I found this topic interesting due to many more children have developed milk allergies lately that does not show up on the allergist's scratch test.
Having a food intolerance is not fun. It can cause abdominal pain, discomfort, and nausea. It also causes embarrassing symptoms like flatulence and diarrhea. Other symptoms linked to food intolerances include muscle or joint pain, headaches, exhaustion, and even skin symptoms like rashes and eczema.
Dairy is just one of those foods that many people seem to be intolerant of. Let’s talk about the main components of milk that people react to: lactose, casein, and whey.
Milk sugar (lactose) intolerance
“It’s estimated that up to 75% of adults are lactose intolerant.” Lactose is the carbohydrate “milk sugar” naturally found in most dairy products. Lactose intolerance is so common you can buy lactose-free milk in your regular grocery store. Lactose-free products are treated with the enzyme “lactase” that breaks the lactose down before you ingest it. It’s this lactase enzyme that is lacking in most people who are lactose intolerant.
The lactase enzyme is naturally released from your intestine as one of your digestive enzymes. It breaks down the lactose sugar in the gut. When someone doesn't have enough lactase, the lactose doesn't get broken down the way it should. Undigested lactose ends up being food for the resident gut microbes. As they ferment the lactose, they create gases that cause bloating, flatulence, pain, and sometimes diarrhea.
Lactose is in dairy but is in lower amounts in fermented dairy (e.g. cheese & yogurt) and butter. Steering clear of lactose isn't that easy as it is added to other foods like baked goods, soups, and sauces. And if you're taking any medications or supplements, check to see if it's in there too, as lactose is a common ingredient in them.
**If you have symptoms of lactose intolerance, keep an eye on food, medication, and supplement labels.
Milk protein (casein & whey) allergy
Milk is a known, and common, food allergen. In Canada, it is considered a “priority allergen” and must be declared on food labels.
So, what are the allergens in milk? You've heard of "curds and whey?" Well, these are the two main proteins in milk. The solid bits are the curds (made of casein), and the liquid is the dissolved whey.
Unlike lactose intolerance, casein and whey can cause an actual immune response. It’s an allergy. And this immune response can cause inflammation. In fact, we don’t know how many people have these milk allergies, but most estimates put it far below that of lactose intolerance.
Did you know that you have severe diarrhea, and vomit from dairy and it will not show up in a scratch test by an allergist.
Like lactose, these allergenic milk proteins can be found in other products too. They're not just in dairy but are often in protein powders as well (Have you heard of "whey" protein powders?).
Some of the symptoms of milk protein allergy differ from that of lactose intolerance; things like nasal congestion and mucus (phlegm) are more common here. And casein seems to be linked with belly fat.
Interestingly, people who have gluten intolerance are often allergic to milk proteins like whey and casein as well. These can go hand-in-hand.
Like lactose intolerance, if you're allergic to casein and whey keep an eye on labels so you can avoid these. There are many milk alternatives with the same vitamins and minerals that easier to digest.
If you get gassy, bloated, or diarrhea after eating dairy, you may have a lactose intolerance. If you often get a stuffy nose and mucus, then you may be allergic to casein and/or whey.
While dairy may be an entire food group, it is not an essential nutrient. All the nutrients in dairy are available in other foods. The trick is to find substitutions that will be pleasing and enjoyable as well as nutritious. If you experience these symptoms, you can try removing dairy from your diet. You may find improved digestion and fewer gut issues. Or you may find improved nasal congestion, or even less belly fat.
If you decide to (or have already) removed dairy from your diet, let me know your experience in the comments below.
Recipe (Dairy-free): Chocolate Ice "Cream"
3 bananas, sliced and frozen
2 tsp cacao powder, unsweetened
1 tbsp almond butter/ or nut and seed butter (I recommend ”Wow” Butter)
Place frozen bananas in food processor and blend until smooth (a few minutes). You may have to stop a few times to scrape the sides.
Add cacao powder and nut or see butter of choice and blend until mixed well.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: You can make this in advance and freeze in an airtight container.
Researchers now speculate there might be a gut and brain connection. This suggests that it is not just psychological, but there is a GUT problem with an emotional connection. I can tell you from my experience with I.B.S., when it flares up my emotional health is not the same.
New French research have discovered that a specific bacteria that regulates appetite, may also be playing a role gut conditions – it is hard to say which comes first – the psychological conditions that leads them to forgo eating which then affects the gut. Or does problems with the gut cause the emotional issues that lead them to stop eating. Whatever the case, they are intertwined now.
Researcher at the University of North Carolina have determined that people with anorexia have far less gut bacteria in total and less diverse bacteria. The quality and quantity of bacteria in the gut is dependent on what we eat.
In the meantime, we can encourage a healthier approach for anorexics which should be implemented while they are receiving treatment and continued after. They should be fed foods that are high in nutrients that may be deficient.
The following steps may be the best approach that we have now:
1. Digestive enzymes and probiotics to aid digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as help the gastrointestinal tract function better. Depriving their system for so long of good quality foods as well as purging and/or using laxative is going to mean their whole GI tract is messed up.
2. Soothing bone broth and aloe vera gel will help aid repair of the GI tract. Aloe also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria.
3. Nutrient dense foods with prebiotics, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, including fermented foods should be introduced into their diet to build the residential good bacteria. This may need to be done slowly – everyone is different and it always wise to go carefully.
4. Further gut repair may be needed but this is a good start.
5. Psychological treatment must be part of any plan. Whether the psychological preceded the gut problems or the gut led to the psychological issues – they are now influencing each other and a strategy for both is needed.
Come let me help you with some great menu ideas and help you stay on track.
Surie Weinberg, Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Trained Doula
SurieWeinberg@gmail.com for more info. www.sproutsandsweets.com
1. The Intestinal Microbiota in Acute Anorexia Nervosa and During Renourishment: Relationship to Depression, Anxiety, and Eating Disorder Psychopathology, Susan C. Kleiman et al, Psychosom Med. 2015 Nov-Dec; 77(9): 969–981
2. Gut Dysbiosis in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa, Chihiro Morita et al, December 18, 2015 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0145274
3. Role of the gut microbiota in host appetite control: bacterial growth to animal feeding, Sergueď O Fetissov, Nature Reviews Endocrinology 13(1), September 2016
Tired people have trouble holding it together: both you and your kids are more likely to "lose it" when sleep deprived. Don't try to do any serious parenting when you're in that state or when your child is in that state. Wait until tomorrow and if the problem still exists, take care of it then.
Can you blame your child's extreme behavioral issues on your own (or your spouse's) parenting style? No! Regular, imperfect parenting works just fine on regular, imperfect children, enabling them to function adequately at home, school and elsewhere. When a child's behavior is on the extreme end of the curve (resulting in severe behavioral issues in one or more settings), genetic factors and/or traumatic (overwhelming, life-threatening, and/or physically & emotionally abusive) experiences are at play. In these cases, "professional," "therapeutic" parenting - and often actual professional, therapeutic intervention - is needed. Ordinary parenting skills that work well for other kids, including YOUR other kids, will not be sufficient with a very challenged child.
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For more parenting materials by Sarah Chana Radcliffe
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