Some people with IBS can eat dairy and get away with it. The normal people that surround me can eat dairy all fucking day long. But for me, dairy is public enemy number one.
Go to your pantry and pull out boxes. Now tell me how many of those foods have dairy in them. Or harder yet, find one that doesn’t have any dairy.
I have a habit of picking up every box in the grocery store and going immediately to that bold statement: CONTAINS MILK. If I see those four letters — “MILK” — that reads a little more like “DEATH TO YOUR INTESTINES,” the box gets put back on the shelf.
And then I cry a little on the inside because I won’t be eating yogurt or ice cream or cereal or chips or pasta sauce or mac and cheese…ET FUCKING CETERA.
Then ignorant people are like, Why don’t you just do lactose free or Why can’t you just take a pill? Why don’t I shove that ice cream cone up your…
aaaaaaaand I digress. It’s not just about lactose, it’s the whey and casein that can also cause severe digestion problems. You can read about it in detail from Nutribody Protein, but what it boils down to is that you can’t digest the stuff. Thus, a food intolerance is born.
And just when you think you have things figured out, you might be tempted to pick up that impulse buy without looking at the label. DON’T DO IT! I once bought a bag of jalapeno chips thinking they’d be IBS safe. I ate half the bag that night, and little did I know these chips contained whey powder. Someone please explain to me why chips need to have stupid whey powder sprinkled on them. Well, those chips (they were delicious at the time) was the catalyst for two days in bed because I couldn’t move.
All my warnings aside, I do “cheat” about once a month. I’ll eat something with cheese or perhaps order dinner without knowing EXACTLY what’s in it. Because there are times I can eat dairy and get off scott free. But the times (a majority) I do get an attack, they’re pretty darn debilitating.
I switched to soy and eventually almond milk. I never drink regular milk or put it in my coffee. I ignore the lovely cheeses at Whole Foods and go straight to the olives. I’ve tried dairy-free cheeses, and with the exception of Daiya, they’re pretty darn disgusting. I eat almond yogurt, which is well worth the high price. When I eat at a restaurant, I order everything without cheese. And the servers always look at me funny, and I almost wish they could see what I do in the toilet or feel the rabid bunny gnawing at the left side of my intestines. There are alternatives, people.
I have a feeling we’ll come back to dairy at some point, since it’s such a big one for me. But for the time being, read labels and just try to go dairy free for two weeks — do you notice a difference? Cutting out dairy (for the most part) is ultimately one of the best things I’ve ever done.