Ever since an illness back in 1993, I’ve had issues digesting milk. Not the normal issues people talk about that require a nearby bathroom, but these horrible headaches that would last two days. Pain relievers didn’t help these headaches, and they were incapacitating.
I eventually realized the headaches were triggered by milk and assumed it was some form of lactose intolerance. I mentioned my symptoms to my doctors, he shrugged it off without any tests or any answers. Instead I was told wasn’t possible to get headaches from drinking milk, so it wasn’t happening. I was getting the old I-don’t-know-what’s-up,-so-you-must-be-crazy trick. Yet every time I drain milk I got these headaches.
Back in the 1990’s — wow that is so long ago now! — I was able to take lactose enzymes and they would help. Eventually I had to move up from standard Lactaid pills to stronger health food enzyme pills. Eventually even those stopped working. By the early 2000s I was getting these headaches after eating hamburger, chicken soup, chicken skin, or other fatty foods. Once again, when I mentioned it to the doctor they shrugged and ignored me. I tried talking to a gastroenterologist, who scoped me from top and bottom and also shrugged and sent me on my way.
I stayed away from many foods, crossing my fingers whenever I risked milk, hoping lactose pills would work. I mean, come on, you gotta have your ice cream every once in a while. Interestingly, I found that I could use enzyme pills without getting sick with some companies products, but not with others. For example, Oberweis ice cream was guaranteed to take me to Pain Town, but I never had any issues with TCBY frozen yogurt.
A few years ago I saw an advertisement for something called A2 Milk. It was advertised as normal milk only from cows that naturally provided only beta-A2 casein protein. Apparently most cow herds are a mix of cows, some producing beta-A1 casein, some beta-A2 casein, though this has slowly been tilting toward more beta-A1 casein cows because they produce more milk per cow. The problem is beta-A2 casein is easier to digest for many people. If you have issues with milk it’s possible you can’t digest beta-A1 casein. With great hesitation, expecting to spend days incapacitated with a horrible headache, I bought and drank some A2 Milk without taking enzymes. Nothing. No reaction. I was fine. I tried the 0% Milk, 2% Milk, Whole Milk and no problems what so ever!
After a while I noticed my digestion was improving now that I was avoiding other milk products. I was able to eat hamburger, chicken skin, and chicken stock again without any headaches. In fact, I haven’t had any form of headache in over a year now!
Turns out when you make yogurt the bacteria helps breakdown casein. This explained why I could tolerate TCBY frozen yogurt, but not Oberweis ice cream.
I decided to wait a good year to make sure this was real and would keep working. All is good. I drink and cook with A2 Milk at home, plus I switched to Enzymedica – Digest Spectrum enzymes that break down casein when I consume casein A1 dairy. I’ve also used their dairy only formula, Enzymedica – Lacto which was made just for dairy, including casein. These help to a degree, but not always completely, so they are not a magic cure.
This new regimen has been working wonderfully. After decades of digestive issues and headaches from food I no longer have bouts of pain and discomfort unless I cheat on the diet too much. I’m eating foods I haven’t been able to consume in ages! I just wish the A2 Milk company would expand their product offerings. How about some whipping cream, ice cream, and cottage cheese? I ended up buying an ice cream maker and a bigger yogurt maker.