Not Milk (aka: 80s Girl Meets Lactose Intolerance)

lactose intolerance stomachaches

I consider myself a super-healthy person. But sometime during the past few months, something changed. It started with a few minor tummy-aches, which made me question everything. Was it something I ate? Was I drinking too much coffee? Was it stress? Then, over time, the discomfort increased. Before long, my body was in constant turmoil. No one knew it, but I was walking around feeling as though my stomach was full of Pop Rocks mixed with Coke, constantly on the verge of explosion.

Yeah, I know. Go to the doctor, dummy. And if I had medical insurance, then I totally would have.

Luckily, I had a light bulb moment a couple of weeks ago. What if my chronic stomach-aching had something to do with dairy products? I did some Googling, and learned that lactose intolerance is something that commonly develops during the adult years; not during childhood as I’d thought.

Could I be lactose intolerant?

It was unthinkable.  After all, I was a child of the 80s. From early childhood, we were force-fed the idea that dairy products were the healthiest thing in the world. Milk does a body good! Cheese, glorious cheese! If I just kept ingesting milk (flavored with Nesquick), then my outside would catch up with my inside, and I would grow from an invisible girl with a crush to a strong, confident woman who has outgrown Michael Martin.

dairy products cheese milk butter Still, I had to find out. So for a few days, I cut dairy out of my diet. Or, tried to. I switched to almond milk cream in my coffee, and gave up my beloved cheese (very hard to do when you are an almost-vegetarian). But the war inside my abdomen didn’t cease. Then I learned more — lactose can be hidden inside many non-dairy foods, like breads and cereals. Noooo!! I would rather live with the chronic stomach upset than give up my favorite foods.

Then I remembered something I’d once seen on a TV commercial. There is an over-the-counter drug called Lactaid, which contains an enzyme that helps the body to digest lactose. Could it work for me, too? In desperation, I raced to the drug store and bought a box of Lactaid chewables. Just before my next meal (spinach and mushroom quiche with swiss cheese), I popped one in my mouth. It was like eating a piece of vanilla-flavored chalk. Then I ate my cheesy dinner, and waited.

Ta-daa! The months-long battle in my gassy, bloated stomach came to a screeching halt. All was quiet on the southern front. I couldn’t believe it! The next day, I chewed a Lactaid before each meal, and the seas continued to be smooth and calm. Same for the next day, and the next. In fact, since I began taking Lactaid, I have returned to my usual, 100% healthy self, and it feels wonderful.

Yes, I know. I am starting to sound like a total drug commercial. Even worse, I can’t think of some clever, humorous way to wrap up this post. I’m too busy thinking about the yummy Garlic Alfredo sauce I plan to cook for dinner, and all the cream and parmesan cheese it will require. But thank goodness — I will be able to sit with my kids and enjoy every bite. Because for the lactose intolerant, Lactaid does a body good. Pass it on.




2 responses to “Not Milk (aka: 80s Girl Meets Lactose Intolerance)

  1. Milk didn’t cause very many problems in the 80s. In 1993, they began using ultra high temp pasteurization. That ruined milk completely. They began filtering it more. Adding tons of synthetic “vitamins” and coloring. Now milk doesn’t exist in stores. It’s FAKE milk. And its causing all kinds of health problems. Lactose Intolerance is a modern “creation”. For thousands of years people drank milk without any problems. The LIES that have been told throughout the 20th century came from political lobbying. The people that supposedly got sick from milk got sick from the FILTH that surrounded the dairy operations. And more than likely it was sabotage to empower the political agendas.

    Bottom line is this. Real milk IS good for you. I grew up in the 70s and 80s when milk was thick, creamy, full of bubbles. And every year we would go to camp where they had milk fountains. We would run back for refills all day. It made us strong, feel good. And our bodies told us it was good for us. The garbage they have today isn’t fit for a dog. Everything today is all about flavor and looks. They would sweeten a turd if they could sell it. And they probably do. Welcome to the century of FAKERY. Life is not what it used to be. But if you want it to be, you better first acknowledge reality and inform others about it.

    • Milk fountains? Wow… :O All my camp had was “bug juice.” 😉 Yes, I will admit that there are some issues with the food industry today, and a lot of dilemmas for health-conscious people who want to feed their families nutritious whole foods, including milk. I personally am not much of a milk drinker, except for the very occasional plant-based “milk.” But my children drink milk, and we do cook with it at times, so it’s our issue, too. Yes, we could choose to buy organic milk only, but that costs nearly twice as much, and the reality is that many families simply can’t afford to budget for the highest-quality, organic stuff. We have to make the best of what we can manage to buy.

      Thankfully, I did learn that I am definitely NOT lactose intolerant. 🙂 My occasional issues stem from gastritis – a relatively common issue for us middle-agers, which for me is apparently stress-induced.

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