Individuals who are merely intolerant of dairy may have symptoms of belching and bloating after eating milk products. These dairy intolerant people can chew a lactase tablet or avoid milk and ice cream and be fine.
However, individuals who are truly allergic to dairy have significantly more severe symptoms. People with an unknown dairy allergy may have chronic diarrhea, unintentional weight loss, severe bloating and cramping, ulcerations and/or bleeding of the gastric mucosa, and chronic fatigue.
Most individuals who discover they are allergic to dairy realize they must eliminate it from their diet. Dedicated dairy allergy sufferers can often be found in grocery store aisles cautiously reading the label on every food item, scanning for any mention of dairy; milk, lactose, whey.
Unfortunately, people with true dairy allergy may find that some apparently dairy free foods still make them feel awful. Or worse, their digestive health has never improved after there attempt at completely eliminating dairy and they don’t understand why.
These unfortunate individuals are very sensitive to both milk sugars and milk proteins. The sugar and protein components of milk can be hidden in foods and are only noticed on the labels if you know exactly what you are looking for.
If you suffer from a dairy allergy you should beware of the following list of food additives. Each of these additives can be made from dairy and could make you sick. Print this list out and keep it in your wallet or purse so that you can easily check food labels for these hidden sources of dairy.
Food Additives That May Contain Dairy:
Calcium stearoyl lactylate
Sodium stearoyl fumarate
Many food items that have a calcium or potassium lactate will now specify whether the lactate is derived from a vegetable source rather than a dairy source. So be sure to scan the label for further clarification.
Additionally, many, many products are free of dairy and dairy derivatives, yet are made in production facilities that use dairy for other products. In these foods there is a very real possibility that your dairy-free product is contaminated with milk allergens. If you have a severe milk allergy it is best to avoid foods that are labeled with “Made in a facility that uses dairy.” This announcement is usually written below the list of ingredients.
If you have successfully eliminated dairy and dairy derivatives, such as the above food additives, from your diet then you have also significantly decreased the amount of calcium in your diet. Make sure you get adequate calcium by including the following foods in your dairy-free diet:
Almonds, Sesame Seeds, Filberts
Asparagus, Cabbage, Broccoli
Kale, Collard, Turnip/Mustard/Dandelion Greens
Oats, Soybeans, Tofu
Farlow, C. Food Additives: A Shopper’s Guide to What’s Safe and What’s Not. 1993.