Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Sneaking Suspicion

I have a sneaking suspicion about myself that I am not at all pleased about:


I think I am allergic to cow milk. Yes, even the raw stuff.

Last summer I traded some goat milk for some cow milk from a lady near me. I had a hankering for some raw Jersey milk so I was delighted to do this barter. The following days that I drank her milk were awful. My stomach hurt, I was crampy, and I just didn't feel good. Not having seen this lady's place, her cows, or her milking setup, I assumed this must just be a bad jar of milk and my body was reacting to the bad bacteria. I dumped the milk and promptly forgot about the matter.

On Thursday morning, last week, I realized that I had a serious glut of cow milk in the fridge and something had to be done about that! So that afternoon we made ice cream, yogurt, butter, cheese, and I started drinking lots of milk. I didn't touch my goat milk at all. On Friday morning (yes, the same morning of bedlam in the barn) I found that I didn't want to eat ANYTHING. I felt famished; ravenous. But the very thought of food made me nauseous. I didn't eat anything on Friday, save for a couple of forced bites at dinner which only made me feel worse. Saturday was the same. So was Sunday. Meanwhile, I was drinking all the raw cow milk I could (and just as a side note: the rest of my family has been drinking the milk too and they are 100% fine; so it's not a milk problem. It a "Me" problem). By Sunday night I felt so bad I wanted to cry. My body was starving for food; it needed nutrients but I couldn't bring myself to eat anything. I lost 10 lbs. in 3 days.

Monday morning was rushed and crazy since I was going to the Oregon Raw Milk Producers Assoc. training day with a friend (blog post about that soon), so for my breakfast I tried to have a banana and a glass of cow milk. I couldn't do it. I took two nibbles of that piece of fruit and couldn't do anymore. I couldn't even drink the milk, I felt so terrible. The rest of the day was pretty much the same as I tried to eat lunch and dinner but just couldn't. After four days of not eating, my body was beginning to shut down. 

The wheels in my head started turning on Monday night: Since I was gone all day, I hadn't had any milk... I felt hollow and light headed from my fast, but my stomach didn't hurt anymore. The idea that maybe it was the milk that was affecting me came into my head, but I brushed it aside. I LOVE the taste of Mattie's milk, and the last thing I want to be is allergic to it! The first thing I did this morning was to pour myself some cow milk... I drank half a glass and felt sick to my stomach. It was like someone pushed a button: drink the milk, on comes the pain. I skipped breakfast completely today, but knew I had to somehow get food in myself. 

Then I had a thought: What would happen if I had some goat milk? I poured another glass but this time with Metty and Sombrita's milk, and tentatively drank it. In twenty minutes I felt like a completely different person. The pain was gone, I was once again ravenous for food but this time the thought of food actually felt GOOD. I ate a big lunch with gusto and focus and I'm starting to feel like my old, perky self. 

While I was delighted that the goat milk helped so much, it saddens me to no end at the thought that I may not be able to have cow milk anymore. :( That just seems like a cruel irony; I have two cows and now that I've learned that I love these bovines I find that I can't drink their milk??? Good grief! It surprises me too, since Mattie is A2/A2, and supposedly even people who are sensitive to cow's milk can have A2/A2 milk since it's so similar to goat's milk.

We'll see though... I'm going to take a break from the cow milk and then slowly introduce it back into my diet. I ain't gonna' give it up without a fight.


gz said...

I've just cut out most of the cow milk from my diet- and I'm not so intolerant of it as you obviously are.
You have goats. Stick to goat milk. You can still have butter, cheese, yoghourt with goatmilk...
Why waste time fighting?!!

timothy said...

I noticed you hardly ate anything at lunch Monday and wondered about that...sorry you were feeling so yucky!

Goat Song said...

@ Timothy: Uh-oh, you noticed!? Shucks, I was hoping you hadn't... But yeah, between the effects of the milk, and my wrist hurting like it was, it was an interesting day. But the conference and seeing your goats made up for it all. :)

@ GZ, I probably will just stick with goat milk from now on. Although I do love the cow milk yogurt and cheese... Sigh. Oh well; you are right, I can still make all of that with the goat milk! It just seems wrong though to have two cows and not be able to drink their milk. ;)

nancy said...

I was tesed for allergies in Dec. and came back with both dairy and eggs. I have an urban flock, so I was not amused. BUT I did talk to the doc about eating MY eggs vs. store-bought, which is what the test looks at. MY eggs are fine. No cows milk though, and terrible for a cheese lover. I drank a little milk, ate ice cream here and there recently. OMG- I started having major gas and I broke out w/acne. My skin sure doesn't lie... ah well, off for my almond milk :) My doc said no goat's milk for me as most allergic to cow can't handle it eather. Glad you can!

Anonymous said...

You may be lactose intolerant-not allergic-there is a big difference.

I am lactose intolerant, but not allergic to milk. If I eat a milk product that hasn't had the lactose removed, I get very sick. Lactose free dairy products I have no problem with at all. (I can also drink nonhomogenized milk or raw milk with few problems for some reason-but occasionaly I will have minor stomach upset.)Any homogenized milk from the grocery store has me doubled over in severe pain in 20 minutes.

You may want to try something that is lactose free-like Lactaid Milk or Yoplait yogurt-they now make a lactose free yogurt that comes in a green cup. If you still feel bad you have an allergy and if you feel fine it is lactose intolerance.

Taking lactaid enzyme pills will help you to enjoy dairy again if that is the case. If it is an allergy, I would stay away from milk as your reactions could become more severe over time.

Thankfully there is goats milk so that I can avoid this issue! I only wish they made a pill to help with my allergy to chocolate.

Good luck!
Heather in PA

Anonymous said...

BTW-Thanks for mentioning A1 versus A2. I had no knowledge of this but I am very interested in learning more about it. I googled what it meant and found some interesting articles. Looks like more research still needs to be done, but it is yet another piece of the dairy puzzle for me.
Heather in PA

Head Farm Steward said...

You don't have 10 pounds to lose do you? Maybe you could get a couple of pigs to process that milk into something you can use. That way you can keep your pet lawn mower.

Goat Song said...

@ Head Farm Steward: LOL, no, I didn't exactly have a spare 10 lbs. to lose... ;) My active lifestyle and good diet has put my weight bang on the dot for my age/height. Losing those pounds really hurt, but thankfully as the weight slowly comes back on, my energy level is returning.

I'm not concerned about what to do with the cow milk, as it's already pre-sold to herdshare owners. The original reason I bought Peaches and Mattie was to start a herdshare program (which I really need to blog about...). Last week I was still working on getting customers lined up and figuring who was buying what; hence the glut. But after working double time this week I have almost all the milk, both cow and goat, sold.

Someday I would love to get a weaner pig or a beef calf to raise on cow milk, but I think I would have to buy a third cow in order to do that. :-/ The demand for raw milk is very high in my area and once customers get settled into a weekly routine of milk-pickups, there is very rarely any extra milk.

Head Farm Steward said...

Yes, you do need to blog about your herdshare program. Maybe you should stop sleeping so you can get more work done...

Hayley M. said...

Wow!!! I've been having the same problems recently with raw goats milk, and I'm surprised you can even walk, much less go on like usual. (more or less)

Every time I had even just a taste I was doubled over on the couch, begging my brothers to go on without me (and do chores) while I wasted away. Hehe.

But I'm sorry that happened. All that milk, and not a drop to drink!

stephen sinnott said...

we have 3 a2 dairy cows and several members of my family are doing very well on the a2 milk and they could not drink milk before, are you 100% sure your cow is a2? or was the milk mixed with your other cow?

Goat Song said...

Stephen, Yes am 100% sure that my cow was A2/A2; and at that point she was my only cow, so there was no way the milk could have been mixed in any way. After several months of personally done tests (what makes me feel sick and what doesn't), I've found that I can have A1/A1 milk and even A1/A2 milk with no problems whatsoever (I've come to love Holstein cows! Ha!). But whenever I try some A2/A2, I feel awful. It's strange, I know. But then, life is strange. :)

Thanks for the comment!