Here’s what I have learnt from my experience…
In my mid-teens I started feeling ill shortly after having certain foods, I thought I had an allergy to dairy. I used to love milkshakes, especially McDonald’s milkshakes (I believe that’s enough to make anyone ill). I suffered from migraines, drowsiness and low mood. I eventually cut out the dairy. At this time I thought egg was dairy, unfortunately I have an intolerance to two foods. I tried having lactose-free products but was still having the same symptoms and went back to cutting out all dairy again. As I got older I developed more symptoms: digestive problems. I was also growing tired of not having “creamier” foods so I decided to take a chance on trying a decent serving of goat’s cheese and I was fine! I also discovered I can have sheep’s milk products as well.
Symptoms to look out for:
- Skin complaints (hives, itchy skin, eczema)
- Nasal congestion (itchy nose, runny nose, sneezing, burning nose)
- Asthma signs (coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath)
- Digestive problems (nausea, vomiting, cramps/pain, diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion)
Or in my case:
- Headaches, migraines
- Low moods
If you find yourself feeling unwell I found drinking plenty of water and having a nap subsided my symptoms. Certain medications can help as well. Listen to your body, if you start to feel unwell, stop eating, I hate waste but it’s better than making yourself suffer.
Allergy or intolerance?
Although both have similar symptoms, having a food allergy can be severe or life threatening whereas an intolerance isn’t.
My tips on helping you diagnose yourself between dairy, lactose, cow’s milk and egg sensitivities:
- Dairy is animal milk products, egg is not dairy.
- Lactose is found in animal milk products (Lactofree extract the Lactose in cow’s milk).
- If you think you have a dairy sensitivity it could just be a cow’s milk sensitivity.
- If you have an allergy or intolerance to dairy it does not mean you have an egg sensitivity.
- It can be a bit difficult to know what food you’re sensitive to especially when you have a “balanced meal”. Instead of eliminating foods I ate one certain food to see if it affected me a while later, for example I would have a glass of milk or fried eggs.
Get to know what food you buy that has the food you’re sensitive to in, look at ingredients when shopping. If you have a cow’s milk allergy/intolerance watch out for “milk”, although this doesn’t make it clear what type of milk it is it’s probably best if you stayed clear. Eventually you will know what foods are best for you without having to look at the ingredients labels. Cereal, bread and biscuits are foods you may be surprised that have dairy in them.
Foods I recommend:
Dairy free foods:
Cow’s milk free foods:
Sheep’s and Goat’s milk products
Lactose free foods:
Egg free foods:
So, I thought I was allergic to dairy (with eggs falling in the “dairy” category), then allergic to lactose with an egg allergy, then allergic to dairy with an egg allergy, to knowing I was intolerant to cow’s milk and eggs. Phew!
What’s your food sensitivity journey been like?