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First off…if you eat sustainably sourced dairy and feel 100% fantastic, then more power to you. This article is really not for you.

If you are struggling with chronic pain, fatigue, skin issues, headaches or hormonal imbalances – then pay attention. Testing for dairy sensitivities or a trial elimination could unlock part of your health mystery.

For Starr, simply eliminating dairy made a world of difference

“I kept hearing that people gave up dairy and had very positive results, but I was reluctant because I love dairy and had spent time growing up on dairies and have a family history associated with the industry… you could say that milk ran in my veins… 🙂

However, I listened in on a couple success stories and giving up dairy was really just a part of people’s basic migraine management. I decided I really needed to give it a go. So in November last year I quit dairy… pretty much cold turkey. Any guess what? A vast improvement in the number of migraines I get. Now I get maybe 2 or 3 migraines a fortnight or less. I was getting 5 or 6 migraines a week for a long time and the remainder of the time I was in recovery mode – so life was pretty crappy.

I wish I had tried this earlier – I feel as if I have my life back… most of the time.”

~ Starr W. , Australia

milkThe Got Milk? Generation

Did you grow up thinking dairy was a fundamental part of a healthy diet?

So did I!

But guess what…those were advertisements from the milk industry itself, and while some people thrive on dairy (notably, followers of the Westin A Price diet) – many see transformational improvements in their skin, hormones, sinus congestion, digestion and pain levels when they avoid it.

This meta-analysis of 52 studies about both the anti-inflammatory and inflammatory reactions people can have to dairy.

While dairy proved to be anti-inflammatory overweight and obese adults with metabolic dysfunction, it was clearly inflammatory to people with sensitivities to the proteins in milk.

Potential inflammatory issues with dairy include:

  • Quality of the milk source – what did the cows eat? Were the cows healthy?
  • Added sugar in yogurt, ice cream, pudding, etc
  • Aged cheeses – these are a commonly reported migraine trigger
  • Lactose intolerance (Inability to break down the sugar, lactose, found in milk)
  • Casein intolerance (Immune reaction to the protein casein. About 50% of people who are gluten intolerant are casein intolerant as well)
  • Whey intolerance (Reaction to the protein whey, slightly less common)

dairySo how do I know if I’m reacting to dairy??

To find out if dairy is part of the stress in your “stress bathtub” – try completely eliminating it for 2-3 months. Using a weekly tracker, monitor your symptoms and note any potential improvements. After the elimination, you’ll do a limited introduction and continue to track after you reintroduce dairy into your diet.

Alternatively, a more comprehensive but shorter elimination diet like the Whole 30, when done with proper reintroduction (that’s the part people usually miss!) can be enlightening as well.

To help you get started we’ve put together our definitive guide on embarking on a trial elimination – and are giving it to you at no cost.

This 12-page guide will walk you through the ins and outs, the common mistakes, ideas for substitutions and answer frequently asked questions such as “will I have to avoid dairy forever?” and “are goat milk or butter okay?” (our answers will probably surprise you).

PLUS we tell you the one fool-proof way to see if dairy is inflammatory for you.

Get our Free 12-Page Guide to an Effective Dairy Elimination Trial

Referenced study:

Alessandra Bordoni, Francesca Danesi, Dominique Dardevet, Didier Dupont, Aida S. Fernandez, Doreen Gille, Claudia Nunes dos Santos, Paula Pinto, Roberta Re, Didier Rémond, Danit R. Shahar & Guy Vergères(2017) Dairy products and inflammation: A review of the clinical evidence, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57:12, 2497-2525, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2014.967385