As a child I was allergic to milk. Anytime I drank it I was afflicted with horrible ear infections. My Mom eventually figured out what was going on and strictly forbid the consumption of said product, but by this time I had scarring in my ears and suffered hearing loss. Thankfully, I outgrew both the hearing damage and the milk allergy by the time I reached my teen years. As long as I didn't over do the dairy intake, I could consume small quantities of milk and anything I desired that contained milk products. I was so thankful and I pitied those with any kind of food allergies.
Recently, however, my allergy has re-manifested itself and as a far more sensitive mutation. As of last month my body has simply decided that it does not wish to digest a variety of milk products. At first I denied it. I claimed it was a virus. I claimed it was hormonal. Anything but an allergy! Maybe, I thought, maybe there was a build up of yeast in my body that was causing it to react strongly to dairy and I wasn't actually allergic to anything!
So last week I went completely off of refined sugar so that the yeast would have nothing to feed on. Additionally, I took all dairy out of my diet to make the reactions stop while I sorted out this sugar thing. I hoped that after a week I'd be fine and could return to my normal eating habits, which really are pretty healthy. I felt great all week. There wasn't a single sign of my reactions I'd been having. "Great!" I thought, "logic wins again!"
But no, when I resumed my usual eating over the weekend so did the pain I'd been suffering the previous weeks. Bang goes that theory. I feel betrayed by my body, like it's attacking me. But I am finally ready to start thinking about what my future without milk, cheese, ice cream, and perhaps even butter, will look like in the future.
Today I bought soy milk so I can experience cooking with it. I'm also already back to a dairy free diet in the hopes that I will be able to slowly introduce things to see what my body can handle. Example: Will my body accept butter? What about yogurt? Ice cream? (The latter is, no doubt, ridiculously hopeful.)
So my question to you, my faithful readers, is this; do any of you have milk/lactose allergies? How do you deal with that? Do you find that your allergy makes it difficult for you to live like a normal person?
Meanwhile, I'll be checking out the soy ice cream section of Trader Joe's. Mournfully.