Milk or lactose as a trigger factor

Hi, I've noticed a few are mentioning that avoiding milk and lactose helps. When I'm feeling ill (which is often) what I 'crave' is a bowl of cereal and milk. I usually have my main meal in the middle of the day and am quite happy with cereal and milk at night (or a bit of cheese on toast). Any suggestions for replacements? I find the milk 'cools' my stomach.

Also, I read somewhere that milk could be linked to Behcet's. I believe Behcets is a big problem in Japan and wonder if they consume as much milk and cheese as the Western world?


12 Replies

  • Hi lesley

    I use soya milk or rice milk and also tend to use wheat free cereals, which I feel I digest better. I was advised to do this by the Consultant that diagnosed me with Chronic fatigue Syndrome many years ago.

    He advised to eat as much non processed food as possible, which is what I have tended to stick to over the years. Lots of fresh veg and fish with less red meat and I use lots of herbs and use olive oil to make it tasty.

    I still eat occaisional cheese because I love it so much, but try and stick to goats or ewes cheeses.....we also have soya cheese in UK but it's pretty yuk and not like cheese at all.

    Am I making you hungry yet ;)

    I wouldn't have thought the japanese ate a lot of dairy products as their cooking doesn't tend to include milk or thinking is that we are susceptable to intolerances because our intestines are sluggish and perhaps don't tolerate things like milk and cheese which is very hard work to digest.

    It will be interesting to see what others think....perhaps someone from japan is out there to join in.


  • Hi Andrea

    Was just about to log off work (I work from home) 530pm Wednesday night here.

    Yes I love cheese as well. Because I've always had a weight problem I have always tried to eat healthy (with the occasional treat). In the past have tried going gluten free and also used soya and rice milks etc. I can't say I felt any better, but have just decided to give it another go.

    Just a thought - years ago while I was trying 'anything and everything' to get get some help I went to a Chinese doctor. They have the thought of foods that either heat or cool the blood - I was told to avoid lamb and oranges. Since then I've tried to find more information on 'foods that cool they blood' but have never found anything. Some Spanish friends of mine used to say that coffee heats the liver and tea cools it - so it probably is on the same thought.


  • Hi lesley

    It is 9:20am in the UK and I am just thinking about what to have for lunch. It is very hot here at the moment after having had so much rain. As I live near Heathrow Airport the air is thick pollution especially as it is so busy with travellers for the olympics. My breathing is will probably have something light like Trout and Avocado salad today.

    Yes I know what you mean about foods the heat and cool the blood as a basis for chinese medicine. Chinese medicne is more based around organs such as the liver, spleen and kidneys. Thinking is [I think] if you have the balance [yin and yang] right it should cure most illnesses and retain good health.

    if you are looking for info on this I found this link which gives a reasonable laypersons description of what conditions and what foods are heat and cold foods and interestingly, those that are neither heat or cold.

    speak to you soon again


  • Thanks for that will read it up. Sounds a bit like Ayurveda medicine as well. I think there is a bit of truth in all of it but I don't have the will power to really stick to one thing.

    (I actually live in the semi 'bushland' so can't even blame smog).


  • I really like both of these and use some of them to incorporate into my cooking. For example garlic and turmeric...are great for stomach problems because the garlic acts as an antibacterial and the turmeric is an antiiflammatory.

    I don't stick to one thing nowdays, i sort of allow my body to decide what it wants...sounds a little cookoo but sometimes I do actually want a burger or fish and chips [very british :)] and some how it does the trick, particularly after a party and too much wine ;)

    I am a great believer in moderation but do not stress out about any of it unless I am really suffering and then revert to fresh veg, fish and meat etc.

    works for me

    what foods work for you or make you feel better?


  • Hi Andrea

    It's funny but I am a bit the same. I don't have the will power to be a strict vegetarian or whatever, but if I feel like having a hamburger or chips I will (in moderation). I've always joked with everyone that the only thing that works for me is my appetite.

    Thinking about it when I did the food elimination tests salicylates affected me. I didn't feel sick but instantly my face went bright red, and that was with cucumber of all things. I avoid chilli and capsicum for the same reason but eat most things in small amounts.

    There is a good book called Friendly Food by E Swan and Loblay. The thought is we can eat small amounts of things we are sensitive to but when the amount in the body has built up we get a reaction (which makes sense).

    I'm waffling on a bit - basically there are very few foods that make me feel ill, however my joints and lower limbs are constantly aching so perhaps there is something I'm eating all the time that is causing this reaction. (All my life I've had a sweet tooth).


  • Hi lesley

    Funny you should talk about having a sweet tooth, because I like savory foods. I don't eat a lot of sugary foods and tend to have honey or stevia instead.

    I also haven't been able to have anything with caffiene in for years as it makes me feel very shakey and sick and also I get the face flushing.

    I haven't got on with ordinary sugar for some years and the face flushing comes on with this also if I do. As you have vascular problems I imagine this doesn't help.

    I remember reading up on allergies when I was first ill and also did the ellimination diet under the care of the hospital. Also, read about building up a reaction by overdosing on a particular food.

    The allergy consultant I saw at the time said it could be down to a combination of foods rather than one item. He also talked about artificial sweetners [except natural ones] can cause fatigue and joint is surprising what foods have artificial sweetners in. Even foods that aren't meant to be sweet.

    Sorry now I am waffling on a bit, but I do find it an interesting subject but a bit of a mindfield to figure out....I just sort of rely on my intuition.......

    ......and resorting to good fresh food with a little bit of what you fancy, does you good ;)

    Thanks Andrea

  • Hi Andrea

    I've always wondered about sugar but it has been one of those things 'I don't want to know about' - keep saying I'm going to go off it but never quite do. I've never been much of a drinker but can't touch alcohol while on Methotrexate and also am trying to cut down on Gluten. I'll try and be good and add sugar to the list.

    Talk to you soon



  • Hi Andrea

    Just adding to what you said - the consultant I had mentioned that if you are sensitive to one food then you might be a sensitive to more than one - in my case salicylates as well as gluten and yes it might be a combination that does trigger things. It's been years since I did the sensitivity diet - I would like to try it again but it is a bit hard at the moment (cooking for a few others as well).


  • Anything is worth a try...but it is difficult if you are cooking for others.

    There is only my husband and I as my son is 30years and doesn't live at home.

    What I meant to say about the combination of foods I meant having say 2 foods together may produce an adverse response, whereas they wouldn't if eaten individually. Say for instance Bread and Sugar can produce a yeast reaction, causing candida which can give you all sorts of symptoms.....this is only an example of what I mean as it could be anything.

    Also, some reactions take days to occurr and so it wouldn't necesarily be something you ate that day.

    It is not that simple to try and figure out......doctors suggested keeping a diary, but I am a bit lazy when it comes to this sort of thing.

    As you say, the sensitivity diet is pretty full on.....I did it for over 6 months and still got in a mess with it once I started re-introducing foods. I did feel quite a bit better on the eating virtualy nothing part...but I love food far too much to live like that.

    Good luck with it


  • Hi Andrea - that makes sense what you say. Yes I've tried the food diary and found it very difficult (also a bit embarrassing if kept honestly). I've always tended towards overweight - born a fat baby and never grew out of it, although looking back I wasn't that bad - just very solid. I always get in first with the doctors and tell them that I've always loved my food.

    At least there is something we can enjoy!



  • Andrea and Les

    I've just come upon this thread - and, once again, it's a 'yes, me too.'

    Our family -meaning my husband and sons - have a number of food intolerances, which weren't discovered until number one son was diagnosed with milk allergy (rather than intolerance) when he was around 3 years old. I can do dairy - what I can't do is wheat.

    Years ago, probably 20 years or so prior to my diagnosis, I was seeing a consultant about my painful knees. Nothing really to see on x-ray, although the skin was puffy and warm to the touch. I was told it was just the ageing process (and I was all of 33!).

    My husband - a very analytical chap - noticed that my joints were painful after I had eaten bread. I just adore bread! We also noticed that the foods we were intolerant too were the exact foods we craved...

    This is all very well but nowadays,whenever I am particularly poorly, he quizzes me about what I've eaten. That is such a pain in the backside because, whilst food definitely does have an effect, it is not the only factor.

    Facial flushing - can't drink wine any more. My face flushes and the skin actually seems to swell. After a couple I didn't mind looking like a panda so much but it was also very painful so I gave up trying. Strawberries and tomatoes also cause problems - so salicylates are also a problem for me (and for my son too).

    This is such a complex condition isn't it? You think you've got a handle on it and then something else comes along to bite you in the bum and you have to rethink all over again.

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