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Oh Lactose how I hate you!


Cassu
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Let me jump in that being lactose intolerant and being allergic to milk are two different things.

 

I was born allergic to milk. Any cow's milk sent me into full-on anaphalyxsis. Vomiting, followed by convulsions, followed by stopping breathing. In some people anaphalyxsis can include diarrhea and intestinal cramping. My parents worked with an allergist and started giving me a single drop, with a eye dropper, of cows milk a week. Then two drops. Slowly they built me a tolerance. I am still allergic, but now the symptoms start with post nasal drip, followed by either vomiting or acting drunk, followed by more vomiting. Eventually the convulsions would set in, but I have more sense than to push it that far. But I take a benadryl every single morning to help me deal with the 'background level' of milk in American cooking. McDonald's filet of fish, for example, has whey. Most margarines have some milk.

 

Lactose intolerance is an inability to digest lactose. The symptoms include intestinal cramping and diarrhea. I've developed lactose intolerance with getting older. Keeping lactaid pills on hand is a must. If you are going out to eat and its a huge chain you may be able to find ingredients listed on line. Otherwise, take a lactaid pill before each meal that you didn't cook yourself on general principles.

 

But you are doing the right thing by seeing a doctor. And anyone who has self-diagnosed, please see a doctor. Lactaid pills won't help a true allergy, and for some people the initial symptoms of a true allergy can be the same as lactose intolerance. Until you start having trouble breathing because your throat is swelling closed.

Edited by Argentee
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Wow Argenee, that's really scary!
I finally had my blood test a few weeks back and went in for my results last Friday, good news; I'm not allergic to dairy products, just intolerant. My Doctor also pointed out that my results showed that I'm also allergic to dust and things, but I told her that one I knew about and have been battling that one all my life.

 

For the most part substituting my diet at home hasn't been too hard, the main problems I'm having is when my friends and I go out to eat. I was interstate for a Con near the end of October and found it difficult, our group went to this amazing cafe that served Japanese Crepes and Iced Green Teas and I couldn't have any. As it was on the first day of the trip I forgot about the foods on my 'can't eat' list and ordered some scrambled eggs out of habit because I always have them; an hour later I realized what I'd done. So stupid!
So I'm going to talk to a Chemist about getting some Lactase pills simply for those times when I'm out with friends, or out at a cafe or restaurant that doesn't have any lactose-free options. I'm also writing up a list of foods I can't eat to put in my daily planner so I can get into the habit of avoiding certain things.

 

I did have brunch with hubby on Sunday though and had a delightful soy hot chocolate, so at least I can still have one of my favourites.

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[ ... ] served Japanese Crepes and Iced Green Teas and I couldn't have any. As it was on the first day of the trip I forgot about the foods on my 'can't eat' list and ordered some scrambled eggs out of habit because I always have them; an hour later I realized what I'd done. So stupid!

So I'm going to talk to a Chemist about getting some Lactase pills simply for those times when I'm out [ ... ]

 

I would be fascinated to learn what a Japanese Crepe is...

 

Iced Green Tea: in the states that would involve only ice, green tea, sugar or honey, and perhaps a twist of some citrus fruit. Served in a tumbler. No milk or cream at all. I gather it is all different in your locale?

 

Scrambled Eggs: I don't have bad reactions to restaurant scrambled eggs. I asked at the last place I ordered any and they said they never put milk in (and looked at me funny for asking if they did). I wonder if lactose intolerance is so common that restaurants (here locally) leave it out of eggs as a standard practice.

 

Chemist! Those pills are an off-the-shelf item here. No script from a Doctor needed. Pharmacist (Chemist) interaction not required.

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I don't know if I've developed a lactose allergy as I've gotten older, probably just more lactose intolerance. But now anything with dairy gives me a lot of gas. Doesn't really bother me, and my girlfriend finds it funny so it's not a problem.

 

Not sure if I've developed irritable bowel syndrome now, the VA is diagnosing my problem, but anyone who's dealt with military health care knows how long it takes for them to diagnose anything. About 40% of the time I have diarrhea/loose stool and about 40% of the time I'm constipated (not as much of a problem as the first). I had my gall bladder and part of my stomach removed when I was in the Navy. Now eating pretty much anything leafy: lettuce, cabbage, spinach, etc. will give me diarrhea. So I stay away from those foods. Also I've developed pretty bad case gastro-esophageal reflux disease. So I stay away from tomatoes, onions, and spicy foods because even with the omeprazole that will cause my acid to rise.

 

More or less I'm on a anti-salad diet now. It's a tough life, but somebody has to do it ::P:

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Yikes. My sympathy goes out to all of my allergy-afflicted friends and co-painters.

 

Some of my local friends have common allergies or problems (lactose intolerance, shellfish allergies, etc.), but not many of the more far-reaching ones. I am restricted from having raw/rare meat, fish or eggs, for medical reasons, but that's about it.

 

 

Just remember: Salad is something that food eats.

 

*hides salad plate and sloooowly sidles away from Dilvish*

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Since no one else has mentioned it, there is also Oral Allergy Syndrome, which is basically a sensitivity to raw foods that resemble pollens the sufferer is allergic to. Unfortunately that means that I can't eat most fruits raw, although I can have them cooked still. I've finally had it with my allergies to the point that I'm starting shots. If I'm really lucky maybe the OAS will subside too.

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Since no one else has mentioned it, there is also Oral Allergy Syndrome, which is basically a sensitivity to raw foods that resemble pollens the sufferer is allergic to. Unfortunately that means that I can't eat most fruits raw, although I can have them cooked still. I've finally had it with my allergies to the point that I'm starting shots. If I'm really lucky maybe the OAS will subside too.

My wife has this issue (which got much more profound after the birth of our second) with birch tree family (pretty much all root vegetables and tree fruits and nuts). Even some cooked bothered her. She started taking allergy shots a couple years ago and it has had some improvements. She can eat some fruits and root vegetables now, even raw, without irritation. Apples unfortunately, cooked or raw still make her mouth feel an itchy, irritable mess, which kills her because it's her favorite fruit. So much so, she still suffers through it to eat an apple every year when we go picking with the kids.

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Since no one else has mentioned it, there is also Oral Allergy Syndrome, which is basically a sensitivity to raw foods that resemble pollens the sufferer is allergic to. Unfortunately that means that I can't eat most fruits raw, although I can have them cooked still. I've finally had it with my allergies to the point that I'm starting shots. If I'm really lucky maybe the OAS will subside too.

My wife has this issue (which got much more profound after the birth of our second) with birch tree family (pretty much all root vegetables and tree fruits and nuts). Even some cooked bothered her. She started taking allergy shots a couple years ago and it has had some improvements. She can eat some fruits and root vegetables now, even raw, without irritation. Apples unfortunately, cooked or raw still make her mouth feel an itchy, irritable mess, which kills her because it's her favorite fruit. So much so, she still suffers through it to eat an apple every year when we go picking with the kids.

 

 

Your wife has my sympathies. I've got the same problem with apples (and pretty much any other local fruit) and we've got a nice little tree in our front yard that makes really delicious apples. The kids really love them, so I guess it's still a win, even though I can't eat them unless I cook them. Funny you should mention that it got worse after the birth of a child, I wasn't allergic to anything until I got pregnant with our first. I'm optimistic about the shots, but even if it just helps with the seasonal stuff I'll call it a win.

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As someone who has also been on shots, it's amazing how well they work for some people. I used to be virtually a prisoner in my room during parts of the summer. The worst, and most ironic was the blossoms of timothy grass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy-grass (bet you can't guess what my name is :;): ) but while I still need allergy meds during the summer, I can get out and enjoy myself again.

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