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Doing everything right and still unable to lose weight? One prominent doctor suggests food allergies might be to blame

When most of us think of food allergies, we think of people swelling up after eating a peanut or unable to breathe when confronted with shrimp. But some food allergies come on much more slowly and have more subtle effects. Dr. Mark Hyman believes that up to 60 percent of the population could be affected by a hidden sensitivity to foods like dairy.

A dairy allergy can cause an overabundance of unhealthy bacteria in the digestive tract that can lead to inflammation, irritable bowel and weight gain. A dairy allergy can also lead to lactose intolerance.

If you believe you might have a hidden dairy allergy, Dr. Hyman suggests these three steps to help identify it:

Eliminate Dairy

Don’t just cut out the milk and cheese here; dairy can be hiding in lots of unexpected places including desserts that use milk or milk products, deli meats (look for kosher meat, which will be dairy free), bread and energy or protein bars. There are lots of great dairy alternatives these days to help ease the transition.

Feed Your Gut

Start taking a probiotic supplement which will help replace the good bacteria your dairy allergy may have been killing off.  Look for a product that contains 10–50 billion colony forming units (CFUs).

Bring Back Dairy Slowly

After keeping all dairy products out of your diet for at least two weeks, start to reintroduce dairy foods back into your diet one at a time. Keep a log of what you eat and how you feel. If old symptoms such as fatigue, bloating, weight gain or iritable bowel return, you might have a dairy allergy.

Your doctor can perform a blood test which can help determine if you have a dairy allergy or sensitivity. If you do, sticking to a diary-free diet may be the “magic bullet” you’ve been seeking to help kickstart your weight loss and improve your overall health.

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