Dairy Dues

So, recently I’ve been cutting back on dairy. I noticed a correlation between heightened IBS issues and a lot of dairy in my diet, so I decided to eliminate all dairy except yogurt for a week or two and see what happened. It improved my digestive health so much that I decided to just keep the dairy low for the foreseeable future.

This just adds to the balancing act that is required of me between my IBS, my hypoglycemia, and my low-meat diet due to my cholesterol issues and arrhythmia. I don’t presume to call myself a vegan, but my diet is starting to resemble a vegan diet about half the time. It means that I have to be yet more creative, and that “stir-fry” has to replace “casserole” as the simplest weeknight solution.

I’m not complaining; although it’s a serious pain in the rear, in the long run I like being forced to be more creative in the kitchen. Cutting dairy means cutting a class of food with more calories than nutrition, which is good. But it does drag up some questions for me about what exactly is wrong with my insides. I haven’t eaten cheesecake in many years, because I’ve known for that length of time that it’s a trigger food and will lead me to far more misery in the ladies’ room than the temporary happiness in my mouth is worth. I thought it was the richness of the food and not the dairy that was the problem, because there are plenty of high-dairy foods that do nothing to me. I ate a Greek dish with a 1 1/2 inch layer of fluffy bechamel sauce on top the other night with no ill effects, and I eat cheese and crackers with no problem. But the other night I made a casserole with Greek yogurt and Neufchatel cheese (like cream cheese with less fat), and the next day, oh, the suffering.

I don’t think I’m lactose intolerant. If I am, it’s a highly selective intolerance. But I might pick up some of those lactose pills, buy some cheesecake for the first time in a million years, and see what happens.

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5 Responses to Dairy Dues

  1. Oregon Sunshine says:

    Have you been tested for celiac disease? I have a friend who was recently diagnosed and she’s gone dairy and gluten free. It’s really helped her IBS and energy levels. As I understand it though, sometimes you can get false negative results. Might be worth checking into if you haven’t already.

    • crisi-tunity says:

      I don’t think I have celiac disease – I don’t have many of the symptoms, and I definitely don’t have a problem with gluten. I’m pretty sure it’s just garden-variety IBS with trigger foods that I’ve been fairly successful at identifying. But I’ll probably ask at my next checkup. Thanks for the thought!

  2. dyskinesia says:

    Hi, I’m Dys, and I’m a recovering dairy addict. And by recovering, I mean “since my gallbladder tried to kill me and they ripped it out instead.”

    SIGH. I miss cheese.

    Things that I’ve found very interesting in my own journey since then:
    ~Orange cheese is b.a.d.
    ~Brick orange cheese is deadly.
    ~White cheeses like provolone, mozzarella, asiago, even pepper jack – not bad. This is what we use on our burgers, sandwiches, pizza, lasagna, etc., and I do well as long as it isn’t an everyday thing.

    I love, love, love Lactaid. Totally worth it. You’ll learn what requires 1 tab and what requires 2, and the reason I say you will learn is because if you use 2 for an item that requires only 1, you may get a bit of a slowdown to let you know. But this is how I’m able to eat Dairy Queen (*drool*). I cannot, however, touch homemade ice cream with a 10-foot pole – ever.

    The major caveat is this: There aren’t enough tabs in the world for me to eat cheesecake these days. That’s a knife in the heart, but it is what it is. A few years ago, I could still do it. Now, nope. I’m sure I’ll try again, but it hasn’t worked in the past year. Sara Lee made some lovely little cheesecake bites that you could keep in the freezer and just pop one for a treat – tiny things. Just one, with 2 Lactaid mind you, was enough to convince me that someone was driving a tank through my gut. The glutton in me (OF COURSE) tried it again with the same reaction, and it literally took months for my gut to stabilize.

    That said, I can eat the bourbon cream cheese brownies that we love without a hint of horror. Baking? Baking in chocolate? Stirring with liquor? I have no idea.

    All dairy is processed in the gut, so it’s high atop the inflammatory foods for IBS. Considering I drank 2 gallons of milk a week when I was pregnant with The Boy, it’s a wonder my gallbladder and gut didn’t just come on out and go on strike. I wish you luck with this one, but I’m certainly glad to hear that it’s making you feel better!

    • Oregon Sunshine says:

      Interesting that you really have a problem with yellow cheese. Must be the dye. Hmm.

    • crisi-tunity says:

      For me, asiago and ricotta are a lot worse than brick orange cheese. My homemade macaroni and cheese usually gets through without a problem, but calzone? Ohhhhhh, dear me no.

      But I am so glad to hear that Lactaid is effective! I’ll definitely be picking some up.

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