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What’s Your Experience With Dairy?

Last month I wrote a blog post entitled “What’s Your Experience With Gluten?”  Not surprisingly, many of the comments received were from people who felt better upon eliminating gluten from their diet.  While not everyone who gives up gluten notices an improvement in their symptoms or labs, many people do.  And the same is true with dairy, although I will say that in general people seem to be more resistant to give up dairy.  And while having pasteurized and homogenized milk might not be healthy for you, other forms of dairy do have health benefits.

For example, many people do well when consuming raw dairy.  Others do fine eating fermented forms of dairy, such as kefir.  And many people do well when eating grass fed butter and ghee.  But if someone is following a strict autoimmune paleo diet, or even a standard paleo diet, then all forms of dairy should be excluded.

Anyway, I’d like for you to share your experience with dairy.  You can talk about milk, cheese, butter, ghee, etc.  You can talk about pasteurized dairy, raw dairy, and fermented dairy.  If you have been dairy free for awhile and feel like it has benefited your health please let me know!  And if you consume dairy regularly and are doing well please let me know!  Thank you in advance for participating!


 

29 Comments

  1. Nikki says:

    I have Hashimoto’s and stopped eating dairy for about a year. I had no change in antibodies from doing that and reintroduced dairy a bit later. I have had the Pinner food intolerance test and another food allergy test through my functional endocrinologist, neither showed issues with dairy. I feel fine when I eat dairy but I have eliminated it again along with pork, gluten (4 years free) and eggs in the hopes that eliminating all 3 may be beneficial. I am now following the Anthony William, Medical Medium diet plan. Hopefully things will turn around for me.

  2. Kathy Stone says:

    I have no issues with Dairy whatsoever.
    I only buy organic milk & cream from a local producer. (grass fed cows for the most part) I also strictly purchase only European cheeses. I eat plain Greek yogurt time to time from grocery store… it causes me no issues.
    I am in Canada.
    🙂
    Cheers

  3. Debi says:

    Hi,
    I had really bad acne as a young teenager and so I cut out all dairy as well as any soda that had coloring added to it. My acne cleared up almost immediately.
    I will say that I have never been a cheese eater. The smell of it makes me sick to my stomach. I had a friend who once suggested in conversation that it could be that was my body’s way of telling me not to eat cheese because of allergies.
    As an adult I began eating dairy again…as well as drinking gobs of coke. When I was thirty nine I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s and then began having seizures about once a month. Took me a while to put it together but went on an autoimmune pale diet and am doing much better. The only odd thing is that my free t3 and t4 numbers are normal, but my TSH is almost 90 which you know would indicate I should have NO energy. However, I have a lot of energy. Have done MRI’s and CT scans everything is normal.

  4. Fife says:

    I was diagnosed with hashimotos earlier this year. I kind of stopped gluten about 2 years ago but definitely for good this year as I felt my symptoms got much worse this year. I’ve given up dairy and it has really helped with reducing pain in my joints, especially my fingers. I’ve also given up nuts and worked hard on improving my probiotic status. I’ve eaten butter occasionally and seem to be OK. Occasional cheddar cheese also seemed OK although I tried not to eat too much or too often as I couldn’t be sure if it was increasing pain or not. I definitely reacted to soft goat and sheep cheese. I can’t drink milk or yogurt for now. I’m staying clear of all dairy for 3 months and then I’d like to try again with cheese. My main concern is the lack of nutrients missing from my diet with so many foods remove, and I’d love to eat cheddar cheese and drink Kefir again.

  5. Vera Ivanyuk says:

    I was told by a naturopath to give up dairy products because it can produce more antibodies that attack thyroid gland. So when I gave up dairy I did feel better and my ibs improved. When I gave up dairy a lot of mucous came out and I coughed a lot. I did not eat any raw dairy or kefir it was pasteurized milk and a lot sour cream. Now when I eat dairy and if it’s on a daily basis and then I stop again I start to cough up blood and then again a lot of mucous. As long as I don’t eat dairy I am ok. I do miss cottage cheese and kefir but I am scared because I always cough up blood after dairy products. I am even scared to try raw dairy.

  6. Meme Grant says:

    am celiac, cross reactive with dairy, buckwheat, quinoa, sesame seeds,egg, all gluten grains…get very ill if I have dairy.

  7. Mare says:

    Although no allergy or food-sensitivity testing ever revealed that I have a problem with dairy, I did give it up years ago after reading that in some folks like me, dairy causes excess mucous production in the upper respiratory system. I had had lifelong sinus problems before I quit dairy completely but now it’s few & far between but it does come back with a vengeance if I consume dairy now. I ‘think’ the excess mucous when I consume dairy ‘may’ be linked to systemic candida overgrowth but I can’t prove it as I can’t afford testing. I had an inheritance years ago that I used for some tests including a GI one comprised of a stool sample. At that time, it showed my stool was loaded with fungus but unfortunately, it didn’t specify the type of fungus but both my doc & I felt it was most likely candida overgrowth. He put me on a strong, oral anti-fungal & anti-biotic for 3 months but the meds made me SO sick & dizzy that I couldn’t even stand up so I had to stop it after only 30 days & there’s been no attempt since as I’m already sick enough from Hashimoto’s, FMS/CFS & possibly also lyme & who knows what else:-( I do miss dairy like cottage cheese, ice cream & cheese but I don’t miss drinking milk as rice or almond milk does well for me just fine. By the way, goats’ milk & goat cheeses cause me the same reaction as cow dairy. Anyway, I feel sick & head-achy anywhere up to 3 days after eating dairy & sometimes a sinus infection results so it’s just not worth it to me. I have tried organic butter & even ghee years ago but the result was always the same – sinus congestion, headaches, excess mucous & post-nasal drip making me cough a lot esp at night. Gluten I gave up years ago even before giving up dairy.

  8. Tonya Scarborough says:

    I had a hyperthyroid attack about 2.5 years ago, but tested negative for all autoimmune thyroid disorders. However, I did develop some type of autoimmunity at the same time because I’ve been battling joint pain, asthma, and skin flare-ups ever since. I quit dairy and gluten immediately and have been doing the GAPS diet ever since. I can eat raw, grass butter safely, but if I even so much as introduce home fermented, raw, grass-fed sour cream, my joint pains and other symptoms return. I’ve also tried kefir, yogurt, unfermented cream and milk, all from organic pastures raw dairy in CA – same thing, my symptoms return. One friend told me that it may have something to do with the breed of cow, and perhaps I might be able to tolerate raw dairy from a different breed. I haven’t tried goats milk yet since I haven’t had a reliable source. In any case, I love dairy, but I will happily give it up if it means that I can control these debilitating, life threatening symptoms.

    It might be useful to note, I’ve done the strict autoimmune protocol and elimination diet. Almost none of the other typical reactive foods cause problem for me. I can have eggs, nightshades, and nuts without a problem. I haven’t tried grains yet. Dairy is the only thing that messes me up so far.

  9. Sandy says:

    I have Graves for 15yrs. 52 yo female in FL. Autoimmune paleo diet did wonders so far! Only been doing this for 2 and half months now. I feel better. Every once in a while i use grass fed organic milk. I find that it’s not as troublesome as generic milk. I can eat aged cheeses like real old Romano or aged cheddar with only a little trouble. I can’t eat yogurt yet. So, i guess dairy still bothers me. Will i ever be able to eat my cheeses or yogurt again?

  10. Tonya Scarborough says:

    …Also interesting, I had a blood test done for allergies and tested negative for dairy allergy, so they’re not always accurate.

    • Adrienne says:

      I talked to my family doctor about getting an allergy test done for dairy because I was having serious problems with milk, half and half in my coffee, etc. I just wanted to confirm what I thought, but he told me just to eliminate dairy if I felt like I was allergic to it because allergy tests are not always accurate.

  11. Margaret says:

    I stopped eating gluten in 2004 when I found out I had Hashimoto’s, antibodies to both thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase, and high levels of antibodies to gliadin (gluten). Years later, I found out from Cyrex Labs that I had antibodies to millet and buckwheat, so I eliminated them as well. Currently, I drink Answers Raw Goat Milk with added cultures (Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides),just about every day and have not noticed any digestive upset or gas (which seemed to be a problem with cow’s milk). I eat “Dubliner” cheese which is from grass-fed cows in Ireland.
    Once in a while I eat their butter and decided to pretty much stick with coconut butter. I do eat eggs quite a bit and pork sometimes. What appears to be helping me the most is to cut way back on carbohydrates. We’ll see how my next labs results come back!!!

  12. Tuula says:

    I’m finding that I do fine with dairy in places where lactose-free products are readily available, where most cattle is grass-fed, and where cheesemaking has a long tradition. My favorite summer treat in Finland is unsweetened full-fat Turkish/Greek yogurt with freshly-ground flaxseed and with frozen black currants grown in a friend’s garden. Other treats there are aged Gouda and Emmental cheeses. During winters in the US, I now avoid dairy (as well as grains and sugar everywhere). My Hashimoto’s was self-diagnosed: all tests came out negative, but symptoms were clear enough. I have managed it with diet and am doing much better.

  13. Marian says:

    I have Hashimoto’s and followed the autoimmune protocol diet which eliminated a lot of foods including gluten and dairy. I started it about 5 months ago and have gradually tried adding foods back in. I am still gluten free but am tolerating organic grass fed ghee, cheese and raw milk kefir. This past week I could not get the raw milk so used organic grass fed milk for my kefir and it was fine. When I tried raw milk a while back I did not tolerate it but will probably try adding it again at some point. Just had labs drawn so will soon find out if my antibodies have changed at all.

  14. Christy P says:

    My whole family is dairy sensitive, with the exception of my one brother. I and my youngest brother have low thyroid,and my sister has Hashimoto’s, and in addition to this I have low adrenal and major hormone imbalance. It took my sister and I ten years to get a diagnosis from a doctor and she is having horrible side effects from the medications where I have had some relief with them. We stopped drinking milk nearly 15 years ago due to chronic sinus issues. We rely a lot on diet to help with our health, and vary from a Paleo (with some dairy) to low carb, and occasionally to give my adrenals a rest I’ll do veterinarian (with no dairy or sugar and just quinoa for grain) for a few days to a week. In all of this dairy has played a big role of to eat or not to eat as we have a love hate relationship with it, in that we love it and it hates us. My mom reacts to dairy in that she gains weight if she has too much cheese, but seems to do fine on plain Kefir. My sister also has adverse effect from colds to weight gain if she eats to much cheese or uses to much creamer. I get chronic sinus issues with cream and milk bu cheese doesn’t seem to bother me too much. My husband gets IBS if he uses too much milk, and my daughter, whose staple was yogurt for a year, has developed gastrointestinal distress from cheese and gets hives from yogurt and ice cream. Saying this, we love cheese and cream in our coffee, and we are huge coffee drinkers. So we try to limit what we eat, knowing we don’t feel good if we use too much. I have not seen a difference with using organic vs regular, or with enzymes, so I have determined it must be the hormones and leptins in dairy. Knowing our sensitivity, as an infant I gave my daughter fresh raw goats milk I made into a formula (as my milk failed due to her being a preemie and my un-diagnosed health problems). She thrived on it, but refused to drink it after I weaned her at age two. We now all use unsweetened Silk almond milk as an alternative.

  15. Christy P says:

    I also meant to add, in 2007 and 2008 I developed a severe allergic/histamine reaction to all dairy, breaking out in hives around my mouth that were constant, with itching and peeling. The only relief I eventually found was petroleum jelly on my skin and ice packs and antihistamine, but I lived with a concealer stick a work to cover the mess. This said I finally found relief in an allergy treatment supplement from Premier Research Labs. I took their hand reading computer test and it matched me with the formula I needed for allergy relief. I took it for 6 months, avoiding all diary just as if I had a peanut allergy, and then slowly started adding it back in. I have never had a problem with this reaction since.

  16. Joanna says:

    I was becoming aware of dairy issues and the hype of dairy for a while so I decided it was right for us to cut it out of our diets. I was fortunate to have access to quality dairy in previous years but still had some problems. I had dry skin problems which cleared with giving up dairy so have stuck to it. If we do have dairy on odd occasions I choose to buy organic grass fed etc. I have come to learn we can get our calcium and have higher doses through veges etc.

  17. Goiter Gal says:

    Had a partial thyroidectomy due to goiter. Path report said “background chronic thyroiditis” so requested antibodies test, (positive, but in fairly low levels) which means I have Hashimoto’s, but I have no other symptoms, & w/normal TSH, FT3, FT4 levels, have not needed replacement hormone. I’m hesitant to give up dairy, because I suspect my daily plain Greek yogurt probably accidentally cured a leaky gut years ago(before I even knew what that was!)Before, I thought I might be lactose-intolerant, but have not been since the Greek yogurt. IBS went away, too. Same w/gluten – I’ve never had a problem w/it, & even found it soothing to my gut (back in the pre-yogurt/IBS days.) Many experts insist all Hashimoto’s must give up dairy & gluten, (& of course one should, if it bothers them) but I have to go by how my body feels. As long as I feel well, I will continue my Mediterranean way of eating. If I were to start feeling bad, I would certainly know what to start eliminating! I suspect there is such variation in food sensitivities because of how unique each of our genetic makeup & body chemistry is. ~ Sending peace & healing thoughts to all on this journey ~

  18. Julie says:

    I have been on a very low carbohydrate diet for three years, trying to clear up adrenal gland and thyroid issues, and others. Basically gluten free all this time (no grains, starches, starchy veggies, etc.), but ate gluten for several consecutive days within the last year to do a test to confirm suspicioned sensitivity to gluten. Test results: I’m pretty sensitive. I’m trying harder to cut gluten from absolutely everything, including personal hygiene products, and to watch out for it more while eating out, without becoming hyper/obsessive about it. I blamed a month-long stomach ache on the gluten consumed for the test; however, when I finally got up the nerve and willpower to restrict dairy intake, my stomach ache gradually went away. I’ve lived with so many “problem” foods so long, I didn’t know which ones were the main aggravators. I’ve tried to just rotate the aggravators so that I could still have something to eat (if I eliminated everything bothersome, there would be literally nothing left). It took me so long to leave off dairy because I couldn’t mentally handle the thought of cutting out yet another food group. Although I admittedly do feel better without dairy products, it’s not easy–and I lost precious weight (never thought I’d say THAT). I had been trying to regain from 109 to 112, or even 120; but, now my goal is just to stay consistently at 109 again, not dipping down every couple of weeks.

  19. Kristine Blake says:

    I have no problem with yogurt but I get a belly ache if I eat full fat ice cream.
    I need to eat protein as it keeps me from eating sweets.
    If I eat cheese it is expensive, hard parmagian regiano. (I know i spelled it incorrectly)

  20. Adrienne says:

    I used to be fine with dairy products – half and half, vanilla creamer in my coffee (8 eight years ago), ice cream, etc. However, I was diagnosed when I was younger with “slight” lactose intolerance, so I just never had ice cream on a regular basis. I also had consistent acne and menstrual issues, but my doctor never blamed it on dairy, so I kept on drinking it pretty much daily. It wasn’t until right before I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (just under a year ago) that I noticed I had a real issue with dairy. I began having sinus issues and post nasal drip whenever I would have my daily coffee with some kind of milk in it (mainly nonfat, 2%, and half and half). My family and I have a history of sinus infections, so I just thought I was starting to get a sinus infection, especially since it was around fall/winter time. I felt horrible so I went to the doctor at work two different times. Each time I was told it just looked like a bad cold – I never had the sinus pressure in my head or under my eyes, just all in my nose and ears. The second time I went, the doctor asked if I’d ever been told I had an enlarged thyroid and I told her I hadn’t, so she sent in a request for me to get my thyroid checked out. I got my thyroid checked and sure enough, I had Hashimoto’s (which there is family history of – my dad and his mom, and my mom has Rhuematoid Arthritis). So once I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s it took me a few months before I got serious with eliminating dairy, but now I only drink coconut milk or almond milk. Even almond milk messes with my nasal passage and ears, so now I just put sugar in the raw in my coffee. I have started using goat’s milk/yogurt in smoothies for breakfast, but there are times where I notice even that bothers my sinuses. Cheese on burgers/sandwiches I’ve never had a huge problem with though, or I’ve just never noticed if I have. I’ve tried grassfed cow butter and ghee and don’t have an issue with either one. I have tried kefir and, unfortunately, my nose isn’t the biggest fan either. I thought that it was the Casein in cows milk because I don’t tolerate powdered protein either, but there may be something more to it. I wanted to get an allergy test done, but my family doctor told me that if I feel like I’m allergic to something, just take it out of my diet.

  21. Kathy says:

    How do I know if dairy is bothering me? I have no mucus. I have hashimoto. I do not drink milk but I do have cream in my coffee (2 cups per day of coffee)and I eat cheese, sour cream and yogurt. What am I suppose to feel eating these? What is the downside?

  22. Steph says:

    I have Hashimoto’s and celiac disease. When I went gluten free I did not feel better. I had food intolerance testing done, and tested positive for lots and lots of things. I gave up dairy, eggs, then grains and much more then basically followed the autoimmune Paleo for as long as I could. I now eat Goats milk and cheese and duck eggs which were not as serious intolerances. The goats milk is often raw. I believe the casein in the goats milk is much well tolerated than normal dairy for me.

  23. Silvia from Australia says:

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos about 7 years ago but Doctors did not treat me properly. Most doctors here, just treat you with thyroxene/synthroid. I went to several doctors and eventually a Naturopath who specialised in thyroid conditions. I was already gluten free. For the last few years I was chronically constipated, even if I ate a plate of sweet potatoes. No doctor could explain it. Naturopath said I must go dairy free but alsocould not explain why the constipation. I did not want to go dairy free as I enjoy several cups of tea with milk a day. However, I started using tinned coconut milk for dairy milk, and gave up all Dairy. My constipation ceased immediately. On doing research, I found out that Hashimotos people often develop a casein intolerance. As butter and cream are mostly fat they contain very small traces of casein. Milk and yoghurt are high in casein. I recently starting using full fat cream in an occasional cup of coffee, and I have butter on gluten free toast daily without any chronic constipation returning. I think I am on my 5th doctor, who put me on T3 twice a day, and has now put me on small dose of thyroxene (synthroid in usa) every other day. My numbers are greatly improved, but I have hardly any energy
    and don’t sleep well and have terrific brain fog and bad concentration.

    I eat mostly paleo. I avoid all gluten, and check all my labels, if a product says it contains glucose syrup, it is often made from wheat. I cant say I feel bad with gluten, but Ive heard you can have a flare up if its eaten, so I avoid it. I really miss French and Italian cheese and decent Italian bread. I also take very good quality multi vitamins, that have selenium and a trace of iodine in. I talk to other Hashimoto people and I am stunned when they say they eat cheese and dairy and gluten.

    • Angela says:

      Thank you so much for writing about your experience. I was finally diagnosed with Hashimotos about 6 months ago after years of issues with my thyroid and hormone function that no one could explain. When I was very young I was diagnosed with a lactose intolerance and was given medication to take when I had a flair up. I don’t remember being told not to eat dairy at all, but now it seems like a no-brainer. I never gave up dairy all that time and honestly never thought about it. But something finally clicked in my brain when I read your response. Maybe all this time I have been basically poisoning myself slowly with dairy. Perhaps that’s part of the reason, or the main reason I developed Hashimotos. It sounds like it is all very unique to each person but I think I might have just had an ah-ha moment for my own health. I became chronically constipated about a month ago and I am fairly certain that is about the time I started having yogurt for breakfast almost every morning. I usually go back and forth with what I eat but for whatever reason I have just been eating a lot of yogurt. I have reacently given up coffee and thought maybe it was because of my body being dependent on that to maintain regularity. So basically I am going to stop eating dairy today and see what happens. Thank you for sharing. I think you may have just helped me incredibly.

  24. Casey Zhou says:

    I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis since 2011 and I believe the main trigger was due to chronic stress. None of my family members was diagnosed with any kinds of autoimmunity. I was doing fine with cow dairy and I never had a problem with it. I started to cut down on cow dairy in 2014 after learning that Hashimoto’s patients should avoid it if possible. And I also started to consume only goat or sheep milk and cheese. However, I didn’t experience any improvements which I could tell. My thyroid hormone test results (TSH, FT4 & FT3) weren’t affected by cutting out/down cow dairy. I need to mention that in general I’m feeling energetic and healthy as before having Hashimoto’s except for more stomach issues, newly developed pollen allergy and endometrial polyp. I was tested positive and at the lower range of milk allergy scale (IgG) as shown in the food allergy tests in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Once in a blue moon, I drink a half cup of cow milk or hot chocolate milk or eat an ice cream, my stomach doesn’t like it as I’ll have stomachache. I don’t understand why. I guess my stomach is not used with digesting cow dairy anymore.

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Natural Treatment Methods:
Graves Disease Treatment
Hypothyroidism Treatment
Hyperthyroidism Treatment
Natural Thyroid treatment


Conventional Treatment
Methods:
Radioactive Iodine
Thyroid Hormone