Ever since I was a child, I have not liked milk. Do you think I am allergic to milk?

Ever since I was a child, I have not liked milk. Recently, I have tried to drink milk, but get stomach cramps and diarrhea from it. Do you think I am allergic to milk?

First of all, whenever your health status changes and you don’t feel the same, you should see your doctor. He/she is the only one who can accurately diagnose what your symptoms mean. You are not tolerating milk and in the meantime should not drink milk or eat milk products. Other dairy products such as soft cheeses, cottage cheese, ice cream, sherbet, pudding, yogurt, evaporated milk, buttermilk, sour cream, half and half as well as whipping cream contain lactose and milk protein. They should be eliminated until you see your doctor.

Since you haven’t like milk since you were a child, it is possible you are allergic to milk protein and should be taking calcium with vitamin D supplements. Then you shouldn’t consume any milk or milk products. If on the other hand, you are lactose intolerant, you may tolerate small amounts of milk. If it is just a taste thing and you don’t like the taste of milk, then you should talk to your doctor about calcium and vitamin D supplements. Have you tried enriched soy milk?

If your doctor determines that you are lactose intolerant, he/she may recommend you add lactase to your milk. Ask your pharmacist for Lactaid, which is lactase, the enzyme your body produces in the intestines to break down the lactose (sugar in milk) to a simpler sugar. To use Lactaid, add 15 drops to a quart of milk. Shake or stir a few moments to mix. Label, date, and store the milk container in the refrigerator for 24 hours. During this waiting period, 99% of the lactose in the milk will be reduced to glucose and galactose (two simpler sugars). Lactaid cannot be added to buttermilk as it is too acid.

Your individual tolerance for this lactose-reduced milk will vary. Most people with lactose intolerance can drink one-half to two cups of lactose-reduced milk daily. You will notice that lactose-reduced milk is somewhat sweeter than regular milk because glucose has a greater sweetening power than the lactose naturally found in milk.