Dear Ask Alicia:
I’m lactose intolerant, but I love cheese.
I just can’t get enough of it. I love cheddar, parmesan, brie, Monterey jack, blue cheese: you name it, I have to have it.
But I get the usual symptoms every time I eat it. I get gas, cramps, diarrhea, feel bloated, and vomit.
The worst is the public humiliation. People complain when I break wind. It really smells bad. Although they don’t always know it’s me I feel so ashamed.
I don’t know how to approach this problem. It’s not like I’m addicted to cigarettes or heroin. But I still can’t stop.
What should I do?
Dear Totally Cheezed:
It’s natural to like cheese. It contains a substance called casein which, according to top scientists, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors.
And it’s healthy to eat dairy. It contains calcium, substantial amounts of protein, and vitamins A, D, E, K, and several B vitamins.
So there’s nothing really wrong with you. You just can’t digest the sugar in milk.
Some people think you can become lactose tolerant by easing into it. They say to start with half a cup of milk once a day and gradually add more.
But you won’t get much of a result that way.
You need to shock your system. Really gorge yourself on dairy: the more the better.
You may hurl and expel your bowels, but that’s just the allergy leaving your system. The only reason you never became fully tolerant of dairy is because you didn’t eat enough of it. You should try eating nothing but milk products for at least 15 months.
And if you still feel ill that just means you haven’t done it long enough.
If people complain about your gas, just know that that’s a sign you’re becoming ever healthier.
Although you may smell, have loose stools and vomit, you should hold your head up high. You’ll be doing the right thing for your own health.