It’s ice cream season! Would you like to heal your dairy allergy? I did! It’s not going to be something that works for everyone, but I was surprised at how quickly I was able to eliminate my dairy allergy by healing my gut.
When we started the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS), I knew we were a GAPS family, but I was primarily doing the diet for my daughter with autism. Because she was only 3, I felt like I should do the diet right alongside her to make sure I felt okay on the diet and I could relate to what she was going through as she went from eating a gluten free diet to the GAPS Intro and then full GAPS.
In snatches of internet research while she slept and I was nursing the baby (our early afternoon routine), I had learned that not only did GAPS help autism and other neurological conditions, but it also healed the gut to help digestive issues and with that healing it could potentially reverse food allergies. That’s pretty cool, I thought.
My dairy allergy history
I had been allergic to dairy protein my whole life, it caused chronic sinus infections which I was treated many many times for with antibiotics when I was a child. It wasn’t until I became a vegan as a teen, and then stopped being a vegan a few months later that I found the connection- without dairy I didn’t get sinus infections, with dairy I would get slammed with one in a few days.
Re-introducing dairy also gave me hives, itchy raised bumps on the skin.
This shows how important an elimination diet is! Some people would think that ‘going vegan’ gave me a dairy allergy, but re-framing the perspective gave me the information that I needed. I had always had an underlying dairy allergy!
For the next decade I just avoided dairy for the most part, I’d give in to an urge for real ice cream or pizza with goopy cheese every once in a while, get a painful sinus infection, and then avoid dairy again for the next few months.
GAPS Intro Reversed (or healed) my dairy allergy in 6 weeks.
We started GAPS intro on November first as described in my GAPS intro guide. We progressed quickly, working our way through the intro in 4 weeks and then went to full GAPS. My daughter got stuck on reacting to raw fruit and veggies, but I was able to progress through the intro in just 4 weeks.
I was taking the probiotic Biokult at the time too, as Dr. Natasha recommends- adults working up from just 1/10th of one capsule up to taking 10 capsules a day. Now, because of what I know about die off and not wanting to stress your body with more than it can easily detoxify, I don’t really recommend that most people take a high powered probiotic supplement at the same time they are doing intro. But at the time, I thought it was kind of cool that I could feel the illness caused by bad bugs leaving my body, so I plowed through GAPS Intro and upping Biokult all within 30 days. (being honest!).
I was planning on staying on full GAPS with my daughter, but mid December (6 weeks after starting intro) a friend ordered pizza, and, well, it looked and smelled REALLY good. So I ate a piece. (I do not recommend transitioning off GAPS in this way- see a more sensible approach here)
The pizza after 6 weeks of very clean eating on GAPS gave me digestive upset, as my body wasn’t used to gluten (or junk) at all. But the cheese on it did not give me hives or a sinus infection! Amazing! After my initial binge on pizza, I went back to eating dairy free full GAPS with my daughter for meals, but after she went to bed I started eating more and more dairy, first just a small slice of cheese, then a whole glass of raw milk, and by the next week I saw that I was just fine eating as much dairy as I wanted!
It’s been 2-1/2 years since I did 6 weeks on the GAPS intro, and I still can enjoy as much dairy as I wish, and haven’t had a sinus infection or outbreak of hives since!
Allergies: Protein vs Lactose
There are two different kinds of sensitivities to dairy, some people are sensitive to the lactose in dairy and do well with yogurt and cheese, which has had most of the lactose (milk sugar) used up in the culturing of the product, but they do not do well with fluid milk or ice cream.
Others are sensitive to the protein in dairy (casein), it’s found in high quantities in cheese, yogurt, and fluid milk.
Butter contains a very small amount of casein and lactose, but many people can handle it because the amounts are so small. Ghee is clarified butter, which has had the casein and lactose removed, and is appropriate for all but the very very sensitive. People are generally not sensitive to milk fat, which is the only thing that remains after clarifying butter.
A Note for Others
Just because I healed my dairy allergy in just a few weeks doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to, but it is encouraging that there is hope, right? I didn’t attempt to introduce GAPS legal dairy to my daughter until she had been on GAPS for over 6 months (and she did fine with it too) just because I was scared of losing the progress we had made on GAPS and she had been sensitive to dairy as a baby and toddler as well, as had my son.
I’ve had readers report success with GAPS healing egg and nut allergies as well, have you healed an allergy with GAPS?