Since going gluten-free do you still find yourself struggling with bloating or other unpleasant GI symptoms? After doing the Auto-Immune Protocol Diet with my husband, I have found that dairy is no longer my friend either. This is such an important post from my friend Erika, author of The Bite-Sized Celiac. I asked her if she would guest post on Mama Knows Gluten Free.
As if having Celiac Disease isn’t challenging enough when you are first diagnosed . . . imagine now adding more foods to eliminate to that list. Many celiacs face this dilemma much more frequently than you would expect. In fact, from all of the Celiacs I know, thanks to social media, I’d say about 90% of them have developed additional allergies and intolerances as a result.
One of the most common? Lactose Intolerance.
The Celiac Link
What gives? There are a number of different opinions on why this occurs in 20% of celiacs across the globe.
Our inability to digest lactose, a sugar found within dairy products, can develop as a result of intestinal damage. We can blame gluten for this.
Thanks to our least favorite “g-word”, many celiacs lost lots of lactase when they consumed gluten prior to uncovering the autoimmune disease. Lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose, which like gluten, can’t naturally be absorbed by our bodies.
Another popular theory points to “leaky gut” syndrome. This refers to intestinal permeability. Let me break this down for you in layman’s terms.
There are these gates if you will that keep toxins out of our bloodstream. When you have a leaky gut, those gates are open, and they let all kind of harmful things into your body. No bueno.
Many believe that gluten damage built up over time can cause those with celiac disease to develop leaky gut syndrome. This, in turn, can cause our body to develop allergies and intolerances to some of the staples in our diets (AKA milk and other dairy products).
Interestingly enough, one study even found that dairy proteins can impact celiacs in the same manner that gluten does to our bodies. In fact, according to the report, “a mucosal inflammatory response similar to that elicited by gluten was produced by cow’s milk protein in about 50% of patients with celiac.” Crazy right?!?
What’s a Celiac to Do?
First and foremost, listen to your body. As when you were first diagnosed, keep a food diary tracking how you respond to the intake of products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.
For me, I have an intolerance. Luckily, with my intolerance, I can handle yogurt and occasionally a little bit of cheese. Milk, however, is bad news bears. I avoid it like the plague. However, each person is different. Some can handle more than others.
Keep in mind, if you eat dairy and still notice similar symptoms to these types of foods, it may be more than just an intolerance. In fact, you may have an allergy. If that’s the case, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor. You can and should get tested.
We all remember life pre-celiac. Do not, I repeat do not continue to self-harm your body intentionally. There are plenty of alternatives to dairy for great sources of calcium. It’s not worth it.
Guest post from Erika, author of The Bite-Sized Celiac.
Erika Kubik aka the face behind The Bite-Sized Celiac Instagram and blog is a dairy free celiac and public relations pro for the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. When she isn’t cooking up a storm or snapping shots of her favorite paleo-ish cuisine, she’s the brains behind the Commission’s digital media strategy, working to increase 2Civility’s social presence.
As a graduate of Bradley University, Erika received her Bachelor of Arts studying Public Relations and Social Media Marketing where her passion for writing and brand development took flight. Outside of the office and the gym, Erika works to develop her personal brand as she takes on Chicago for the first time having grown up just outside of the Greater St. Louis area. Though she may not be accustomed to the deep dish pizza or the sports teams in the Windy City as a wannabe New Yorker (thanks to her father), she has found Chi-Town to be quite accommodating to her NY sports fandom and fast-paced lifestyle.