Lac-torn Apart

Let’s be honest, dairy is amazing. There is nothing better than cheese on basically anything, it just brings so much to the table. But, as much as we love cheese and other dairy foods, a good majority of the world is not able to enjoy this food group without feeling like they are going to die. The ever so pleasant need-a-bathroom-right-now feeling is brought on by lactose intolerance and about 75% of the world population struggles with it, with 25% coming from Americans.


Lactose intolerance basically just means that your body is not able to produce the lactase which is the enzyme that helps your body digest things like milk, cheese, and ice cream. When your body lacks lactase and you consume dairy, you may feel bloated, nauseous, crampy, and experience diarrhea - but consider yourself blessed because it is not life-threatening. For some people, they may be lactose intolerant to some types of dairy but not all. For example, someone may not be able to drink milk, but they can still enjoy a nice pint of Ben & Jerry’s, but for others all dairy is off limits.



Personally, I did not realize that I was fully lactose intolerant until about a year ago. I had noticed my body was not keen on certain kinds of milk when I was in high school so I just avoided them and stuck to skim because I didn’t have any negative reactions to it…. My body slowly started refusing dairy and it was miserable, but for the life of me I could not figure out what it was. Then one day I decided to start cutting things out of my diet to see if I would start to feel better. I decided to start with dairy due to the fact that I knew certain milks would hurt my stomach. Low and behold, I felt amazing without dairy in my life… I missed it, but I felt like a functioning human being again. So, without further to do let’s look at what it is like to live with lactose intolerance:


1. You begin to read the ingredients on food more closely because you know that any amount of dairy will turn your insides out.




2. You do your best to avoid adding cheese to things or including cream in your coffee.




3. You start to test out different lactaid pills (personally I use the Dairy Relief tablets from Target’s Up & Up brand and they are a true game changer)




4. When you do eat dairy, you make sure you have a plan in place… better believe I won’t eat dairy before going out for the night.




5. Finding dairy free ice cream that is actually good is like striking gold.




6. Your favorite cereal is now enjoyed with Lactaid milk so that you simply enjoy without suffering 30 minutes later.




7. No longer can you simply enjoy Bailey’s in your coffee (there is Almond Milk Bailey’s now, though, so thankful for that)




8. That miserable feeling everyone gets after Chipotle is 10 times worse for you.




9. Gone are the days of enjoying a nice latte.




10.  Sometimes, you can be as careful as possible and you still accidentally consume dairy and all hell breaks loose.



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