Adverse reactions to dairy have been detailed as far back as 2,000 years ago! Often, people follow a dairy-free lifestyle for different reasons. For some, it may be to reduce inflammation. For others, it may be due to an allergy or intolerance. Others go dairy-free in order to get some stomach relief, to clear up skin problems, to reduce bloating, or even to help respiratory conditions.

Studies show that 0.6 to 2.5 percent of preschoolers, 0.3 percent of older kids and teens, and less than 0.5 percent of adults suffer from a true dairy allergy. However, many people are lactose intolerant! Between 30-50 million Americans are lactose intolerant and suffer when they consume dairy.

What Is A Dairy-Free Diet?

A dairy-free diet is one that excludes foods that contain milk and milk products. Going dairy-free can seem overwhelming at first, but it does have many benefits! If you’re interested in the paleo diet and its benefits, you’ll find yourself cutting dairy from your life.

Unfortunately, dairy is in a lot of foods other than the obvious milk, cheese, butter, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, custards, puddings, ice cream, gelato, sherbet, whey, and casein. Dairy is often “hidden” within ingredients. Check out this great resource from It highlights sources of hidden dairy. You can even print it out and fold it like a business card to keep in your wallet! This will help make dairy-free grocery shopping a breeze.

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Symptoms of Dairy Allergy or Intolerance

According to the Mayo Clinic, milk allergy symptoms may include:

  • hives
  • wheezing
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • blood in stools
  • cramps
  • coughing
  • runny nose
  • watery eyes
  • rash
  • colic (in infants)

The Mayo Clinic also states the difference between milk allergy and intolerance:

“A true milk allergy differs from milk protein intolerance or lactose intolerance. Unlike a milk allergy, intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system. Milk intolerance causes different symptoms and requires different treatment from a true milk allergy.”

6 Benefits of a Dairy-Free Diet

Going dairy-free can take some work, but once you find your rhythm you’ll be amazed at how great you feel! There are so many benefits to a dairy-free diet. Read on for more!

1. Less bloating. 

Many people who suffer from dairy intolerances or allergies report bloating. Bloating typically means there’s an issue happening with digestion. It is typically caused by excess gas, poor protein digestion, and imbalances in gut bacteria.

If you’re looking for a way to eliminate that stomach bloat, try cutting dairy from your diet. It can take the body up to 6 weeks to process out all of the dairy in your system, so be patient as you await results!

2. Better respiratory health.

Did you know that excessive dairy consumption has long been associated with a higher risk of respiratory tract mucus production and asthma? Many people with dairy allergies or sensitivities report congestion and other respiratory struggles.

By eliminating dairy from your diet, you may be pleasantly surprised at how your lungs and respiratory system respond!

3. Improved digestion. 

75 percent of the world’s population suffers from some degree of lactose intolerance. SEVENTY FIVE PERCENT!

By sticking to a dairy-free diet, you can avoid many of the terrible digestive issues these people suffer from every day.

When eliminating dairy, may people report relief from:

  • stomach pain
  • cramps
  • bloating
  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • IBS symptoms

4. Clearer skin. 

A 2010 study published in Clinics in Dermatology indicated that milk can be a trigger for acne. According to this study, milk contains anabolic steroids and growth hormones. This can contribute to milk’s ability to stimulate acne. If you’ve tried just about everything to clear up your skin, try eliminating dairy from your diet. This natural treatment for acne will spare your skin and body harsh over the counter medications and washes!

5. May reduce cancer risk.

In 2001, the Harvard School of Public Health published a study linking cancer risk to dairy consumption. In this study they stated that a high calcium intake, mainly from dairy products, can increase the risk of prostate cancer. How? By lowering the concentration of a hormone believed to protect the body from prostate cancer.

Many dairy products also contain pesticides with carcinogenic potential, and growth factors which may promote breast cancer call growth.

If you have a family history of cancer, boost your health and eliminate dairy from your diet. It may help!

6. Prevent milk allergy and reactions.

If you or someone you know has a milk allergy, the only way to treat it is to eliminate dairy from the diet. Milk protein allergy is, unfortunately, fairly common in infancy. Experts indicate that up to 15 percent of infants may suffer from dairy protein intolerance. This often causes nursing mothers to assume a dairy-free diet in order to help their baby!


Dairy Alternatives

If you’re going to cut dairy from your diet, it’s important to replace it with healthy fats and other nutrients. In order to help you get nutrients your body needs, we’ve put together a list of nutrient packed dairy-free alternatives.

Coconut milk- 

  • Naturally found inside mature coconuts
  • A good source of manganese, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and potassium
  • Great source of energy
  • High fat and calorie content

Almond milk- 

  • Contains probiotics to help with digestion
  • Proven to help infants with cow milk allergy grow at just an effective rate
  • Rich in unsaturated fatty acids


  • Ghee is simply clarified butter
  • Its high smoke point leaves it without any lactose or casein
  • Rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K

Pure Health Clinic Can Help

If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the signs or symptoms of dairy allergy or intolerance, we hope this article has been helpful! At Pure Health Clinic, we long to help our patients live informed, healthy, and happy lives.

We believe nutrition pays a key roll in a person’s overall health and well-being. It’s our desire that each one of our patients feels empowered to take control of their health through chiropractic care, exercise, and proper nutrition.

If you are searching for a chiropractor who keeps the entire body in mind, contact our office today! We’d love to walk alongside you in your wellness journey. (810) 588-4036