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Everyone's favorite game - Allergy OR Intolerance?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for playing...


I have had known dairy issues since childhood, but they would sort of come and go, and when it started affecting me too much (I have IBS), I'd cut out obvious dairy for a few months to a year or more.  When I was pregnant 4 years ago with #6, I developed a reaction to even the slightest bit of dairy in anything (sodium caseinate in cool whip or coffee creamer included).  I would get horribly nauseous which would last for about three days.  Once I finally figured it out, I pretty much eliminated my nausea for the pregnancy.  But I went back on dairy eventually, and tolerated it fairly well during my twin pregnancy, or so I thought.


So, I have been having lots of IBS problems for the last few months, and I'm finally tired of it enough to do something.  Last week I decided to go gluten free as well as completely dairy free.  On day 4, I noticed that my nasal passages/sinuses opened up.  I hadn't realized they were swollen, until I could breathe again!  My ears opened up and were draining properly like they only do right after a chiro adjustment.  On Saturday, DH had bought a coffee creamer labeled GF/lactose free.  I saw it still had sodium caseinate in it, but I'd read that it is so chemically altered, most people don't react like it is dairy anymore.  Well, I should have known better.  Within an hour or two, My sinuses swelled up, I started getting a headache, and I felt my lymph pathways down the back of my neck start to ache like it does when I'm coming down with something.  Late in the day I started opening back up again.  So obviously, I'll be staying away from anything with even the smallest hint of lactose/casein/whey in it.  But, is this an allergic reaction, or would you still qualify it as an intolerance?  Is it worth getting it tested?  I don't feel like I have very competent medical care here, so it might be a pain to get to someone who will run tests on me.  But, it might be easier to get my WIC packages adjusted to things I can tolerate if I know if this is intolerance or allergy.  I'm really enjoying the ability to breathe freely!!  

post #2 of 6

Does it matter?  Intolerances can be extremely sensitive and difficult.  The end result is the same: avoid dairy completely.


My guess?  Allergy.  Just a guess.  Seems to fit better.  Pregnancy can change how your body reacts to allergens, as our allergist confirmed when I commented on suddenly having reactions to peanuts and peanut oil beginning at that time.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

You are quick!  You're right, ultimately it probably doesn't matter, but I bet psychologically I will be more vigilant about avoiding all traces of dairy if I knew it was an allergy rather than just something that might make me uncomfortable for a time.  Allergy just sounds more serious, you know?  Also, I'm thinking it might make a difference in the WIC office.  Instead of insane amounts of milk, I might be able to get something I can actually consume.  Previously they have just offered lactose-free milk, but they must have other options.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

So it appears I am sensitive to corn, as well.  I've sort of accidentally challenged myself on the milk and corn, but are there any tips on how soon I should engage a gluten challenge to determine if I actually am sensitive?  I sort of eliminated it on a whim, and now that I am certain of the corn and dairy, I really don't want to keep gluten out of my diet if it really isn't necessary.  Of course, given the above confirmed allergy/intolerances, I understand the odds are that gluten won't fair well.



post #5 of 6
I've always called DS1's allergies & intolerances allergies because people take it more serious when you say allergy, but you say intolerance & they assume a little bit is okay. It's usually okay when he ingests it, but 2-3 days later he's in bad shape with his eczema, eyes get puffy, bowel movements, etc. so I know intolerances are doing him serious internal damage, but because others don't see it, it's harder to understand. It's unfortunate, especially for our little ones that can't always tell us what's going on, that testing for intolerances is not routine like allergy testing- eliminating intolerances has played such a huge role in helping DS1 get better.
post #6 of 6
Originally Posted by franklin907 View Post

I've always called DS1's allergies & intolerances allergies because people take it more serious when you say allergy, but you say intolerance & they assume a little bit is okay. 

Honestly, this is really hard on people with real allergies.  Because it should all be taken seriously but when you say allergy and it isn't, it takes away from people who DO have them. While a little bit isn't good for your child, a little bit could KILL mine (and many others).  

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