Updated: Jun 30, 2020
Dairy! I how I adore a cup of whole milk hot chocolate. I adore butter. I adore cheese. Unfortunately, the bodies of myself and kids do not love dairy. Each of us has had a different reaction to it so it has taught me a lot how to recognize and fix problems I see in my patients.
Giselle, my oldest had big tonsils. Kissing tonsils they say. She would snore like a man and have pauses, like she wasn't breathing for seconds at a time. She didn't drink milk but ate her much loved mozzarella cheese sticks daily. My naturopath said to stop dairy. I was like " but it is only one a day and she LOVES them". He repeats.."Stop dairy". So we did and within a week, no more snoring. She still has occasional cheese but if she eats it more than three times in a week, she starts getting tonsillar stones and it drives her nuts. She is able to do ice cream and yogurt but not milk or cheese on a regular basis. In retrospect, she had significant cradle cap for a long time which turns out to often be dairy related. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy averted!
Sofia, my middle child, had chronic otitis effusion which means that she had fluid in her ears for more than 6 months straight. We saw ENT who said to give it 6 more weeks and if no better, she needed tubes in her ears. Naturopath says stop dairy. Now this kid was a crazy milk drinker so I switched her to almond milk (now we use rice milk which I like better) and within a week, it was better. We went back to the ENT dutifully to verify resolution and indeed he agreed. With excitement I told him how we did it. He looked at me funny and just changed the subject. Hmmmm. I would have thought he would be excited to find ways to get kids better. I guess he wants to only get them better through surgery but that is another subject. In Sofia, her cradle cap was so bad, it went down the face and neck. I put a little hat on her to cover it up in August! She also had quite the case of eczema. The little bit of eczema she had cleared right up with cessation of milk. She eats yogurt with no problem though.
Isabella, poor Isabella. My main pregnancy craving was milk in the last trimester. I mean I was drinking 2 gallons of milk per week plus cheese and yogurt. It was an out of control craving and it turns out lactose was her enemy. She was born and within the first 24 hours, she had redness and blisters around her labia and rectum. We thought it was a diaper allergy so she was in the nursery with oxygen blowing on it and we just used cloth diapers. Nothing helped it. We did all kinds of prescription creams and still a nasty diaper rash but not in her full diaper area. So I though maybe it was a milk allergy. Pediatrician says "impossible", "she would have bloody stools". Well I stopped dairy (since I was breastfeeding) and within two days, it was gone! Turns out if I had something with soy or dairy, even down the ingredient line, she would blister up. Since I figured that out at 12 days of life for her, she never had an ounce of eczema or cradle cap like my other two. Now that I have done some gut healing things like fish oil, probiotics, and bone broths, she can now be exposed to dairy and not have that happen. She can't do much but before it couldn't even be an ingredient.
So it comes to me. When I quit dairy for the first time, my dandruff I had my entire adult life cleared up! I need to do the gut healing stuff myself (too busy with the kids and work so lazy there) because if I have as little as 3 tablespoons per week of butter ( my favorite is Bulletproof coffee), then I get an itchy scalp and it flakes. My mother-in-law made these yummy bunuelos that have corn meal and cheese when she was visiting. I just had 2-3 of these hushpuppy like treats three times over the course of a week and I had scabs on my scalp. Disgusting scabs. I will just keep dairy to the occasional treat to avoid that. I also realized my joint pains in my hands were affected by dairy. I can do small amounts before that happens but if I have two cups of hot scrumptious whole milk hot chocolate (my mouth is watering), then my finger joints swell up. Ahem! No dairy for me either.
Moral of the story, always assess nutritional causes of disease. It may not always work or it may not always be the obvious foods like dairy, wheat, or corn but look there first. It may be an easy fix and with some gut healing, we may be able to tolerate some amount of that food. We also need to clean up our food supply but that is another story.