My Lactose Intolerance Journey

Hi everyone!

Today’s blog is a little bit different to my usual blog- I am going to be talking about my lactose intolerance!

What is a lactose intolerance?

  • It basically means that my body does not like as much dairy as other people. But I think it’s important to highlight that there are different levels of lactose intolerance. I am pretty lucky and my intolerance is pretty minor. That basically means that if I have a cup of tea with normal cows milk in, or maybe a cheeky slice of cake on a day out, I won’t necessarily have stomach cramps. So my body can deal with a small amount of dairy.
  • dairy-freeHowever, if I pig out and have a heap of dairy- I get the worst stomach cramps. The longer I have had this intolerance though, the more I have been able to judge how much dairy I can have.

When did I realise I was lactose intolerant?

  • There was a bit of a journey to figuring out what was going on and why I was having stomach cramps- but we got there eventually.
  • Period Pains- I first started getting cramps when I was about 13 or 14, at which point my Doctor’s were putting it down to my time of the month. I started my period when I was 12, so I had had some time to figure out what was ‘normal’ for me, and these pains were different. My stomach cramps are like stabbing pains that make me want to curl into a ball- not a constant ache like periods.
  • Appendicitis- I started passing out when I was 14 from the pains and I can honestly say it was mortifying. So after this happened a few times and started to be super embarrassing, I was taken to hospital to have some tests and I stayed over night. The tests came back negative.
  • Gall Bladder- they then tested me for problems with my Gall Bladder. I can’t really recall much about the tests, it all sort of merges into one in my head- but long story short they came back negative too. So yay for my appendix and gall bladder working!
  • Celiacs Disease– this was a quick test, but luckily this was negative too. The Doctors were basically ruling out different illnesses and allergies.
  • Gluten Intolerance- IBS– for YEARS I was convinced, and was diagnosed, with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Though originally this made a difference Lactose free stampand the pains died down, it wasn’t a long term fix. I completely changed my diet to be Gluten Free- which is surprisingly easy as loads of supermarkets accommodate for this diet. But the pains came back.
  • Dairy Intolerance- BINGO. By 18 I was still having the stomach cramps and I was getting pretty irritated. I ended up not knowing what to eat and what not to eat. At the same time my sister was told she was dairy intolerant, and so my family changed our diets again to accommodate  her. This meant lacto-free products- and the cramps started to die down. Though I was eating less dairy, I hadn’t completely cut it out of my diet. At this point I was about to go to University and my Mum suggested, with me shopping for only myself, to try a completely dairy free diet. That was that really, I went to University, bought only dairy free products and my cramps have been so much better!

Now I eat a mostly dairy free diet and occasionally have some dairy if I really have no alternative (or the food, usually cake, just looks too good!).

I know this is slightly different from my typical lifestyle blogs, but if you enjoy reading, or would like to know more about my diet let me know in the comments. Please like and subscribe!

Allergy and Dairy Free Me

I have recently come to notice that most of my blogs revolve around the food I eat and the drinks I consume, so I am going to dedicate this blog to discussing my diet!

  1. When I was about 7, I had my first anaphylactic shock to artificial food colourings, in particular: green, yellow and orange. I think this was primarily down to greed. Mum always rationed the amount of sweets I was allowed and so given the opportunity to stuff my face- I did! Hence birthday parties being a tad hazardous. Long story short and several anaphylactic shocks later, I have learnt to avoid everything artificial, including: bacon frazzles, icing, starburst, cherryade, sprinkles and many more.
  2. Peaches. My ultimate nemesis. Having been able to control my anaphylaxis I avoided having any trips to A&E for about a year. But I one day at work I had a peach and within seconds I looked like I had Botox and was struggling to breath. Turns out, though similar in symptoms, I have oral mouth syndrome, which is an allergy to certain fruit families so to speak.
  3. In 2010 I was told I had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) having had excruciating stomach cramps and was hospitalised with suspected appendicitis. Changing my diet to suit this included avoiding wheat entirely. Though a drastic change, it did help, to start with. I have to say avoiding wheat can be really hard, though in terms of health- it’s pretty good for you. Despite avoiding wheat, I still had stomach cramps.
  4. So University was an opportunity for me to really monitor my diet. My sister had been told she had an intolerance to dairy, and I thought I’d give it a go at avoiding that. This was a total success and I haven’t gone back. It’s actually unbelievable how many alternatives to dairy products there are. There is probably a substitute for everything. I honestly cannot taste the difference between dairy and non-dairy. I often use one of the following: Lacto-Free milk, soya milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk or goats milk as alternatives to cows milk.

It’s a much healthier lifestyle and so easy to adapt to. You honestly don’t miss out on anything.