Join Date: May 2011
Location: Greensboro, NC, USA
Quitting Dairy: My Experience
I am a 48 year old male American, and would like to share my experience with ending my personal consumption of all dairy products.
Dairy products were a staple food growing up in our family. Milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, and/or cream were normally eaten at every meal. For example, whole milk on cereal for breakfast, or eggs cooked in butter, cheeseburger or PB&J and large glass of whole milk for lunch, yogurt for snacks, mashed potatoes with a lake of real butter and another large glass of whole milk for dinner, ice cream many nights for desert. Nine children in our family all grew big and strong, and smart, on this diet.
I continued the use of dairy products as a dietary staple into my adulthood, often having 2 or 3 servings a day of whole milk-based products, and I was generally in good health, except for nagging stomach problems which would flare up a couple time a year. These episodes would consist of what is medically termed "acute gastro-enteritis" (medicalese for "tummy hurts"), which entailed a full day of vomiting and nausea, and a few days of diahreah(sp?). These episodes were treated successfully with maalox or pepto-bismol, but they started occurring more frequently as the years went on, eventually every couple months or so. In addition, my stomach between episodes started to feel weak and generally poor all the time.
I noticed that eating rich foods, often from restaurants, seemed to be associated with many episodes, so I started cutting down on fat intake, and there seemed to be some lessening of the stomach problems, but they still occurred less frequently. I then started eliminating, one by one, certain items from my diet, such as red meat, ice cream, eggs, and anything that I could think of which could be a problem.
Eventually, last year I decided to eliminate all dairy products as a test, and the results were immediate and ,to me, amazing. Within a week, my stomach felt better than I ever remembered and I have had no episodes since then. It has been about a year now with a pain-free stomach.
An unlooked for side effect occurred about a week after the no-dairy trial began. It involved the reproductive system and consisted of a complete loss of sex drive for a period of about 3 weeks, followed by a gradual resumption of drive over a few weeks. Previous to quitting dairy, I would characterize the drive as consuming, extremely strong, intrusive, and annoying. Afterwards, I would characterize it as sufficient, balanced, and controllable.
Overall, going to a no-dairy diet has vastly improved the quality of my health, and of my life. But the question that keeps nagging at me is why do dairy products have these effects? Is it just a personal sensitivity on my part, or are there some general principles involved here? Does mother's milk from a fellow mammal contain substances or hormones that are inappropriate for adults? Are there female hormones in milk that activate and increase male sex drive? If anyone has similar or relevant experience or knowledge to share, please let me know.