Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Should I stop drinking milk?

06-17-2010, 07:08 PM   #1
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Should I stop drinking milk?

Hey everyone,

I have always drank quite a bit of milk since i was young. Id take it on my cereal (obviously ) I'd also have half a pint or so with every meal. Recently my brother (who also has crohn's) has started saying that if he avoids milk he doesn't get a sore stomach. My brother would have been similar to myself, drinking lots of milk from a young age. Maybe there is a link and why we both have crohn's?

But anyway, I haven't noticed any pain from drinking milk, should i continue to take it though and stop if i notice pain from it? I really love milk btw, its such an integral part of my diet .

Would that also include whey powder btw? I could always just switch to soy everything

Cheers guys,
06-17-2010, 07:18 PM   #2
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I hate soy and I use Rice Dream and they have improved it alot better, I poured it on my cheerios and thought I put in half and half lol. Soy is thick and nasty, to me anyways. I was a major milk drinker when I was young too and my brother who has UC, the others didnt but my sister has UC and CD so who really knows?
06-17-2010, 07:18 PM   #3
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why dont you do a trial period of not drinking milk and if it helps you...then dont drink any milk and switch to soya or something?
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06-17-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
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I'm with Pen, I hate soy milk and soy cheese. It just doesn't taste quite right and soy cheese gets a plastic-like appearance when you melt it on a pizza. I prefer almond milk, it's very creamy and similar in texture to real milk (it does have a bit of an almond taste, which I enjoy). Also, if you are avoiding cow's milk, you may want to try something like goat or sheep's milk. I have been lactose intolerant to cow's dairy for 10 years but I can eat goat & sheep dairy products with no problems. It's a bit more expensive, but I find it's really delicious and I prefer goat/sheep cheese over things like rice cheese or soy cheese.
06-17-2010, 07:45 PM   #5
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Switch to lactose-free milk for starters. See if it makes a difference before looking at the alternatives.
06-18-2010, 04:21 AM   #6
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Give it up for a while and see if it makes a difference. There are definitely a lot of options if you decide to give up milk. I've tried Rice, Soy, Almond and Hemp milk. Hard to give up real cheese, though; I still eat it in small quantities. I wouldn't say I drank large amounts of milk when I was younger; my brother would drink approx. 4L of white milk per day as a kid, and as far as I know he's OK.

Anyways, if you cut down or eliminate cow's milk from your diet, you might notice your stomach is upset after you drink a glass of it later. Or not, you might be one of the lucky few who aren't affected by dairy. Good luck...
Diagnosis: Crohn's Disease (May 2007)
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06-18-2010, 05:39 AM   #7
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i cant tolerate cows milk, but i can drink goats milk/cheese and it dont upst my tummy. its a little bit more money but its better than having bad stomach pains.
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06-18-2010, 05:49 AM   #8
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Hi Matt

I'm not affected at all neither, and I drink loads of it too, I can't give it up!
In fact, I eat chocolate, cheese, butter etc too
Goes to show just how different we all are!


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06-18-2010, 10:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for the advice everyone, i'l take it all on board . I guess its just a case of experimenting and finding how it affects me personally. I'l probly have to wait a bit for that though as im still on pred so that seems to protect me from most things.

Its good to know there's lots of differnt alternatives. I always just thought of soy when considering milk alternative.

06-18-2010, 04:33 PM   #10
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I found that my tummy can't tolerate milk and I stopped milk about 2 years ago. Definitely made a positive difference to me and I don't miss it at all.

06-24-2010, 11:53 AM   #11
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For about four to five months milk made me sick and cramp up. Then it just went away. Now I drink about a half gallon every couple days and just use it in my protein shakes.

In writing a paper about Crohns I read there was actually links between Johne's Disease in cattle and the removed intestines of Crohns patients. I guess the Johne's disease bacteria is not completely killed off in the pasturization process. I found it interesting and will have to find what book it was in.
06-24-2010, 01:36 PM   #12
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I can have milk in cereal, but not drink a glass of it. I love milk too : ) Grew up drinking whole milk everyday with every meal. I think I became intolerant in high school. Personally I don't really like the soy milk. I mean it tastes fine, but still tastes like soy milk. Doesn't substitute for milk for me. Never tried rice milk though.
Currently on: Colazal, Prilosec, multi-vitamin, probiotics, total EFA's, glucosamine.

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06-25-2010, 12:01 PM   #13
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This is a good thing to be aware of:

Lactose intolerance happens when the small intestine does not make enough of the enzyme lactase. Babies' bodies make this enzyme so they can digest milk, including breast milk. Before humans became dairy farmers, most people did not continue to drink milk, so their bodies did not make lactase after early childhood.

Lactose intolerance is more common in Asian, African, African-American, Native American, and Mediterranean populations than it is among northern and western Europeans.

Lactose intolerance can begin at different times in life. In Caucasians, it usually starts to affect children older than age 5. In African-Americans, lactose intolerance often occurs as early as age 2.

Lactose intolerance is very common in adults and is not dangerous. Approximately 30 million American adults have some amount of lactose intolerance by age 20.

Lactose intolerance is sometimes seen in premature babies. Children who were born at full term generally do not show signs of lactose intolerance until they are at least 3 years old.

Not having enough lactase (lactase deficiency) may also occur as a result of intestinal diseases such as celiac sprue and gastroenteritis, or after bowel surgery. Temporary lactase deficiency can result from viral and bacterial infections, especially in children, when the cells lining the intestine are injured.

As far as I've read about milk and what my old GI told me is that crohns has nothing to do with the ability to digest lactose and that if you can't handle dairy products, then you're just simply lactose intolerant which isn't uncommon. So if milk doesn't bother you, then there's no real need to eliminate it from your diet.
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
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Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel (endometriosis), Tylenol 3 (Osteoarthritis), Zantac 150mg 2/day (acid reflux), Klonopin 1mg (Panic Disorder), Imitrex 25mg (migraines), Zofran 8mg (nausea)
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06-25-2010, 12:53 PM   #14
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Milk is one of the only things that actually helps my Crohns. It definitely has a good rather than bad effect on my stomach. If im having a flare i always fall back onto milk to calm things down.

I love milk!
06-26-2010, 01:18 PM   #15
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Hey, Matt. My name is Matt also. This seems to be another thing that varies from person to person. I still drink milk (mostly in my cereal) even though it gives me problems occasionally. I like my cereal too much to quit, haha.

If you really like milk and you're not noticing any pain from it though, I say keep drinking it. If it starts to bother you a lot, stop. Same thing with the whey. If the whey starts to bother you, you don't necessarily have to switch to soy; you can try whey protein isolate, which has a lot less lactose.
06-26-2010, 08:58 PM   #16
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Hey everyone, thanks again for the replies, its interresting to see how milk affets different people in different ways.

Hey Matt, yeah, thats what i was thinking too so I'l try that and hopefully milk will continue to be ok for me

07-02-2010, 03:23 AM   #17
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Yep I love milk too and it doesn't affect me at all. I drink loads of eat and eat all the cheeses I like. Very lucky really

Crohn's Disease Diagnosed Jan 2000

30th June 2010 began Modulen for 6 weeks (Liquid diet especially for crohn's. No food allowed whatsoever )

07-30-2010, 05:04 PM   #18
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Hiya matt, i'm in the same boat tbh. I really enjoy milk but I'm not to sure if I should give it up. I also was a milk drinker at a young age. But my brother also has IBD like me and since i have lived with him I have been drinking goats milk. And it seems to be a decent alternative un my opinion. I don't avoid milk which makes my life a bit easier, because i still can enjoy chocolate, cheese, butter, ect.

Hope this helps
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07-31-2010, 01:46 PM   #19
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Cheers for the input dude . I haven't really noticed it in particular causing any problems and i feel ok at the minute thankfully so i'm going to continue to drink it but keep an eye on it if things start to change.

07-31-2010, 01:51 PM   #20
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While I seem to be okay with dairy in small doses, large ones are not good. I had the lactose intolerance test and it said I was okay, but the doctor told me that test is not 100%, so...

I have been struggling to find a milk alternative I actually like the taste of.

Diagnosed: August 2006
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07-31-2010, 03:01 PM   #21
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Yep I love milk too and it doesn't affect me at all. I drink loads of eat and eat all the cheeses I like. Very lucky really
Yes you are very lucky at least you enjoy it. I bet the modulen helped to want to eat cheeses. I was fed by a tube through the nose for 6 weeks so but that was at night and I was !sleep so it didn't really affect me. What was that diet like btw. I nearly had it, so I had a narrow escape

Thanks xx

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