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Do I Have A Dairy Allergy or Lactose Intolerance?

Experiencing digestive discomfort after drinking milk, eating cheese, yoghurt, and even ice cream is unfortunately fairly common. A lot of people typically put this down to lactose intolerance, which is a widespread issue and often the culprit of upset bellies following the consumption of dairy products.

Although Dairy Allergy can cause similar symptoms in some people. Dairy Allergy is usually more severe, with allergic reactions beginning within minutes or sometimes delayed for several hours.

Lactose intolerance is caused by the absence or deficiency of a certain digestive enzyme (lactase) that breaks down the sugar in milk (lactose), whereas a dairy allergy is your immune system’s response to the proteins found in foods containing dairy.

Signs and Symptoms of Dairy Issues

About 65 percent of people worldwide are lactose intolerant, of which, about 5 percent are allergic to dairy. Both afflictions can cause similar symptoms, so it’s important to get tested if you are experiencing any of the following after consuming dairy products:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Swelling
  • Asthma-like wheezing
  • Tightness in the throat and trouble swallowing

At Capalaba Natural Health, our experts can assist you with an elimination diet to identify the root cause of your digestive issue, with food intolerance testing to recognise what foods are causing problems.

What’s the difference between Dairy Allergy & Lactose Intolerance?

  • Dairy Allergy

    Dairy allergy is normally related to the consumption of cow’s milk but people can be allergic to other types of dairy. Many people still buy and consume dairy even despite having adverse reactions to it. Reactions can be mild, in the form of rashes or quite severe, including trouble breathing and loss of consciousness.

  • Lactose Intolerance

    You are likely lactose intolerant if your symptoms occur within 30 minutes to 2 hours following the consumption of dairy products, particularly those higher in lactose.

    Lactose, which is the sugar that is naturally present in dairy products, requires the enzyme lactase to break it down and turn it into glucose for easy digestion. If your body lacks this enzyme, it cannot be broken down and must carry on through to the large intestine, where it is fermented by your gut bacteria, causing inflammation and triggering the symptoms listed above. For more information on lactose intolerance, check out our blog how to know if you’re lactose intolerant.

How To Minimise Intolerances

Most people find that making small changes to their diet and reducing their consumption of dairy products alleviates symptoms immediately. However, it can be difficult to implement an elimination diet on your own, especially if you experience symptoms sporadically.

If you’re suffering from digestive issues and you suspect they are related to a dairy intolerance, we recommend consulting a specialist. Call Capalaba Natural Health on (07) 3823 3103 to secure an appointment or book your Naturopathic digestive health consultation online. Understand your symptoms and begin to enjoy food without experiencing discomfort.

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