In the DUH department….

A few weeks ago I was having real problems with my neck. It would get so stiff and sore that I’d have trouble doing anything and long term computer use was near impossible. So being one that doesn’t like to take lots of pain medications, I decided to search online for an alternative treatment.  I began to read lots of good things about arthritis and flax seed.  I started eating 1 tablespoon of ground flax in the morning in a container of applesauce and another at night and found immediate results for my neck pain.  I also noticed my skin felt incredibly soft and began reading other wonderful things about flax.

About that time I got a terrible case of bronchitis and I was pretty sick with it for about three weeks.  Finally, I thought I was on the mend.  About this time, I became bored with the applesauce, and decided to see other ways to get down the flax. I read online that you could mix it with yogurt. Not being a huge yogurt eater, I decided to buy several containers (ten) and try my flax in it. Having read about chia seeds, I bought some of those to try as well.

Suddenly I began having terrible, painful stomach issues.  I figured after being sick, my body just wasn’t adjusting to the high fiber in the flax seed, so I decreased the amount I was taking in half.  Still about an hour after I would eat the yogurt and flax seed or chia seed mixture, I would have terrible pains in my stomach.  Everything I ate seemed to make me sick.  My stomach would bloat so bad I would literally grow 3 pants sizes in about an hour. Not the effect one is going for when one is trying to look better.   But I’d read all these good things about flax and chia and when I skipped a day, my neck pain would return. So I persevered on. Yes, I am hard headed like that. Plus I’d read that as your intestines get cleaner, sometimes pain from fiber can occur. Everything I read assured me that this was a passing thing. No pun intended.

Last night, I decided to try my yogurt and flax seed right before bed. About two hours later, I was crying in pain.  Thought I was going to have to go to the emergency room, because the pain was so bad.  I am lying there, trying not to keep Hubby up, trying to relax and suddenly it hits me.

I AM LACTOSE INTOLERANT!

When I was three, my doctor took me off all dairy, because I was milk anemic. I always thought it was a term my mother made up, but nope, it’s a real illness in children who get anemic because diary foods allow blood to leak out of their intestines.  I had two great uncles who died as infants from similar problems.  I do not drink any milk. I can use a little to cook with like to make mashed potatoes, and I can eat a small amount of cheese with no problems, but I do not eat ice cream or drink milk at all. Two of my children are also lactose intolerant.   Last time I had an ice cream cone after dinner,  I was deathly sick all night.  But it never dawned on me that yogurt could do the same thing.  Until I found myself googling Yogurt and Lactose Intolerance last night at midnight.

Seems that yes, some people with lactose intolerance can eat cultured yogurt.  The key word there being cultured.  The yogurt brand I bought didn’t have that yogurty taste. It was sweet and creamy and had 12 grams of carbohydrates in it!  One less gram than 8 oz of whole milk!  No wonder I have been praying for a quick death the last few weeks.

So this morning, I decided to experiment.  I ate first so there would be something in my stomach.  Then I measured out 1/2 tbspoon of flax seeds. I ground those and then mixed them with a container of applesauce.  I ate as much applesauce as it took to eat the flax seeds.  And I began the wait. 

Thirty minutes passed.  Stomach feels normal, can lay flat on my tummy.

One hour passed.  Still nothing.

Ninety minutes passed. Still feel fine. Getting ready for lunch with a friend.

So yeah, do I ever feel stupid. Turns out it wasn’t the high fiber in the flax seed that was giving me problems. It was the high lactose in the yogurt.  Tomorrow I am going to try the chia and applesauce and see what happens then.  No more dairy or eggs for this girl.  Will have to get my protein elsewhere….

So it seems that my aversion to dairy is hereditary.  My great grandmother was allergic to eggs, and I am as well. I look just like her so it’s no surprise I’d have her allergy issues.  I know she was allergic to eggs because once one of my little cousins would be sick every time he was fed eggs. My grand father insisted he was allergic to eggs.  My grandmother, mother and aunts would make fun of him, saying “no one is allergic to eggs”.  One day he’d had enough and said, “Momma is allergic to eggs and so is that kid.”  The next weekend we went to see my great grandmother and she confirmed she was allergic to eggs. And so am I.  Who ever thought there was a gene for that.

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