Mercury Detox Diets–Avoiding Dairy
When I first discovered that I was gluten intolerant, I crossed my fingers and said a little prayer to the dietary gods, hoping that I wouldn’t have to give up dairy too.
Why? Because gluten allergies frequently go hand in hand with an allergy to a substance called ‘casein’–a protein found in all dairy products. For the casein intolerant, all dairy products have to be avoided rigorously–and I really didn’t want to add a whole other set of foods to my forbidden list.
I watched my reaction to dairy products over the following weeks and saw that even though I was fine with cheese, yoghurt, cream and butter, I was having gastrointestinal distress whenever I had milk.
What was going on? Was I casein intolerant or not?
The answer–to my relief–was a categorical ‘not’. I wasn’t reacting to casein, I was reacting to another component of dairy which is called lactose.
Casein Intolerance vs Lactose Intolerance
Casein intolerance is a classic allergy, in the sense that the immune system is mistakenly targeting a food protein, treating it as if it were an invader that needs to be neutralized. Casein intolerance is very similar to lactose intolerance, and people who have both often get the same set of symptoms if they eat gluten or dairy.
Lactose intolerance on the other hand is not strictly a food allergy. Your immune system is not treating milk sugar (lactose) as an invader. Instead, your digestive system is failing because it’s deficient in the enzyme that breaks down lactose. This causes fermentation, gas and unpleasantness when the undigested milk travels through your gut.
Which Kind of Dairy Gets to You?
If you have some kind of reaction to dairy, but you’re not sure what kind it is, here are some clues to sort out reactions to casein vs dairy:
Milk is the highest-lactose dairy product, while butter, and hard cheeses contain little to no lactose. If milk is the only dairy product that bothers you, you’re probably lactose, not casein intolerant.
Casein is found most abundantly in cheese, and is even found in some “non dairy” products like soy cheese and Cool Whip. If you react to these foods, a casein allergy is more likely, since they contain little or no lactose.
An enzyme supplement like Lactaid can be very effective at easing lactose intolerance symptoms. If it has no effect when you eat dairy, you are probably looking at casein intolerance symptoms.
There is Hope
As I’ve mentioned frequently on this blog, classic allergies can be cured by detoxing mercury. My gluten allergy was 99.5% cured by chelation. And though it was a lot less serious, my lactose intolerance cleared up too. At the worst of it, I got stomach pains when I took homeopathic pills that used a tiny amount of lactose as a filler. Now I can drink milk freely without any symptoms. If you’re like me, you’ll just have to restrict your diet temporarily until the mercury is gone, and your body figures out how to digest food properly again.