Curious if dairy is disrupting your digestion, leaving you uncomfortable and bloated? Try these steps from Dr. Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer of the Cleveland Clinic.
Step 1: Uncover Hidden Lactose in Your Diet
Something doesn't have to be milky or creamy to have lactose in it. Things like lunchmeat, beets and peas all can have natural lactose, which can trigger a reaction. Baked goods, cereals, salad dressings and pancake mix are also known lactose offenders. Lactose is also present in about 20% of prescription medications, including birth control pills and some tablets for stomach acid and gas. Look at the ingredient label for anything that sounds like dairy, such as butter, cheese or yogurt. Also look for anything labeled with lactose, whey or caseinates.
Step 2: Eliminate All Dairy and Lactose for Two Weeks and Log Your Symptoms
Two weeks is how long it will take to get lactose out of your system. If you find after two weeks you feel noticeably better, than you may have a dairy sensitivity. As you take away dairy sources, look for improvements such as a decrease in bloating, cramps, gas, nausea, diarrhea, post-nasal drip and headaches.
Step 3: Add in Half a Cup of Dairy a Day and Continue to Log Symptoms
If you love dairy, you shouldn't be forced to deprive yourself. Start with a half cup and monitor your tolerance. If you feel fine add another half cup, but once you start getting those symptoms again you know you've reached your tolerance.
Step 4: Eat a Cup of Non-Dairy Calcium and 1,000 IUs of Vitamin D Every Day
Opt for "green calcium" – collard greens, kale, arugula, spinach, broccoli rabe, plus almonds, white beans and dried figs – for healthy bones. Instead of drinking milk for vitamin D, take a supplement with 1,000 IUs to combat dairy sensitivity symptoms.
This plan was created for Dr. Oz's Truth Tube. Get past expert Truth Tube plans here.