The human body is a complex and magnificent biochemical machine. All of its components, all of the molecules work in a fantastic orchestral way. Unfortunately, not everything is perfect, and that applies to the human body. Everyone has experienced some kind of problem with their body at one point or another.
Some of the most unfortunate ones are the people with immune problems, one of them being allergies. Our bodies use the immune system to recognize and fight off unwanted molecules in our bodies. They do this based on recognition of the proteins on the immune cells. This recognition can sometimes be flawed. The unwanted immune system response to something that is not harmful, is an allergy.
What Is Inside Dairy Products?
Dairy products are quite simple in what they are made out of. Cow milk has about 1% fats, 3,5% protein, and 5% sugars. All of these components may lead to dairy allergies, but tracking down which one of these components is responsible can be a bit tricky. And there are other misconceptions regarding that topic, and that is if you are actually allergic to dairy products, or are you lactose intolerant.
- Lactose intolerance
When someone is lactose intolerant, that means that they do not possess the enzyme lactase. This enzyme catalyzes the reaction of breaking down lactose. If your body does not have it, then the bacteria will consume this molecule and cause bloating, cramps, or possible pain. This is not that bad for your body but sure is uncomfortable. You can consume dairy products but you can expect this to occur if the dairy product contains lactose.
- Dairy allergies
If someone is suffering from dairy allergies, that is not as simple as just one enzyme missing. Allergy implies that your body is deeming a certain molecule, or more molecules, as hostile and dangerous to you. Similar to how it views unwanted bacterial infections or poisonous chemicals. When the immune system encounters this molecule that it deems dangerous, it will trigger a response.
This response is the body’s way of fighting the molecule and it is what causes the unwanted hives, swelling, vomiting, and other symptoms. The most dangerous symptom of them all is anaphylaxis and this reaction can be deadly, and if you are diagnosed with a dairy allergy, it is best to avoid these products at all times.
How to avoid dairy products?
In order to avoid dairy products, you will need to read the labels of everything you buy. Some of the products that are not directly labeled as dairy, may still contain dairy components in them. Fortunately, as this allergy is common, all products containing these ingredients must be labeled clearly.
Dairy products can also be used to make sauces. If you plan on going out to a restaurant, make sure to ask the waiter if certain dishes are made using dairy. Do not be afraid to ask anyone and to inform the people around you about your condition. It is not a shameful thing to do, you need to be aware of this. Otherwise, you can end up in very awkward situations, and not only can you cause pain to yourself, but you can also put the people around you in an uncomfortable situation.
It is possible to live a totally healthy life without dairy
Dairy is mostly used as a source of protein, calcium, and vitamins soluble in fats. All of these components can be easily obtained with little adaptations in your diet. If you eat meat regularly, you will not feel any losses without dairy products. Meat is the number one source of protein and nothing currently can substitute it completely. It is also rich in all the before-mentioned components.
It is not recommended to take supplements if you do not need them. If you are on a non-meat-based diet, then you can consume milk alternatives. These alternatives include almond, soy, oat, and many other kinds of milk. Vegetables can to some extent provide other vitamins, such as broccoli, fish, and fortified cereals.
The immune system is such a fascinating thing. Our bodies are well equipped to face any danger coming from the outside world. Sometimes, it can over-exaggerate with this response to something that is not harmful and causes many uncomfortable problems. It is important to identify whether you are allergic to dairy products, or are lactose intolerant.
It is now easier than ever to avoid these products, as they must be clearly labeled if they contain dairy. It is also your duty to notify the people around you about your condition. You should not be ashamed of it and try to hide it, as it can only bring harm to you. It is one hundred percent possible to live normally without these products. There are many alternatives on the market.