Tummy probs - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 12-11-2004, 12:20 AM
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Hey all. I was wondering if there was someone that has the same issue as me in the bunch.

I have been vegetarian since May and still include some fish occasionally (I know, gasp...) and dairy. Basically- a more realistic way to describe myself would be "I don't eat meat". But anyhoo- that's another topic.

My question is that I actually go through many periods without even realizing it where I have 'vegan days'. I don't even think to have dairy and actually prefer soy to milk. So I have had some veggie pizza recently and bought some gouda cheese...also have gotten a little lazy and bought the super-cheap non-soy yogurts. All this to say my stomach has been hating me! I have been bloated...gassy (pardon ) and have just had general 'issues'. I started to connect the dots and noticed my dairy intake has been high this past week or two.

Am I just nutso or do you think I could be sorta training my body away from lactose...so that I get 'intolerant' when I have it? I mean...how long does something like that take to happen (if ever) and/or is it even really plausible or am I grasping at straws?

Thanks for the help!
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#2 Old 12-11-2004, 12:55 AM
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Many people, like myself, develop lactose intolerance when they get older or stop eating dairy/reduce their dairy intake. As I understand it, the bacteria in the colon that produce lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) die off when they have no food, so when you add dairy back into your diet after eating very little to no dairy for a while, it can be more than your body can handle. If you really want to continue eating dairy, you could try Lactaid dairy products or have your doctor prescribe you a lactase enzyme pill. They have over-the-counter lactase enzyme pills too, but I've found they're not as effective as the prescriptions.



If you want to find out if it's really dairy causing you problems, you can do an elimination diet. Completely delete dairy from your diet for a couple of weeks and then add it back in. If you wanted to find out faster, you could have your doctor do a test.



OT--Reducing animal products in your diet is a great thing, but if you still include fish, even occasionally, calling yourself a vegetarian isn't really accurate. You'd be a pescatarian. Vegetarians, don't eat animals or meat and fish is still meat and an animal. You could also say you're transitioning to be a vegetarian. Don't get me wrong, you're doing a great thing, but it's just something to consider. It confuses the omnis when those who eat fish or chicken still call themselves vegetarians because those of us who eschew all animal flesh get served or offered fish or chicken (it's happened to me more times than I can conveniently count).
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#3 Old 12-11-2004, 01:06 AM
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Thanks for the great advice!!! I really appreciate it.

Your opinions on what I choose to call myself are also dually noted...but not really the point of the discussion I was hoping to have.



Anyhoo- good suggestions on the elimination diet...I think I really may give that a go especially since diary has become very dispensable for me over the last half year.

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#4 Old 12-11-2004, 03:46 AM
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Since your body is naturally only designed to digest dairy when youre nursing - its set up to stop accepting dairy once you are weaned. As a result, quitting dairy for long enough sends it the signal that youre done w/ the needing milk stage- and that can lead to lactose intolerance.
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#5 Old 12-11-2004, 07:38 AM
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Why don't you look for vegetarian cheese? Veggie slices and the like. While they do still have casein in them sometimes, it'll get you further away from lactose, and you'll be able to tolerate it better.
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#6 Old 12-11-2004, 09:55 AM
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the cells of your intestines produce lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose sugars. ideally, you just need this enzyme as an infant, while nursing and production of it decreases as a person ages. when a person continually eats dairy, however, the body keeps trying to process it by continuing to produce lactase. eventually most people will stop producing lactose, which is what sounds like is happening to you.



altho bacteria can help aid digestion (why many peole can eat yogurt without a problem, but not other forms of dairy) they cannot tackle it on their own.



also, casein does not have lactose so you can eat vegge slices with it without problem. the same is not true for whey (another milk protein). it has lactose sugars on it and can be a problem for severely lactose intolerant people (like myself).
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#7 Old 12-11-2004, 06:21 PM
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...hmmm. GREAT info! I am not feeling so odd (hehehe). I have tried veggie slices and found them- well, not for me. I think I will just cut it out altogether- since it's more of a convenience thing for me to have dairy than it is a taste issue.
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#8 Old 12-11-2004, 06:57 PM
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When I first when vegan, I had similar problems. Probiotic Acidophilus softgel pills fixed it fast. You can find them anywhere. (Ukrops, Pharmacys, etc.) They work great. Mostly cuz it's the essential bacterias your intestines are missing when you don't eat diary products. And the best part, they're cheap, and you don't need a perscription. Good luck. Feel better!
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#9 Old 12-11-2004, 07:11 PM
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You know, you can also get Acidophilous + Digestive Enzymes, which might just help in general. I think it has lipase, amalase, lactase and something else...

http://megatarian.blogspot.com
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#10 Old 12-12-2004, 11:50 PM
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...so do you think it's possible to get these sensitivities to dairy after maybe just one or two dairy-free days? That is what it is for me, sporatically. Or is it more like I would have to be off dairy for weeks?
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#11 Old 12-13-2004, 03:14 AM
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Brief personal story - when I hit about 24, my body suddenly changed and I kept having to use the bathroom about 15 minutes after eating ... upset tummy, bloating, etc. It took me a few years to realize that the problem was meat. So I went veg. Problem solved.



Then the problem came up again so I made a food diary and started noticing when my stomach was giving me problems (bloating, cramping, nausea, the runs, etc). It was when I was eating rich or greasy food (whether toasted cheese sandwiches or fettuccini with garlic & olive oil). So I learned to really cut down the amount of fat & natural sugars in my diet (raisins & apples will do it to me as well) and voila - problem solved. Again.



My point is that it might not be lactose intolerance (I doubt it after just a day or two of being dairy-free), but the richness of dairy (or the natural sugars in it). Try cutting down on the amount of fat (esp saturated fat) in your diet, and see if that helps.



good luck.
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#12 Old 12-13-2004, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by destiny View Post

...hmmm. GREAT info! I am not feeling so odd (hehehe). I have tried veggie slices and found them- well, not for me. I think I will just cut it out altogether- since it's more of a convenience thing for me to have dairy than it is a taste issue.

Hey just so you know, if you can find Rice Cheese, I find it tastes a lot better then soy cheese
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#13 Old 12-13-2004, 04:01 PM
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lactose intolerance is not rare--most adults are lactose intolerant. i'm intolerant.



but, i do not have the same affect when i consume non-pasturized (raw) dairy. why? because the natural enzymes in the dairy are already breaking down the lactose and making it tolerable. It's lower in sugar and higher in fat, which makes it more digestable overall. it also has more nutrients than pasturized dairy (fat soluable vitamins!). also, raw dairy is often "outside" the "factory farmed" dairy industry. Animals have to be treated well since the milk won't be "cleaned" through pasturization--that way the milk is healthy (healthy animals = healthy milk). So, you're opting out of factory farming.



but, getting raw dairy can be hard. in some areas, it's illegal to obtain it (ie, Michigan). in other areas, you can only get it from the farms themselves. in other areas (such as ours) you can get it in small local healthfood stores and farmers markets. in some areas, you can only get it at special stores.
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#14 Old 12-13-2004, 04:03 PM
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oh, and when i was dairy free, i didn't consume dairy alternatives like soy or rice cheese. i thought they were yucky.
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