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How Dairy Miss This?!

, , | Healthy | September 1, 2021

When I am around eight years old in the 1990s, I start to get random tummy aches. They appear out of the blue and often come with diarrhoea. My parents take me to our general physician, who can’t find anything. He sends me to a specialist, who does every test he can think of. They find nothing. Since my health seems in order — growing right, not dehydrated, etc. — the specialist tells my parents to keep a good eye on my weight, etc. “Make sure she eats healthy, like enough whole grains, fruits, veggies, and milk.”

I grow up okay and I seem to get fewer tummy aches when I eat at home. My parents deduce that it might come from fats or spices, things we don’t use that much of at home. I don’t like milk, but I love yoghurt and buttermilk, so my desserts are often those things mixed with fruits. I can drink litres of buttermilk or yoghurt in a day, so my parents are not worried about my calcium.

After my marriage, I come across a site that I wasn’t looking for that lists all my symptoms. I go to my new general physician again. 

Me: “Remember all those tummy aches listed in my file? I was wondering… Could I be lactose intolerant?”

Doctor: “You know you shouldn’t read those sites online. They mention cancer every three lines.” 

Me: “Yes, but the list—”

Doctor: “When do you often have tummy aches?”

Me: “When I go out for dinner.”

Doctor: “And why do you think you are lactose intolerant?”

Me: “Because I always end dinner with ice cream—”

Doctor: “That little does not—”

Me: “With whipped cream. And I love creamy sauces or creamy soups, which I often have at a restaurant, as well.”

Doctor: “Do you also get a tummy ache when you drink milk?”

Me: “No, but that’s because I don’t like milk. I drink buttermilk. And I prefer goat’s cheese, as well.”

Doctor: “Fine, let’s get you tested.”

After a while, I get a call.

Doctor: “Hey, [My Name], I never thought I would say this: the Internet was right. You are lactose intolerant. I can prescribe some pills if you want, but there are a lot of vegan alternatives nowadays. You could look into that if you want.”

So, after about thirty years, I finally found out what’s wrong with me, what specialists then couldn’t find. I have no idea why they didn’t look into that, but they no longer work in the field, anyway. I am absolutely not vegan, but I am glad there are many vegan alternatives available.

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