How Dairy Products Can Worsen Allergies

Milk and other dairy products are delicious and go well with just about all foods. They are high in calcium, which is good for the bones, but they are also high in lactose, casein and other nutrients that sometimes are rejected by the body. These substances can worsen allergies, including both food and seasonal allergies.

Food Allergies

If you have an over reactive immune system, then you may have allergies. The symptoms will appear after you have eaten something that the immune system thinks is attacking the body. The immune system then goes into a defense mode to stop the attacker, thus causing the symptoms. Symptoms may vary from person to person and may include headaches, abdominal pain, arthritis, hives, nasal congestion, asthma and many more.

The most common foods that cause allergic reactions are dairy products, wheat, corn, soy and peanuts. If you experience any allergy symptoms you should eliminate these foods from your diet for a few weeks and then gradually bring them back into your diet one at a time. This will help you determine which foods you are allergic to. Once you find the culprit, you can eliminate that food from your diet.

Seasonal Allergies and Dairy Products

Seasonal allergies are also the result of the immune system overreacting. But this time the invader is airborne and is usually in the form of pollen, dust or other foreign particles that the system does not recognize. Symptoms usually include sneezing, an itchy and runny nose and difficulty breathing.

One of the biggest reasons that dairy products worsen seasonal allergy symptoms is because dairy contains arachidonic acids, which increase the production of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes restrict the bronchial tubes, thus making it difficult for air to get through. This can bring on the production of phlegm and mucus, which can worsen the symptoms of allergies.

Dairy Products and the Immune System

Dairy and dairy products also play a key role in the weakening of the immune system. When the immune system is weak, it causes an overreaction to certain foods, pollen or dust, and can also make other allergy symptoms worse.

One of the proteins found in dairy that weakens the immune system is casein. Casein in limited quantities is good for you. However, the high amounts of casein found in dairy products is too much for the human body to properly digest. This causes excess proteins to float around the body, which in turn can worsen allergies.

Furthermore, many dairy products contain high amounts of saturated fats, which also contribute to weakening the immune system. These products include milk, butter, cheese and ice cream. 


It is interesting to note that yogurt may be the only dairy product that will not worsen your allergy symptoms. It contains high amounts of probiotics, which studies have shown helps to strengthen the immune system so that it will not overreact as easily.


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