Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Skinny on Dairy

Feeling Itchy lately? Bloated? Congested? You may want to take a closer look at Milk!

A common misconception is that a Dairy Allergy and Lactose Intolerance are the same condition. In fact, they are two separate reactions to different components of Cow's Milk.

An Intolerance signals the lack of the enzyme Lactase which helps the body digest the complex sugar molecule, Lactose, in the small intestine. Without being broken down, the Lactose molecules then make their way to the large intestine where they cause a myriad of digestive problems which, let's just say, can effectively ruin any social occasion! This is not an immune response.

Dairy Allergies on the other hand are an immune response to the Casein or Whey Proteins in Milk that can result in asthma, nasal congestion, anaphylactic shock, eczema, and a severely itchy skin rash! *Have you ever been told to avoid milk when you have a cold/sinus infection? That's because the release of histamine in reaction to milk will exacerbate the stuffiness and congestion of your nasal tissues! A person can have allergies to different parts of milk, but most often, the protein is the culprit. Millions of people live with dairy allergies and dismiss the symptoms as seasonal allergies. There could be a delayed response (e.g. a rash appearing 24-48 hours after ingestion) or an immediate response (e.g. anaphylactic shock or nasal congestion).

If you've ever developed an unexplained itchy bumpy rash on your skin, you may have a milk allergy triggered by toxic levels of casein or whey in your body!

"Why am I allergic now, if I've been drinking Milk all my life?" The truth is: Today's Milk is NOT the same as the Milk we used to drink 20, 30, 40 years ago!

Stuff you can now find in Milk:

  • Growth Hormones
  • Antibiotics to treat cow infections
  • Pus
  • Blood
  • Steroids

Another reason to try Soy, Rice, or Almond Milk: There is a sad byproduct of the Milk Industry: VEAL. Cows are impregnated to keep up milk production, so what happens to the millions of baby cows? Most become VEAL.

As optimistic as I am that more and more people will begin to avoid cow's milk altogether, I know that it will take time. Milk is found in MANY processed food products like Cereals, Bread, Chips, Protein Bars, even canned Tuna and Deli Meats. Eating healthy, nutrient rich foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes fuels your body, your brain, and keeps you feeling strong and rejuvenated. Think twice next time you go for that Latte or reach for the butter. There are some excellent alternatives! Check out http://www.godairyfree.org/ for resources and links.


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