Living with Casein Intolerance


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Casein is frequently added to processed foods, so even if you avoid drinking milk you can still remain exposed to the protein. It is often a very challenging adjustment to make, but with support from your family and friends, and the advice available through the health service you should be able to adjust.

Casein intolerance is most successfully managed if eliminate all casein from your diet. This is called an elimination diet. It will involve you completely and utterly avoiding casein.

Casein can be hard to recognise as it goes by several different names on foods labels. Even if a product is labelled ‘dairy-free’ this could still mean it contains casein. So it’s hard work trying to avoid casein. Hidden ingredients are often the stumbling block for those trying to live a casein-free diet. Such hidden ingredients use alternative names to casein and can be very misleading, these include:

  • Whey
  • Casein
  • Milk protein
  • Dried milk
  • Non-dairy

To make it easier to adjust to an elimination diet, you should focus on foods that you can eat and don’t look at the foods you are no longer allowed. You may find you find a whole new group of foods you like, that you would have otherwise been oblivious to. As you being to find out which foods are safe for you to eat and which are not you should compile a list of offending foods. This will make it easier for you to keep track of the different brands and food products that cause a reaction. You may find, a particular brand is safe to eat. Also, may supermarkets now stock ‘free-from’ foods along with many recipe and diet plans taking account of different food intolerances.

While shopping, you should always read the food labels carefully and check them before buying the food. If you are unsure whether a food contains casein or not you should ring the manufacturer.

Due to the wide range of foods casein is used in you can sometimes be exposed to casein accidently. Even a small exposure can bring on symptoms. To prevent symptoms occurring after a small exposure, adding probiotics or enzyme supplements to your diet can help. Probiotics promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria.


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