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Bad Reactions to Quitting Dairy???

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

This is my basic question: Has anyone out there experienced bad reactions to quitting dairy?

I'm interested in all experiences, especially those you felt were detox reactions.


This is the background on what I went through:



After DS1 was born DH and I went grain free and dairy free and I felt great! But I also have a history of an eating disorder, so I have a hard time staying with dietary changes because I get triggered. So I went back to dairy eventually, first just doing the good stuff, but then losing discretion over time and eventually doing pasteurized, homogenized cheeses, pasteurized milk yogurt, and all that.


So after DS2, when I wasn't feeling my greatest as far as energy and well-being I decided that it was time to try going off dairy again. Around the same time (I'm not honestly sure which came first) I started having panic attacks, diarrhea, vertigo and light-headedness. It kind of seemed like I was having reactions to foods that I don't normally react to, but I was also getting more and more anxious and was worried about foods, mineral levels, food allergies, respiratory allergies (I have seasonal allergies and some animal allergies)....then the real fun started with rapid heart rate, feeling like I was close to passing out, cramping and tingling (alternating) in my calves and forearms. I would have a panic attack and then feel really sleepy. I also had some days where I would have a panic attack (which I have had at various times of high stress in my life) but none of the comfort measures that usually worked would calm me down.


After going to the Dr. everything was all normal EKG, thyroid hormones, blood sugar...My calcium was a little high and potassium a little low at one point, but supplementation fixed it right away. The calcium stayed high (just a little high, which runs in my family) so my parathyroid hormone was checked too, but came back normal. But I also understand that low calcium can trigger the parathyroid to overproduce calcium, which is consistent with a lot of the symptoms I was having. On the other hand, I was still eating a lot of nuts and seeds and leafy greens when I was off dairy. I should also mention that I'm nursing, although DH2 had already started solids when this all began.


So, I was about 7 months postpartum and according to my research, this is a time when mood disorders can kick in. When I would have anxiety and panic attacks, a lot of my thoughts would drift to DS2s birth and my labor and even scenes from DS1s birth. Talking about these things with DH and my midwife really helped that. I also started dairy again and a milky oats tincture at the same time when I felt like I had no idea what else to do and the Dr. wasn't giving any answers (parathyroid came back normal). That was when things turned around for me, and I've generally been feeling better since, but I do have occasional anxious feelings and my digestive system isn't totally normal. So the conclusion was that I was having postpartum anxiety that is resolving on its own (I also cut back a lot of my hours at work, took steps to get more support from friends and family, etc.).


So my question comes in in that I do actually want to try giving up dairy to see if it does make me feel better, but I have an intuition that it did something to trigger the whole ordeal with anxiety and digestive problems...I have hard psoriasis since I was about 5 that improved last time I was off dairy. I also felt like my energy levels were higher, plus I know all of the long term effects of continuing with foods you don't tolerate and I want to avoid those...


I've been researching the detox pathways stuff and I wonder if it had to do with low levels of something else?


Anyone else have these kinds of issues going off of dairy?

post #2 of 6

Going off one thing can trigger greater sensitivity to other things that you just didn't notice before.  You're body will detox a bit and feel better then suddenly you react to something "new".  For me, going of dairy to accommodate DD's intolerance triggered more migraines which I've finally pinpointed as being a gluten issue.  Never noticed a problem before but because my body has one less thing to worry about, it just made me more aware of the smaller issues. So no emotional issues here (well who isn't emotional after a baby?!) but definitely detoxed off the dairy.  AND, any slip up on my part (hidden dairy, milk chocolate tempting me at work) makes me MUCH more uncomfortable than I ever felt in the past and my skin will look horrible for days, even weeks.  I actually had eczema for the first time in my life after kicking dairy and then slipping up. Best I can say is get to see an ND to find out what you are even mildly sensitive to and that might give you an ide of what could trigger problems when you cut the dairy out.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I think working with an ND would be good for my situation. I guess I wanted some opinions because I didn't want to go in sounding like a total nutcase!

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Anyone else?

post #5 of 6

I would be more inclined to look at what you are replacing milk with. Often people switch to soy, rice or coconut and that is the issue. 

post #6 of 6

I have not had any reactions myself, but a friend of mine said that she was in bed crying for about two weeks after she stopped dairy cold-turkey.  She also had major headaches and some other very unpleasant symptoms.  Basically withdrawal symptoms for her.  She is a vegetarian so dairy was a large part of her diet.  She also said that she googled it and found lots of stories of others having similar experiences.


hope this helps.

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