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Volume IV   # 53       Copyright 2013        All Rights Reserved

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Twelve Symptoms to Check for This Common Food Intolerance

Are you - or someone you love - suffering from this common food intolerance?

F irst, the twelve symptoms:

     1. Diarrhea,  

     2. Constipation,  

     3. Backache,  

     4. Intestinal cramping,  

     5. Gas,  

     6. Bloating, 

     7. Irritable bowel syndrome,  

     8. Back "going out" of alignment,  

     9. Adjustments not holding,  

   10. Eczema,  

   11. Flu-like symptoms  (sore throat, sore ears, ear infections, achiness, tired and worn out,  

   12. Foul breath 

These symptoms can indicate lactose intolerance (intolerance to milk sugar.) Lactose intolerance is one of the most common - and most missed - food intolerances. According to National Digestive Diseases Information, lactose intolerance affects 33% of all people; 40 million Americans;75% all African-American, Jewish, Mexican-American, and Native American adults and 90% of Asian Americans. The American Medical Association has estimated that fully 40% of Americans are lactose intolerant.   

Intolerance to lactose (milk sugar) arises as a result of heredity and/or age when the body does not produce lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose. The human body is thought to be designed to process milk sugar (lactose) approximately as long as it has milk teeth.  As the mature adult teeth appear and the milk teeth are lost, the lactase enzyme also gradually diminishes, and ultimately for many people, disappears entirely. 

But age alone does not produce lactose intolerance.  In fact,  babies can be lactose intolerant (even when their mothers are not). If their mothers consume lactose it will come through the breast milk and cause symptoms in the baby (often labeled colic.) Also, pets can be lactose intolerant. 

When lactose can no longer be properly digested, it acts like any other food which has not been completely broken down, and becomes like a poison, wreaking havoc on a variety of systems and causing a variety of symptoms.   

For a child, a typical lactose intolerance picture starts with sore throat, sore ears, ear infections.  (If your child frequently says, "Mommy, my ear hurts", suspect lactose intolerance at the root of it. 

Here's how it happens: Undigested milk sugar irritates the ileocecal valve (right lower quadrant near the appendix) in the G.I. tract, causing it to remain open (or "blown").  It can also "blow" the valve of Huston (in the lower left quadrant). Open valves mean the eliminative system is back flushing toxins from the lower intestine back up the G.I. tract.  

The lymph system goes into overdrive attempting to cleanse, but quickly backs up, leading to swollen glands, sore throat and ear pain.  The person feels bloated and full but unable to get things moving out, or unable to maintain bowel control, or both.   

Additionally, valves remaining open cause certain muscles not to hold, resulting in the spine and sacroiliac easily going out of alignment, especially when stressed by lifting or twisting.   

The skin and respiratory systems attempt to take over and eliminate some toxins, which can lead to foul breath and rash, hives and eczema. If such a situation is allowed to continue, the body finally gives up attempting to mount any defense and attempts to adjust to being constantly overwhelmed. The best the immune system can do then is make tumors to isolate the toxins as much as possible. 

Eliminating all milk sugar from the diet is the solution.  Because lactose is used in a wide variety of recipes, processed foods and supplements, this means always checking to see if ANY lactose is present, eliminating custards, most yoghurts, sour cream, and all soft cheeses such as mozzarella (pizza cheese), American, Monterey Jack or Gouda.   

However, hard cheese such as Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan and Asiago, contain milk protein, not milk sugar, and so are fine to eat. Most cheeses made from fat, such as brie, are OK too, but to be certain, read the ingredient label, as some include skim milk.  Also be aware that "whey" is milk sugar and milk liquid and so to be avoided.   

Any yoghurts that use non-bacterial thickeners such as pectin, gelatin or agar-agar must be suspected of containing lactose. The same is true of most modern buttermilk, because they, too have had had chemical help to curdle them.  When the lactose remains undigested, they too are to be avoided. But yoghurts which relied entirely on healthy bacteria (lactobacillus, acidophilus) to thicken them are fine to eat, for the bacteria have done the job of digesting the lactose.   

Luckily a great variety of milk substitutes abound,  such as soy milk, rice dream, soy yoghurt, rice milk, coconut ice cream, soy ice cream, and rice dream ice cream.  There really is no need  to be deprived with such a wide variety of options.  

The dairy industry has responded to this situation with milk products containing Lact-Aid.  These work for people with a slight intolerance, but seem to be ineffective for those who are completely intolerant.  

The pharmaceutical industry has also made lact-aid drops or tablets available.  Use these immediately if you discover you've gotten milk by mistake, but avoid relying on them all the time.  Most people find them insufficient help.  Besides, eliminating milk sugar, and therefore most milk products, reduces mucus production, lowers intake of saturated fats and often results in lowered cholesterol. 

Last, any time you purchase an over-the-counter pharmaceutical or a prescription medication, always check with the pharmacist to make certain there is no lactose in the product.  Many drugs, including many birth control pills, contain lactose, as do homeopathic remedies in the form of pellets. 

Some of the most common - and egregious - symptoms that can disappear completely when someone who is intolerant removes lactose from their diet are asthma, acne, menstrual cramps and PMS. 

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