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Free From Being Lactose Free

If you have lactose intolerance as well as being Coeliac, you may find it is temporary and over time lactose intolerance will disappear.

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Added 22nd April 2015

Updated 10th November 2020

Free From Being Lactose Free
Round about this time last year I found out I couldn't tolerate dairy, the Ben and Jerry's I used to love was now making me feel nauseous with every mouthful, cheddar cheese was just a thing of the past. Thankfully it wasn't all dairy that made me feel ill, I could still tolerate most yogurts but that was about it.

I only figured dairy was part of my stomach issues that had plagued me for the previous four months after eating my breakfast one day, I decided to see what drinking a glass of milk on its own would do, next morning I did as Google suggested and drank a glass of milk an hour before eating, 20 minutes later I felt like vomitting. From that day on I switched to soya milk, dairy free ice cream and soya cheese. It helped with part of the problem, my stomach pains had eased but they never went completely, it was a month or so later when my consultant was testing for Coeliac he suggested removing gluten from my diet to see if would ease the pain more, and within a couple of days, the pain had completley gone, however, unbelievably my Coeliac test came back negative!

Even now, everything wrong with me fits in with Coeliac, hence why I treat myself as Coeliac and not just gluten intolerant. To make it twist even more, after being dairy free for a year, I can now, somehow, tolerate dairy again.

If you're intolerant, your gut is not being submittted to any damage, where as on the other hand, Coeliac damages the villi in the intestine, this is the key difference between the two, although there is other differences too. If I am intolerant then there would have been no difference in my intestines, yet something has obviously changed between this time last year and now. I believe I know what that thing is and that is removing gluten.

Lactose intolerance it a common symptom of Coeliac, the villi get damaged can stunt the production of lactase (the enzyme which breaks down lactose) causing dairy products to then act as a kind on irritant. The lactose intolerance caused by Coeliac is usually temporary and once the gut is healed enough lactose can be tolerated again.

So, if I am only intolerant, why, after 11 months of being gluten free, have I suddenly become able to tolerate dairy again? And by that I mean I can tolerate ice cream, cream, cheese....everything that 12 months ago would cause nausea and pain I am fine with again. Over time I noticed I could tolerate a bit more dairy and would only get wind, not pain, so I knew something was changing, once I recognised that change I decided I should do an experiment and try some other dairy, and everything I have tried I have been fine with, including Ben and Jerry's, Cream Cheese, Solid Cheese, Magnums, with no ill side effects what so ever, (just a bit of wind still if I have a bit too much dairy in a short time), so my lactose intolerance has "improved" until it's reached the stage it's almost not even there at all anymore.

However, I know from family and friends, standard lactose intolerance is usually permanant, some people rely on taking lactase pills to help the absorption of lactose, others just avoid dairy full stop, but mostly the intolerance doesn't go away, where as with Coeliac it's pretty much always temporary, and in most cases, you'll be able to tolerate dairy again when your gut is healed.

So was my diagnose of "intolerance" wrong? Am I actually Coeliac and my gut has healed, like I always suspected? Or am I one of the rare ones whose intolerance just went away? Who knows. But what I do know is that I am glad I can eat dairy again, and for anyone who is Coeliac with lactose intolerance, bear in mind to keep trying to put it back in your diet as like me, it probably will be temporary and you may be able to tolerate your favourite ice cream again.

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