The truth about eliminating dairy for auto-immune disease is a pretty lengthy subject, but I want to touch on the reasons why I limit dairy.
About 10 years ago, I read an article about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (which I was diagnosed with at 10). This old research article linked dairy sensitivity to triggering an auto-immune response, especially things like rheumatoid arthritis.
Since reading that article, I have researched it further including eliminating it from my diet, bringing it back, and seeing how it worked with rheumatoid arthritis.
This is such good information, I wanted to make sure to share it with you.
This article isn’t just for those who have rheumatoid arthritis, but any type of auto-immune response happening in your body.
PIN THIS!! The TRUTH about Eliminating Dairy for Auto-Immune Diseases
Dairy milk is comprised of dozens of enzymes, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. It has been the topic of health experts for years. Some claim it’s bad for you, some claim you should only buy organic. There are even diets that encourage diary consumption like ketogenic diet.
But even organic milk has the same milk proteins and enzymes that non-organic milk does. Organic milk will definitely be a better choice to make sure there aren’t added ingredients, fillers, and chemicals. But the truth is, that isn’t the problem with dairy relating to health problems. And it isn’t lactose either.
Some think choosing lactose-free dairy milk is a healthier choice, but if you aren’t truly lactose intolerant, it may be something else in milk that is bothering you.
Like I said above, this is a very lengthy subject, so I want to touch on the important topics of this discussion today so you can better understand it.
Chemistry facts of Milk
The two main components in all dairy milk is β-casein, A1 and A2 types.
β-casein is a type of phosphoprotein found in milk.
Between these two amino acids, only one part of the structure differs. A1 contains histidine where A2 contains proline. Other than that, their structures are identical.
The interesting thing is not all cow’s milk contains A1. Only milk from Holstein and Friesian cows, which is the predominant milk source in America.
Milk originating from Jersey cows is predominantly A2, as well as goat’s milk.
After doing some research on A1 and A2 casein, I wanted to know more about the chemistry behind it.
Clinical research has shown that A1 is the source of problems for auto-immune responses. Which, in America, is most of the dairy milk , regardless if it’s organic or not.
A1 can be rejected by the body because it doesn’t process and eliminate the casomorphin. The body may not have the enzyme to break down this type of casein.
For people with auto-immune diseases, this can trigger the disease and make it flare.
Many people consume dairy milk all their lives without issues, but they don’t have the predisposition like those with auto-immune diseases. In fact, many of my friends and family have always used dairy milk and have a great health. It is a great source of calcium, so I know many older people who drink it all the time. Again, they don’t have auto-immune diseases though.
After reading all this clinical research from the experts, I had to test it myself. You can research and study material all you want, but I like to know exactly what it does for my health.
Personal Testing on Eliminating Dairy for Auto-Immune Diseases
In 2010, I stopped using dairy milk completely. I switched to almond milk and tried to eliminate any dairy based products like ice cream too.
The first thing I noticed was I lost about 5 lbs. Then, I noticed I had more energy, and started having less joint pain. After one year without dairy, my rheumatoid arthritis was better, but also, my digestion was better! My constant stomach aches were gone, and I felt better.
Seven years later, I still limit dairy. If I start having dairy products again, like ice cream, within a few days I start experiencing more joint pain and swelling. It always intensifies my arthritic symptoms.
Many of you know about my husband’s health issues from this post.
He lost his colon in 2010 after battling ulcerative colitis for years. He had the beginning stages of colon cancer despite all this treatments and diet.
They created an internal J-pouch for him after they removed his colon, so he only had an ileostomy bag for about 4 or 5 months.
He did well for a few years, but started experiencing the exact same issues he had with ulcerative colitis a few years ago. After playing around with his diet, I had him eliminate dairy completely.
We found out that dairy was triggering his auto-immune disease again even though he no longer has a colon.
If he has dairy now, he always has a bad week!
Out of all the things we eliminated from his diet, it was only dairy that caused any issue.
I also tried taking gluten out of his diet, but it didn’t help him at all. In fact, it made his symptoms worse. Gluten seems to help hold everything together for him.
So, it is true for both of our auto-immune diseases that dairy really bothers it. Even using organic products doesn’t help since the A1 is still present.
Can you buy A2 milk?
Yes, you can actually purchase A2 only milk. I have never seen it, but there is some information on it here.
Research shows that milk from A2 cows does not trigger the same response for inflammation. Most milk found in the united states is not A2, so you have to look for a special label.
Readers have asked if I avoid dairy completely or occasionally have it?
After completely avoiding it for about 4 years, I started occasionally enjoying frozen yogurt (because I LOVE it). As long as it is occasional, it doesn’t seem to bother me.
Limiting dairy does help, but if you really want to see how it effects your auto-immune disease, I recommend cutting it out completely for at least 6 weeks to really see how your body responds.
Remember, ALWAYS talk with your doctor about diet changes or things you want to try out. They need to be checking your blood work periodically with any auto-immune disease too.
Do you have experience with eliminating dairy? Share your story below!