The Dairy Debate – 5 Signs You May Be Sensitive To Dairy (And What You Can Do About It)

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Dairy is in almost everything – from your soap through to the canned soup you heat up at lunch. If you suspect you may have a sensitivity to dairy, you will need to make some serious changes to your diet and your lifestyle. To help you determine whether you need to go to all this effort, here are five signs that dairy may be the culprit behind your health dramas. 

  1. Sinus Issues That Don’t Respond To Treatment

Do you frequently have blocked sinuses or a post-nasal drip? Suffer from sinus headaches? Snore like a princess? These are quiet symptoms of dairy intolerance. Lactose (the sugar in milk) and the tendency milk has to support bacteria growth can lead to excessive mucus build-up in the nose. Many people remedy this by opting for lactose-free varieties, like a2 milk. If you’ve found that your sinus symptoms don’t respond to treatments, it may be time to get some lactose-free, a2 milk goodness into your life, or switch to a plant-based variety. 

  1. Stomach Cramps And Gastric Discomfort

Since those with a dairy intolerance can’t properly absorb and digest lactose, there can be quite a stir in the gut when you consume something creamy. Stomach cramps, nausea, bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, and even constipation are the main symptoms associated with dairy intolerance. Just think of the popular TV series, The Big Bang Theory. One of the lead characters, Leonard, frequently references his dairy intolerance and the dire consequences he experiences as a result. 

  1. Swollen Throat

Your immune system has an important role: to protect your body against invading pathogens. When it detects a harmful element, it releases histamines. Histamines are supposed to protect your body from impending doom. In the case of dairy intolerance, your immune system is registering it as a harmful and invasive pathogen and responding with a swollen throat and raised inflammation levels throughout your body. 

You can counteract this by taking an antihistamine, but the better option is to avoid dairy and prevent your body from entering into an inflamed state in the first place. Inflammation leaves other areas of your health vulnerable and negatively impacts your overall well-being. 

  1. Hives Or A Flushed Face

When your immune system is activated for defense, you might experience other symptoms besides a swollen or sore throat. Urticaria, or hives, is a common reaction with intolerances and allergies, so is a flushed face. The only way to counteract these types of symptoms would be to take an anti-allergy medication, but your body will still be in a state of inflammation, even if you counteract some of the symptoms. Avoid dairy and opt for vegan or low-lactose foods and beverages instead.

  1. Wheezing And Chest Issues

This is one of the dangers of having an allergy as opposed to a food intolerance. If you are intolerant to dairy, it simply means your body can’t process it correctly, so you might be in a state of discomfort for a while. However, if you are allergic to it, your body’s reaction to dairy can be life-threatening. If your throat closes and you experience a tight chest or any difficulty in breathing, you may have anaphylaxis, meaning you require urgent medical assistance. 

If you suspect you have a dairy intolerance or allergy, it is important to see a board-certified allergist and have the correct testing done. This can save your life. So, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, be sure to seek medical attention to get to the bottom of them.