The Saga Continues

We’re just rounding out Week Three of no dairy or gluten for my youngest, and unfortunately it isn’t going so great. I allowed her to have some dairy last weekend, and within hours she was complaining of belly aches. She came home from school the next day with more stomach pain. I was not expecting her to react that directly, and I’m still not completely sure it wasn’t a coincidence . . . maybe she was just due for one of her belly aches? But for the time being, we’re taking it back out.

Of course I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and with a lot of reading comes a lot of conflicting information.

All dairy is bad for you, humans weren’t meant to eat it.

Processed dairy is bad, but raw grass-fed dairy is good.

Almost 60% of our population is lactose intolerant.

There is no such thing as lactose intolerant.

There is no cure for lactose intolerance.

You can cure lactose intolerance.

There is a correlation between gluten and dairy sensitivities; going off gluten can sometimes heal dairy intolerance.

Gluten is bad for everyone.

Gluten is only bad for you if you have a sensitivity to it.

And on it goes. I’m not sure what to think. I suppose if you pushed me to the wall, I’d have to say that I’m in the camp with those who think that dairy is a nourishing source of energy, but ideally it would come directly from my backyard in its most raw and natural state. However, this is 2013 that we’re living in, and I’ve got a feeling my HOA would object to me having a cow tethered up out back so we do our best to find local sources, and the rest of the time we buy what’s available.

Of course, for my little one, it’s a moot point. At least, it is unless I am willing to go back to the raw milk that we used to drink. (I’m actually very curious to know if her tummy would tolerate that. I have a sneaking suspicion it would.) Unfortunately that little campylobacter scare last winter left a bad taste in our mouths . . . haha, I’m so punny.

my sweet becca

Truthfully, we miss the raw milk. We all do. It tasted so good and made our bellies so happy, but for now we continue to go without. I basically came to the conclusion that if I had my own source, I’d gladly drink it, but there are too many opportunities for something to go wrong when it has to go from farmer to store to my home. At least, that’s how I’ve reconciled the issue for us personally. Then again, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, and I reserve the right to revisit the issue at any time. I certainly support the legislation to keep it legal.

At any rate, for now, my little one is 100% gluten and dairy free. We will try to introduce it again in about a month and see how it goes at that time.

Meanwhile, the honeymoon period has most definitely worn off and it’s getting harder and harder to keep her content on her restricted diet. My main concern is making sure she gets proper nutrition while we figure it all out. It’s nice to know that there are tons of foods besides milk that contain calcium. The one good thing about going off gluten and dairy is that you are forced to focus on fruits and vegetables. I’ve also discovered that coconut milk and ice cream made with coconut milk is actually quite tasty and fairly nutritious.

We still enjoy some packaged products for convenience sake, and to compensate for all the yummy things she’s missing out on, but overall I like that we’re eating more whole foods and I’m cooking at home more often. That has to be good for all of us.

So that’s the latest! I’ll keep you posted!

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17 thoughts on “The Saga Continues

  1. It’s a jungle out there, isn’t it? My experience and research with our own symptoms has made me so much better at judging a good source from bad or just plain wack-a-doodle. Not a skill I had set out to gain but… And it’s even more fun to sort out symptoms as reported by a child. I honestly thought my days of obsessively tracking my child’s digestive habits were over long ago. (I hope you’re charting all this in some way. It really helps.) Anyway, thanks for the update. I wish you luck in getting it all figured out.

    1. I need to chart, I know. I just know how hard it is to keep up with… from doing it myself. But yeah, that’s the next step, I guess! Especially since she has (since I wrote this post) had another tummy ache without having any dairy or gluten to cause it… so now I’m not sure what the culprit is.

  2. There most certainly IS Lactose Intolerance. I didn’t have it until after my daughter was born, but everyone’s ability to digest lactose depletes as they age. Some people just feel like they’ve lost the taste for dairy, but it’s really because they haven’t noticed the correlation between consuming dairy and the bloating, cramping, nausea, etc. that follows.

    I’ve been reading Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution, and it gives great (scientific) information on grains and how they affect our bodies. He also goes into dairy and legumes, and how they affect our bodies. If you’re interested, I suggest giving it a read. I don’t think you’ll regret it!

    Best of luck trying to get your little girl healthy again!

    1. Thanks, I might check that out. I just read Practically Paleo and it gave a lot of great info. I do know there is lactose intolerance… or intolerance to something in milk, anyway. I HAVE IT! LOL. But I think it stems from a deeper issue… WHICH I am sure is what Wolf probably is explaining. Sounds like a good read.

  3. After going through hell the first 6 months of my daughter’s life, I believe that there is a very real allergy to dairy in our population. My newborn had extreme colic, gas and constipation. We visited several doctors, many told me that colic was “normal” and sometimes unexplainable; that she’d grow out of it. Finally we saw a doctor who told me to go dairy free (I was exclusively breastfeeding). The test was to go entirely dairy free 5 days, then on the 6th, eat a hearty amount of dairy. If she reacted, she had a cows milk protein allergy. Sure enough she did.

    We went dairy free for her first year, after which we introduced small amounts of dairy. She can tolerate yogurt and butter now, but gets tummy aches from milk and cream (which has more of the cows milk protein in it). The crazy part is that dairy didn’t used to bother me, but after I went dairy free while nursing, I lost my tolerance for it and it bothers me now. My mom recently told me that when i was a young kid in elementary school I used to get stomach aches after lunch all of the time…what is served with school lunch? A carton of milk! It all makes a lot of sense now.

    So ultimately we do eat a little non-fat dairy, but not a lot. It’s just better for our family and we all feel better. There’s just as much calcium in several greens like spinach and other sources. Good luck w/ it and hope you get answers soon!

    1. Thanks, Marcie, yes, it seems to be rampant in our society so there must be something about it that doesn’t agree with our guts. I just can’t imagine life without cheese…. LOL!!

  4. Oh boy, I hear you. Recently, I’ve just had to back away from the computer. For the most part, I can weed through most of the junk, but then I’m left with a few trusted sources that have conflicting info, and then I drive myself crazy trying to figure this out. Here are some conclusions I have reached: 1) We are sticking with raw milk. We get it directly from an Amish farmer in PA who drives down to the northern VA area once a week. There is no store middle man. My son could not tolerate pasteurized milk but when we switched to raw, he was fine and has been ever since. I’m sorry you had that scare. I’m not sure what is do if that happened with our source. Can you find a farmer to deal with directly? Ok, 2) I really think many issues like gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance are secondary reactions to a “leaky gut” or intestinal permiability. “Stuff” leaking out of your intestine can be treated like an invader by your body and can create an allergic reaction. I think the reason so many are having success with “no dairy/no grains/ no sugar restrictions is that they are healing their guts and starving the yeast overgrowth. Your body heals, then you can tolerate it again for a while. Anywho, I had a third thing but, honestly I forgot and have taken up enough cyberspace already. 🙂 I wish I could just sit with some knowledgable folks and discuss this in person sometimes.

    1. As I said to MK below, yes, I can deal with a farmer directly, and I will admit I’ve considered it. But there are still so many other dairy products… then again, I’m not convinced dairy is the culprit. Again, see below. Sigh…

      Leaky gut, candida, yadda yadda, I’m sure we all have it. I wish I had the discipline to do GAPS. And I might have to resort to it in the end.

      1. I would love for my whole family to do GAPS! It just makes the most sense to me to just heal things up and then gradually re-introduce foods. We’re dealing with severe eczema over here. I’m really convinced everyone will feel so much better after doing it!! I’m just too dang tired right now! That and the fact that it’s very hard to get a 2-year-old to change his ways. Have you ever heard of the Whole 30 Diet? The book is called, “It Starts With Food.” The book is an easy read. I actually finished it in a few days. (Coming from one who reads for 5 minutes at night and wakes up an hour later with drool on my page.) We all have a thousand books we’d like to read, but if you get a chance, I’d love to chat with you about it. I tried it for a week. I was pregnant at the time and just could not hack it; but, I’m willing to try it again because I have a feeling that it would really help heal my yeast and gut issues. Drives me crazy trying to figure all of this out. :/

  5. I know this isn’t a post about raw milk exactly, but I hope you don’t mind if I interject my family’s story — well, my brother’s family. They live in rural WV and have a milk cow. For many years now (I’d say maybe 15?) they’ve drunk only their own milk. I’ve seen them milk the cow, bring the milk to the kitchen in a steel bucket, pour it through a filter, put it in large glass jars, and put it in the frig. My S-I-L separates the cream off the top at some point, but otherwise, we just drink it from the frig. That’s all their family has drunk for a long time. I’ve never, ever known them to get sick from it — and I know you know all this 🙂 So I’m not really saying anything new. I’m just wondering about your dairy source before, and what went wrong with their process, you know? Were they doing to large of an operation? We’re they processing their milk in the barn? I mean, it’s my nieces and nephews who basically did all this milk processing for my brother’s fam, and 10-17 year olds aren’t the most careful or tidy persons. They did a good enough job. They simply always washed everything in hot soapy water, and always refrigerated the milk asap. Is there more that has to be done? Forgive me if I branched out on a topic you didn’t intend. It just sounds like you’re ruminating (haha) raw milk again, and I thought I’d just offer that account for consideration.

    1. Oh yeah, I am always ruminating (ha) the raw milk issue – especially now with this latest development. I’m wracking my brain, trying to remember if she had stomach aches when we were on the raw milk.

      I do know this farmer personally, and he was heartbroken that people got sick from his milk. But it does happen, in fact, it has happened again around here recently with another farm. I did used to go directly to ANOTHER farm to get my milk, and I did like that I could bypass the middleman, less chance for it to get left out and fewer hands to pass thru. But in the end, I just fear that I could be putting my kids at risk and I can’t live with myself if they get terribly sick. I do believe in the health benefits of raw milk, though, and have seriously considered trying it again. I just don’t know…

  6. It doesn’t really surprise me that your daughter symptom seemed more severe after she cut out dairy and tried it again. I only rarely had symptoms of lactose intolerance, but when I cut out dairy and then would have it, I’d notice I felt so much worse – some with when I’d not eat any meat at all and then had some. It’s strange, but I figure it must be my body trying to tell me something! (NOT that I am by any means perfect or don’t sometimes have dairy/meat now). I know there is seemingly conflicting info out there…and often takling about diet is equivalent to bringing up politics or relgion, so I don’t mean to step on any toes or whatever. You have to find what ultimately works for you/her/your family and what promotes longterm health. A book that I’ve read and learned lot from is”Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. A good blog for awesome recipes that your kids will probably love is The Peaceful Kitchen blog – I’ve made many things from her site, and not a one of them was bad – in fact, her cheddar “cheese” is the best I’ve ever had and full of veggies, no soy, no lactose. Just some ideas for you 🙂 Good luck on your journey!

    1. Hey Kelly, thanks for the info. She actually just had ANOTHER bout of stomach aches and I do not think she has had any gluten or dairy except possibly some butter. So. I’m kind of at a loss now. We are keeping her off everything for a while longer to see if she has more stomach aches. If so then it probably isn’t dairy or gluten causing it??? I guess? But what else? I know there are all kinds of things that can bother people, but I was hoping it was one of the more obvious ones.

  7. We are going dairy-free for one month with my middle daughter, who also must eat gluten-free. It’s so hard because she goes to a Jewish preschool, which prohibits pork products and nut products. What do I send her for lunch!!!??? Our Trader Joe’s carries coconut milk yogurt which is really good. (I prefer to avoid soy…) She can eat turkey, glutino pretzels, sunbutter – but I feel cutting out dairy is so limiting in terms of her meals – esp away from home. For breakfast, I make her an egg with pork sausages, but out in public?

    BUT – since she’s been dairy free, there has been no cold, no ear infection, and limited whining. Coincidence? I don’t know. I paid her a quarter for every day she is dairy free and a dollar for every week she is dairy free. With a $25 co-pay for doctors’ visits, I’m already ahead of the game 6 weeks later.

    I’m hesitant about adding it back in, but I know I need to test it. Ice cream? GF Pizza? Chipolte quesadilla?

    Thanks for sharing your journey – and your fashion advice. (I adore your purse collection! Esp that teal one.)

  8. One more quick thought…my son went through a terrible stomach/throwing up/headache thing for a while and we later figured out that it was stress!!!! This kid is tough and not a faker when it comes to tummy aches/head aches so I thought it was food related. We took him off of dairy and sugar at the time, but it didn’t help at all. Turns out he was having a difficult time with a kid bullying him at school and just internalized it! 🙁 It all came to a head at the end of the school year and with the help of his teacher we figured everything out and all the symptoms magically disappeared.

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