugar test every 30 minutes to see if my body absorbs it. In normal people, the lactase enzyme will break down the lactose into sugar, and their blood sugar is supposed to rise. My blood sugar did not rise, therefore I am LI. My body is unable break it down.

    • There’s also a test, which my son did recently in a regular hospital, in which you get water+lactose on an empty stomach, and then every half-hour the hydrogen content of your breath is measured. Apparently this also tells you something about intolerance for lactose.

      • This (the breath test) is the only other way to test for lactose-intolerance, besides a rotation diet. Good answer! 😉

  16. I don’t know if I’m lactose intolerant, but I get sick immediately after ice cream or cereal. I have noticed this only seems to happen though with regular dairy..I don’t have any problems if the dairy is organic non GMO. Has anyone else noticed this??
    I wonder if I am just allergic to GMO’s?

    • Your thoughts on the concept of “GMO” is wrong. educate yourself, orange carrots are a product of the swiss wanting to plant more orange carrots for there king. Another example is bananas are all clones. Check out scishow on YouTube about gmo’s

      • “Educate yourself” Dude, your English is so poor nobody knows wtf you’re even trying to say!

    • For me it was all dairy. GMO hasn’t been around for ever.
      People have always struggled with dairy. We just havnt been able to the medical peeps in on the news.
      In fact I have often wondered if the dairy association doesn’t pay for medical scholarships and THATS why we could never get drs to listen to us.
      I have little faith in most doctors anymore.
      I used to think they just read a few more books ( in school) than me. Not anymore.
      The younger the doc, the less they know. they don’t have common sense connect the dots kind of sense.
      If they don’t have it, didn’t learn it in school, they won’t believe u. I’ve kind of learned to distrust doctors in my 60 years.

  17. Daily probiotics, & (almost) daily Greek yogurt. I still wouldn’t drink a glass of milk, but dairy foods with less lactose, like Greek yogurt & aged cheeses are no problem.

    • So true! One cup of milk kills me, but for some reason I can have a bowl of yoghurt and my Cracker Barrel cheese (hard cheese, not soft cheese!) without any consequence! Unfortunately indian deserts have a lot of dairy in them and I’ve learnt to stay away from the more milky ones (which are my favorite ones, though a bit or two is usually ok). I have tried A2 milk recently, and I was amazed because I had a glass of it one night and it was fine! I take no probiotics or lactase supplements because I found it didn’t work for me (lactase tabs anyways). But nice read, maybe I’ll try the probiotics again

  18. Very interesting site.I have been helping people to become lactose tolerant for the last three years with a ninety-five per cent success rate.
    Like you say those that are lacking lactase which is an enzyme from birth are difficult to help but those that have developed it some time in their life can be helped.In a few short sessions, usually half an hour,and often in one session it can be overcome.For anyone who is interested, they can contact me for a Skype session.

    • Months after responding to this post, I simply observed and reduced my dairy intake: 2 slices of pizza vs the entire Large Pizza. 1 1/2 scoops of ice cream vs 4 enormous sized scoops with whipped cream. For me just reducing my overall dairy intake did the trick along with choosing higher quality cheeses. But still no milk…since I discovered the great taste of Almond Milk, Coconut and Rice milk.
      I agree indeed Chris’ site is super awesome!!…and no respect to the insight throughout the site but I’m curious about the methods of Robert Hill, especially if this is the Dr. Robert Hill who wrote in the Journal of Biological chemistry in 1971 “The purifications and properties of the A Protein of Lactose Synthetaste…?”

    • Help! I have even a small glass of milk and i feel like death..idk how I became this way..I love dairy but lately can’t anymore..even my 2 yrs daughter is this way too..how do I get over it .

      • Brandy…seriously…just stop drinking and eating it…especially with your child. If you REALLY stop to think about the cows that feed on “government only knows what”…and then the process in which the milk is being extracted from the “animal” …then you stopping the consumption of dairy products would seem like a task of major ease. Give Rice, Almond and Coconut milk a try…these are great alternatives…even for cereal. I suffered for most of my life from dairy intake because my family was ignorant to the idea of such the diagnosis. As an adult I became vigilant about what I put in and on my body. Transformed me forever. Just food for thought. We have freewill….no one is making you eat or drink dairy. Be conscious of what you intake. peace.

    • I was recently diagnised with Lactose Intollerance. Just few months ago. I am 28 years old and love diary. It is very hard for me to resist milk. I just do not understand how it happen. No one in my family has a history of intollerance. I just want the best possible solution to get it cured.

      • Hi Hans,

        I saw your comment and thought I would throw this out there as I feel your pain. Have you had any stomach bugs or stomach upset recently? Particularly food poisoning or gastroenteritis? I have tolerated lactose all my life however in January this year I got food poisoning and noticed since then that milk upsets my stomach. I get severe bloating and wind whenever drinking milk. I switched to lactose free milk or non-dairy such as rice milk etc and the issues went away. I have since been trying to slowly reintroduce lactose without success however this may be the cause of your issues too?

        • Food poisoning can only be proved if everyone eating
          The same food got sick. I worked in a restaurant where one customer said she got food poisoning. After there was a further investigation while the investigation took place it was discovered that no bacteria or other reason for food poisoning existed. However, it was discovered the customer had all allergic reaction to certain ingredients.. Food poisoning. No! Allergic reaction. Most definitely.

          • what?! you just “proved” that this guy didnt have food poisoning because you own restaurant had a woman that claimed food poisoning but it was her allergies. completely non connected incidences

    • Is there cure for babies age 1…my so was fine until 8 months suddenly he is having lactose intolerance problem…He is currently on lactose free milk…any suggestions. ..

    • My daughter and her 4 year old and 2 two year old twins seem to be lactose intolerant. Do you have anything written down on how to eliminate it?
      Thanks.
      Vicky
      Or details about skyping?

    • Hello Robert Hill,

      Could you please give me your skype ID..I want to contact you for some help with lactose intolerance.