Lactose intolerance or dairy allergy? Do you suffer from any of these?
Do you often hear people say that they cannot drink milk because lactose intolerant? But at the same time, do they eat cheese and other dairy products, and they stay just fine? This might not be lactose intolerance but rather a dairy allergy. Lactose intolerance and dairy allergy are not the same. There are some critical differences between the two conditions. They may sound alike, and you might think that lactose intolerance and dairy sensitivity are the same. However, their causes and effects are very different.
What is the difference between lactose intolerance and dairy sensitivity?
Although many symptoms of lactose intolerance and dairy allergy may be similar, the two conditions differ in their root causes and how your body responds to them.
When lactose intolerant, the response is triggered by the body’s digestive system. People sensitive to lactose don’t produce the lactase enzyme required to digest lactose. Lactose is the sugar content present in milk. When it is not digested generally in your stomach and intestine, it moves to the colon and is broken down by the bacteria. This results in gas and bloating, which might not be comfortable.
On the other hand, an immune response is initiated when you suffer from a dairy allergy. The body recognizes the proteins in the milk or other dairy products as allergens or harmful invaders. As a result, an allergic reaction occurs, such as rashes, loss of consciousness, swelling on the face, wheezing, and trouble swallowing or breathing. Dairy allergy is widespread in babies and children under four years of age.
Many dairy allergy symptoms and lactose intolerance are the same: nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, gas, and bloating.
Is your hormonal balance affected by dairy intake?
Our body’s hormonal balance relies on our lifestyle, mental and emotional health, and food intake. For example, milk and dairy products contain a hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor 1. This hormone promotes the production of androgen hormones like testosterone in your body. This situation might lead to testosterone dominance, where the excessive production of testosterone hormone results in hormonal imbalances. Similar is the case when you become estrogen dominant.
Dairy can also affect the hormones in your gut.
Your gut contains an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase—intake of dairy fat products when lactose intolerant can elevate the level of this enzyme in your stomach. As a result, the estrogen that the liver has metabolized re-enters the body’s circulatory system. This leads to the condition called estrogen dominance. Similarly, testosterone dominance can also occur.
Under such circumstances, if your diet is full of animal products, especially fatty ones, the hormonal imbalance can worsen.
What should you do in such situations? You can always revert your hormonal balance to normal by taking care of your diet. Incorporating high-fibre fruits and vegetables could effectively reduce the increased levels of enzymes and make their excretion process appropriate. You can also include flax seeds in your diet. These flax seeds are famous for their hormone-supporting properties.
To your diet, you can also add various fermented products, such as miso, kimchi, or kefir. These products are high in probiotics and thus, promote your gut health.
So, shall you completely get off dairy?
Not all individuals are alike. You have to understand and do what is better for your body. Your body communicates with you and signals what’s suitable and what is not. All you have to do is understand those signals and act accordingly. Many people do not face any consequences with dairy intake, so they do not need to give it up. However, other people might face specific hormonal imbalances like estrogen dominance, testosterone dominance, etc. the solution, in this case, is to try and eliminate dairy from your diet.
If you keep on intaking dairy and lactose even though your body cannot digest it correctly, your gut wall gets damaged. This results in decreased absorption of vital nutrients and decreased hormonal excretion.
If you experience specific unusual symptoms like bloating, gas, nausea, abdominal cramps, etc., upon eating dairy, you are welcome to visit our healthcare website, Fantastic Life. Here, you may consult the best Nutritionists and Healthcare experts, who would check your lactase levels and guide you with the best diet plans to help you lead a better and healthy lifestyle.