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Lactose intolerant but continuing to eat dairy

(50 Posts)
EssCee Tue 26-Mar-19 14:29:32

Though a genetic test, I've just discovered that I'm lactose intolerant.

My siblings and mum are lactose intolerant, so I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise, although I don't share their symptoms (upset stomach, gassiness, mucus-y... sorry!).

Thing is, I'm vegetarian and quite partial to cheese, butter, and other types of dairy (but not milk).

AIBU to carry on eating these??

Anyone cut out dairy entirely after being tested and felt much better (despite not particularly suffering before)?

PragmaticWench Tue 26-Mar-19 14:31:05

If it isn't damaging you, as say someone with Coeliac would be damaged by gluten, and you feel fine then I'd say carry on!

Chouetted Tue 26-Mar-19 14:32:10

Butter has very little lactose in it.

Ditto many types of cheese.

YWBVU to cut out dairy if it is LACTOSE you are intolerant to.

SheeshazAZ09 Tue 26-Mar-19 14:35:53

The genetic test can't tell you that you are lactose intolerant, though it may be able to tell you that you have a predisposition to be, according to current genetics knowledge (which is still very much developing). It all depends on how the genes are expressing and interacting with other genes. Go by your symptoms (or lack of them) and how you feel.

BTW I was extremely lactose intolerant for decades (as well as having allergies to pollen, moulds, etc) but was cured with homeopathy. It was brilliant. I can now eat anything, though I am careful not to push things too far, e.g. if I eat a cheesy pizza in the evening, I notice I am heavy and achy next day.

So I guess what I am saying is, if you start to have problems with your health, you don't necessarily have to give things up -- you can work instead on improving your immune system, gut microbiome etc and you may find the issues go away.

JamPasty Tue 26-Mar-19 14:36:08

Is it a proper test from a GP/specialist/etc, or something from a more sketchy source?

Mistlewoeandwhine Tue 26-Mar-19 14:36:43

I cut out dairy and all my long standing sinus issues vanished. Since I was cutting it out, my dairy-loving husband did too. He had appalling eczema on his hands which needed steroid cream every winter - it vanished never to return as did his gurgling guts. Tbh, it’s so easy to be dairy free nowadays - lovely vegan cheese, oatly barrista milk for tea, Ben and Jerry’s vegan ice creams, you’d be mad not to. Dairy isn’t good for most of us, I reckon. We’re sold the lie to keep farmers in business.

Chouetted Tue 26-Mar-19 14:37:58

Now that I've got that off my chest, I think you should check your diagnosis.

Lactose intolerance isn't diagnosed by a genetic test - that can only tell you if you have the predisposition to it.

If you're not getting symptoms, you're probably not intolerant, but try cutting down on it for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference. For me, it cured some chronic stomach pain that I'd assumed was just IBS.

It's still important to eat dairy products, and most lactose intolerant people can eat some lactose. If you are intolerant, you'll find your "safe" level by experimentation.

LittlePickleHead Tue 26-Mar-19 14:53:39

I'm lactose intolerant and I can handle dairy with higher fat content (e.g a bit of butter and cheese) where I really struggle with milk, yogurt, icecream.

However I do agree going dairy free is probably a good thing for health in the long run.

It's just a shame cheese is just so damn amazing!

ShartGoblin Tue 26-Mar-19 15:01:37

I'm vegetarian and lactose intolerant. I'm the same as you, never liked milk as it always made me feel sick and bloated but I can't give up cheese! I stick to the mild end of the scale now with cheese and stay away from milk and ice cream. I don't find cheese has too much of an effect on me.

longtompot Tue 26-Mar-19 15:13:47

Going from the you like cheese bit. You can get really good lactose free cheeses. Not so much with dairy free.

Steamedbadger Tue 26-Mar-19 15:21:21

Can you be lactose intolerant if you don't have any symptoms?

Ellabella989 Tue 26-Mar-19 15:24:02

Get some lactase tablets. They help people with lactose intolerances be able to digest it better. I take one an hour before I know I’m going to be eating a meal/snack high in lactose and it definitely helps

Asgoodasarest Tue 26-Mar-19 15:31:19

If it’s lactose that’s a problem then you can still eat some dairy, cheddar cheese for instance has very little lactose in it. I think a previous poster mentioned this.
Look up the dairy element of the low fodmap diet. That’s a good place to start.
As an aside though, if it’s not making you unwell I’m not sure why you’d cut it out? Unless obviously a dr has advised to.

ScreamScreamIceCream Tue 26-Mar-19 16:20:35

Lactose intolerance is a scale so you get some people who can't eat anything with lactose in, while others can eat a small amount of certain items with lactose in.

You also need to be aware it can get worse.

Apart from kids as an adult it isn't that difficult to work if you eat X it has Y result e.g. if you drink milk you get bloating, wind, smelly breath and diarrhea.

And some people get ill if they consume lacto-free products or take lactase tablets.

Oh if you have family members who are lactose intolerant them it's obvious you may have a predisposition to it, so no need for a genetic test to tell you that as you share some of the same genes.

Homeopathy is even worse rubbish and more if a waste of time then the genetic tests.

SheeshazAZ09 Tue 26-Mar-19 17:27:54

@ScreamScreamIceCream Homeopathy worked for me. If you haven't tried it for this problem, all you can say from an evidence-based point of view is that you have no idea about it.

FissionChips Tue 26-Mar-19 17:30:21

You can buy lactose free cheese, butter,milk, yogurt, ice cream, soft cheese, cream.
(Babybells are lactose free btw)

No need to give up dairy.

Chloemol Tue 26-Mar-19 17:32:45

I am lactose intolerant, but east lactose free cheese and butter which is nice. I can also to,erase goats cheese as it’s a different lactose the cows/sheep

Sweetbabycheezits Tue 26-Mar-19 17:32:59

There is no genetic predisposition for me, but I've noticed in my advancing years that milk, yogurt and ice cream drive my stomach wild. Cheese seems ok in small portions, butter is fine(I don't have it often). I didn't go to a gp about it though, just noticed how I felt when eating certain things and cut them out. Eliminating those top 3 sorted it!

EssCee Tue 26-Mar-19 17:35:07

Great to see all the replies!

So, yes, I had a DNAfit test (for the nutrition and fitness tests). For the lactose intolerance part of the report, it said that it analysed the LCT gene and my allele result was ‘CC’.

It said ‘you do not possess the variant that causes lactase persistence therefore it is strongly recommended that you avoid/reduce lactose’.

TBH, my genetic background is largely lactose intolerant, so should be zero surprise.

I do think I have sinus issues which seems like year-round mild allergies to something… and terrible hay fever in the summer. I’ve wondered in the past whether there was a dairy link. Oh, my skin responded horribly to whey protein drinks last year, so I quickly cut those out when my skin just erupted.

I do sometimes get bloated but I just put that down to maybe just eating waaaay too much food 🤣

Maybe I need to check out low lactose cheeses... would paneer cheese be ok? This is my favourite type of curry!

EssCee Tue 26-Mar-19 17:37:06

Thanks for the heads up about the low lactose foods - will check out - and Babybels!

ForgivenessIsDivine Tue 26-Mar-19 17:41:04

Given your year round sinus issues and hay fever... I would be tempted to exclude dairy to see if that helped. For me, the constant body in a state for stress would win over cheese.

QueenEhlana Tue 26-Mar-19 17:49:13

Monash University have a FODMAP app which you can buy. It covers all of the short chain carbohydrates that can cause problems for people, lactose being one of them. You can look up all the foods, and it will give you a serving size and a green, amber or red light for all the FODMAP, which indicates how much of something would usually cause someone problems (if they have a problem with that short chain carbohydrate).

Not all cheeses have a lot of lactose in them. So serving sizes of some of them can be quite sizeable before you would have any issues. It is really worth checking this app out.

Also, with 'liquid' dairy (so milk, yoghurts, sour cream etc), you can buy a lactase enzyme which you can add to the milk/yoghurt and then around 10 hours later, the enzyme will have processed the lactose. We do it with milk.

mrwalkensir Tue 26-Mar-19 18:02:21

The ability to process lactose past youth is down to a genetic mutation that occurred mainly in Europe, which is why it can hit you young/mid-teens or not til later. Our daughter was getting spotty, stomach-achey and grumpy til we put her on lactose free milk - back to her sunshiney self. I pretty much stick with strong hard cheeses, Camembert etc as they’re low lactose. And “proper” yoghurt. There’s a reason it comes from areas where the population tends to be lactose intolerant..

JamPasty Tue 26-Mar-19 18:07:35

I am not a medic, but that DNAfit test looks kinda scammy to me. As someone upthread said, you can't test for lactose intolerance via a genetic test

pearldeodorant Tue 26-Mar-19 18:19:17

HCP here. I work in research - specifically nutrition and dietetics. Sorry those tests are a waste of money. They mean nothing and certainly are not diagnostic. If you have symptoms feel free to visit your GP but otherwise (good news!) you are not lactose intolerant. Enjoy the dairy!

If you want to read about them you can type the name into google scholar and see what the science community think.

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