Food allergies have become a big deal. It seems every illness relates back to either a food sensitivity or allergy. Food elimination is a common approach, but in my opinion it’s not the answer. A food elimination diet works by taking the foods out of the diet that seem to be causing digestive distress for a certain period of time. Then working the foods back into the diet one at a time, noticing any change in digestion during the process. This diet can provide some relief, but only works short term and doesn’t get to the root of the problem.
My Experience With Dairy Intolerance
My belief was that I was intolerant to dairy and would be for the rest of my life until about a year ago. I could feel it was time to do things differently, but I had reached a dead end with my research and approach. Losing inches initially was great, because inflammation would go away, but I was still feeling fatigued and run down all the time. I felt like I was missing something. In my mind, I was doing everything right, so why wasn’t I feeling good anymore? I finally came to except that it wasn’t working for me anymore and I had to make a change.
Later, I was introduced to Ray Peat’s research and after this the Metabolic Blueprint program. The information blew me away, but at the same time, was so incredibly hard to wrap my head around. Ray Peat’s research was completely contrary to what I’d been taught. After I learned more, it really started to make sense. So eventually I felt compelled to try it out on myself.
I came to the conclusion that I had a blood sugar handling issue. My body was not metabolizing natural sugars very well for energy. I discovered that when I went completely off of sugar I felt a lot better at first and many of my issues subsided, but after a while I started to run out of energy reserves and my metabolism slowed down and many of my issues came back. I didn’t gain weight per say, instead my digestion slowed down, I had a distended belly and I was tired and depressed.
What I found out…
Through his many years of research, Dr. Peat discovered that food intolerance lab tests are a vague indicator of an actual food intolerance. Mainly due to the fact that your immunity responds to everything you are exposed to. Finding the particular antibodies to that substance actually means that you have become tolerant to that food, not the other way around. Because of this, these lab tests end up being a very poor indicator of food intolerance.
Other Reasons For A Perceived Dairy Intolerance
According to Dr. Ray Peat, dairy’s not the problem. It’s the degradation of our food supply, and I tend to agree. If you’re eating crappy toxic food with preservatives, there’s a greater chance you’ll end up with food allergies, sensitivities, bloating, gas, vitamin D deficiency, parasites, etc. Even if you’re eating organic you can still get some toxic preservatives that may irritate and inflame your body. The culprit may actually be the preservatives, and not the milk itself. One harmful allergen I found most often added to dairy, almond and coconut milk is carrageenan. This comes from seaweed, is heavily processed and can cause lots of inflammation in the body. You can also find carrageenan in foods like soy milk, ice cream and yogurt. It’s in just about everything.
Another underlying cause of a dairy intolerance may be due to what the cow is eating. Sometimes cows eat allergenic weeds or are being fed moldy grains which both can be highly allergenic. You can usually figure out if a cow has eaten some different grass just by tasting the milk. If it has a funny flavor you know it may be due to the type of grass that cow is eating.
Regulating blood sugars poorly due to a damaged metabolism is yet another reason you can develop a food intolerance. Blood sugar levels can directly affect the thyroid. If your thyroid is slows down, your metabolism begins to shut down too. This can cause a slow down in digestion and your body’s production of HCL, which can leave food to ferment in the gut.
The Benefits of Milk
Milk is a pro-thyroid food, meaning it helps to up-regulate your metabolism. This is because it has natural thyroid hormone in it. It’s one of the few foods that contain thyroid hormone as well as progesterone and testosterone hormone too. These hormones play a big part in helping your body up-regulate your metabolism and to slow down the aging process.
Milk is also a complete macro-nutrient, containing the proper ratios of carbohydrates to proteins to fats, very balanced in regards to regulating blood sugar and down regulating inflammation. It possesses natural detoxifying and cleansing qualities and acts as a filter in the intestines. Compared to the alternatives, milk is the best choice if you want to avoid additives and accidental pollutants.
Lastly milk is an excellent source of calcium carbonate, one of the best forms which can be quickly absorbed in the body. When calcium is regulated properly it can be protective as well as very beneficial. When your diet is deficient in calcium, your para-thyroid hormone increases which can temporarily keep your blood calcium levels up by taking it from the bones. Eating an excess of calcium tends to suppress the para-thyroid hormone.
Raw VS. Pasteurized Milk
The main difference between raw and pasteurized milk is that pasteurized milk has been cooked at a very high temperature, some a higher degree than others, and raw milk has not been cooked at all. Raw milk has all of it’s natural fat, some pasteurized milk does not. The fat in milk is absolutely essential for regulating hormones. When choosing milk my top choice is local, organic and raw. My body seems to handle it really well, but not everyone works this way. Some people may handle raw milk better than others, it really depends heavily on the state of a person’s digestive system. Raw milk possesses a higher content of vitamins and minerals as compared to pasteurized milk. Sometimes I choose pasteurized milk when I cannot get my hands on any raw milk. I buy a milk that has been lightly pasteurized from a local dairy that does not use antibiotics or hormones, where the cows are eating grass. You have to figure out what works best for you.
Introducing Milk Back Into The Diet
When introducing a new food, it takes about two weeks for your body to adjust it’s enzymes in order to have a complete adaptation of digestive enzymes for that food. That’s why I suggest taking it slow and in small amounts when introducing a new food into the diet. Until your body adjusts, the new food will feed bacteria instead of your system until this adjustment has been made. This bacteria can produce toxic and allergenic chemicals which can cause a loss of lactase enzymes, used to break down dairy. The actual cause of lactose intolerance is your body’s inability to release lactase enzymes, not milk itself. Yet another reason to take it slow and give milk a try.