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7 signs intolerant dairy lactose casein lactase allergic symptoms milk Paleo Network-min

7 signs you’re dairy intolerant

Dairy is a huge dividing issue in the paleo world. Strict paleo would omit dairy, but a lot of people take a more primal approach and include good quality dairy in their diet. My study showed most people who identify with paleo do in fact consume some dairy. The deciding factor here is if you are dairy intolerant or not. And how would you know?

7 signs intolerant dairy lactose casein lactase allergic symptoms milk Paleo Network-min

Whilst not scientific, there are a few warning signs that will give you a pretty big clue you don’t tolerate dairy well. But what is it in the dairy that may not agree with you? Well, it’s not as simple as saying it’s the dairy, you could well have a reaction to the lactose, or the casein contained in dairy.

Today, I’m going to look at a Lactose Intolerance specifically, as this is the dairy component that seems to be most troublesome for so many people. Whilst Northern Europeans seem to tolerate lactose fairly well due to a long, long history of doing so, in other populations most people are lactose intolerant.

What does lactose intolerance mean?

Simply, this occurs when you stop making the enzyme lactase, which is required to digest lactose. Without lactase, bacteria will metabolise the lactose instead. Whilst not a serious condition, it is going to be uncomfortable and frustrating for the unwitting dairy consumer.

So what are the symptoms?

1. Symptoms are going to centre around your digestive system, so look out for:

2. Bloating

3. Gas…. Say no more

4. Crams and pains in your abdomen

5. How to put this nicely… loose bowel movements, sometimes very loose

6. Strange noises coming from your digestive system

7. In severe cases vomiting

8. Unexplained tiredness

Important to note is how soon they symptoms came on after consuming the dairy? And what type of dairy was it?

What next?

If you suspect you may be intolerant to dairy, you need to find out.

The best way to test this is by an elimination diet. No dairy whatsoever for 30 days. See how you feel, are the symptoms still there? If you’ve been symptom free, you can test this further by gradually introducing back in certain dairy products. I’ve heard some people will be fine with hard cheeses for example, but not soft cheese. Whatever you introduce, make sure it’s in isolation, and wait at least three days before bringing another dairy variable into the mix. You can experiment with raw dairy, fermented dairy, perhaps you’ll find clarified butter; ghee has a different impact on you.

Do you suspect you’re dairy intolerant? Do you consume it?

Salicylates & Paleo diet NSAIDS allergies-min

Salicylates & Paleo

Salicylates occur naturally in plants as a defence mechanism, to protect the plant against any threat such as disease or pests. Most people have no issues with eating plants containing Salicylates – but some people however can experience all sorts of problems from these natural chemicals, from migraines, hives, IBS, asthma and even sleep issues and ADHD. Since aspirin and NSAID’s are Salicylates, most people with these intolerances will react badly to these drugs.

If I eat a lot of foods containing high levels of Salicylates, my skin becomes itchy, swollen and covered in hives. Since I’ve been eating a Paleo diet I’ve not had a bad reaction and I’m conscious to reduce my consumption of the foods that I know are high in Salicylates – and seem to affect me the worst. Unfortunately (because they are a favourites) tomatoes seem to be a particular trigger. Other people with Salicylate sensitivity seem to react in different ways to different foods.

It appears that in those with Salicylate sensitivity, there is an acceptable level of exposure to foods containing high levels – but once “too large” a dose of the high Salicylate food is eaten the effects of the sensitivity kick in. I can eat a tomato based sauce with no problems, but if I eat several meals in a row containing high levels of these foods, my skin starts to break out in hives! People with Salicylate sensitivity seems to have very varied tolerance levels.

Salicylates and Paleo

As Salicylates are naturally occurring, this is one intolerance that a Paleo or Primal diet can’t solve. However, processed food often contains ingredients high in salicylates, so a Paleo diet enables you to control and know exactly what you are eating. It’s certainly possible to eat a low Salicylate Paleo diet as there are plenty of foods that contain negligible, low or moderate levels of Salicylates.

Salicylates & Paleo diet NSAIDS allergies-min

Food High In Salicylates

Broadly speaking, foods such as tomatoes, peppers, capsicum, cucumber, sweet potato and watercress seem to be high in Salicylates. Lots of fruits have high levels, particularly dried fruit. Coconut and olive oil are also reported to contain high levels of Salicylates, though I’ve never had a reaction from them and use these oils almost everyday. Fortunately meat (in a Paleo – i.e. unprocessed) capacity seems to contain very low levels.

A Low-Salicylate Paleo Diet

With some planning and substitutions, there’s no reason not to keep a Paleo diet low in Salicylates. One of the hardest things to replace is tomatoes (also a nightshade), as tomatoes are a common base for sauces and recipes. I’ve been experimenting with some tomato-free Paleo sauces and will share the recipe I’ve come up with tomorrow. It’s definitely possible to make a tomato-like sauce without tomatoes!

Do you have a Salicylate intolerance? I’d love to hear which foods you are sensitive to and how you incorporate this into your Paleo diet.