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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Discovering A Milk Allergy With A Blood Test

Do I have a milk allergy?


   I received blood testing in exchange for this post but all opinions are my own.

  I recently cut all dairy from my diet to see if it could help with my asthmatic cough. I do think that I have a dairy allergy and I want to confirm it with a test. I decided to do a blood test instead of a skin test so I would not have to stop my allergy medicines. So I made an appointment at Health Testing Centers to get the needed blood work done. It was quite simple to make this appointment and the best part was I did not need a doctor to order the test. I went online and selected the allergy test that I needed. There were many different allergy tests to select from as well as other tests for other health problems. I was amazed at all the different types of blood tests (lab testing) that Health Testing Centers offers without a visit to the doctor. This lab even has walk-in same day appointments.


A bit of history about why I think I have a dairy allergy

    I was able to control my allergy induced asthma symptoms with two allergy medicines and other simple things, that is until the beginning of this year. What I thought was cold in January turned out to be worse than I thought. When this cough that left lasted more than three weeks and left me gasping for air, I suspected that my allergy medicine was not working anymore. I tried natural things to see if it would help with my allergies. My family was pushing me to see a doctor but I was reluctant to go as from the past experience with my son's asthma diagnosis, I knew that it could take several months to see a doctor and I would also have to stop taking my allergy medicines for two weeks. I did not want to stop taking my medicines because I was afraid that my asthmatic cough would get worse and I would end up in the emergency room. I had already had several coughing episodes that I had trouble breathing but since I was able to rebound in less than 2 minutes, I thought I was fine but I was not. During this time I was not getting much sleep as I would wake up way too many times to cough. I also tried my son's asthma inhaler but it did not help. I also did not want to take medicine if I could treat this naturally. I was getting used to this nagging asthma cough and lack of sleep. I did discover that a natural menthol rub helped open my airways so I could get all the mucus out. So I carried that everywhere. There were a couple times that I almost called the doctor after some pretty bad coughing attacks, that left me gasping for air, while I was driving but I told myself it would get better. My teen was in the car with me at those times when I joked with him about grabbing the wheel if I passed out (I was not joking though as I was afraid) and said: "mom you are wheezing and you need to see the doctor!" During this time I was also having bad coughing attacks after I worked out at the gym, again telling myself that the coughing was a good way to get the mucus out. Why is it that I get my children to the doctor but not myself?

My asthma was not in control

  Finally one day in church, I prayed to be healed of this cough. All my other prayers were for just the coughing to stop. God did not heal me that day but He revealed to me that maybe it might be dairy that is causing this asthmatic cough. I already had lactose issues and my daughter had a milk allergy when she was little so it made me think. It made perfect sense as looking back to January, this was also the time when I started eating a bedtime snack of cheese and crackers. I also was consuming a protein drink made from whey(dairy) protein. So I made the decision to cut out all dairy from my diet and I was not happy about it. After a week of craving pizza and I still had a cough, I was hoping that it was not a dairy allergy. So I gave in and ate several slices of pizza. Several hours later I could not stop coughing when my husband called me. He asked me if I ate cheese. So I again stopped eating all dairy and enlisted my boys to make sure I did not. I had read that it could take 4-6 weeks to get the dairy out of my system. Later that week when I was craving pizza again, I went to the store in search of a dairy-free cheese. I found 4 packages of dairy-free cheese that were on clearance and they tasted like real cheese. The cheese sub also melted! I also found several packages of dairy-free ice cream on clearance too that was quite delicious!

Could my asthmatic coughing be related to dairy?

  I got through the next four weeks telling myself that I would enjoy pizza when we visited my son in New York to confirm if it truly was a dairy issue. Those four weeks past and I began to notice, my family did too, that I was coughing less and I was not gasping for air after the coughing attacks. I was also not coughing up buckets of mucus. When this cough first started, I had a cloth always by my side to spit all that excess mucus in. I also was finally sleeping through the night as I did not wake up with an uncontrollable cough.

I went without dairy for six weeks

  Five weeks of no dairy past and we headed to New York. The first night we were there my family had pizza but I instead had a pho bowl from a restaurant that was near the pizza place. I was convinced that dairy was causing this asthmatic cough and I no longer was craving pizza or cheese. I also realized it was never my allergy medicine not working as we had way too much rain here in the past month and the weeds are growing like crazy. I am not coughing anymore. So when the opportunity came up for me to have a blood test to see if I was allergic to dairy, I decided to test my blood to confirm my dairy allergy so I will not be tempted to eat cheese or yogurt. When I told my friends my dairy-free diet, that asked me what do I eat?  I also don't eat meat and have problems with soy so I am thankful for my vegan & allergy friendly protein bars.

The day of the blood test to confirm if I was allergic to dairy


   I arrived at the lab, which was a 20-minute drive from my house. The check-in process was super simple as I had paid for the test online. All I had to do was get the confirmation code that was texted to me scanned in. Since I had made an appointment, it did not take long to get my blood drawn. I love how easy it was to sign in at the self-check-in, just scanned my code. The front desk person was very friendly. The lab tech took a couple vials of blood from me. Why does that needle have to hurt? I am the one that closes my eyes when I have blood drawn. I was amazed at how quickly I was in and out. I think I was there a total of 15 minutes.

About 1-2 weeks for blood results

  I also decided to get a basic food allergy profile test done since they were already poking me. This test included things like soy, wheat, peanuts, and egg whites. I think I might have issues with soy also as I tend to get a drippy nose and belch a lot after I eat tofu. So I decided to get the info on soy also as I do not want this asthmatic cough to return. If I can control food triggers, my allergy induced asthma will be so much more controlled. Now if I can only avoid grass, weeds, dust, smoke, chemicals, and mold, I would never have that take my breath away cough. I am learning to stay away from many of the above triggers but it is not always possible. Like the chemicals at the hospital when my daughter had her baby. I have learned to close windows and workout at the when the air quality is bad from the smoke. I also stay away from the gym when the cleaning crew is there.


The results of the blood test



  I was surprised that my food allergy blood results came back in 6 days. The results indicated that I had a likelihood of a milk allergy and a soy allergy. My IgE results also showed a likelihood of a wheat and a peanut allergy which was surprising to me as I had no symptoms. Now after doing some research, I learned that food allergy testing may have false negatives and false positives. So these results are only useful if you have had reactions to the food. Also that the IgE levels do not indicate the severity only that you may have an allergy. Any level over 0.10 indicates a likelihood of a food allergy.  You could also have a negative result and still be allergic to the food especially if you have symptoms. An oral food test gives one best results but can take several hours in a doctors office. I could also reintroduce the dairy into my diet but I don't want to experience severe asthma symptoms and then have to wait 3-4 weeks for it clear out.

 Since my asthma got better after eliminating milk and I have bad indigestion after eating soy, then the high IgE tells me that I am allergic to milk and soy. Since I have not had any known reactions to wheat or peanuts, then the results may be a false positive. My son had allergy testing last year and it showed he a was allergic to eggs and the doctor said to not eliminate them from his diet unless he showed symptoms. My son hates eggs and does not eat them so he may be allergic to them. For now, I will not eat milk or soy products as I do not want to experience those severe asthma symptoms again. I will still eat peanuts and wheat but I will pay attention to how I feel after I eat those. I dislike peanut butter so that is not a problem for me. My son told me to eat two peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat bread to see if I do have any reactions. I have been paying attention to my body though when I accidentally eat a little bit of dairy. I had pesto (has parmesan cheese) the other day on my cheeseless pizza and I noticed that later that day I had a drippy nose and coughed up some phlegm. This again happened after I had a piece of chocolate.

So why did this develop later in life?

 I guess that some milk was causing reactions and my allergy medicines were relieving the symptoms or I was blaming other allergies like weeds and mold. I had always eaten cheese on occasion, up until last year, and when I ate it every day is when it developed into uncontrollable asthma. Drinking milk and eating ice cream has always made me feel sick. I did not drink milk as a kid as I hated the taste but I look bad and remember that I was sick a lot as a kid with ear infections and upset stomach problems.

What I thought to be a lactose problem was a milk allergy.

Common allergy symptoms:
Skin rash, itching, hives
Swelling of the lips, tongue or throat
Shortness of breath, trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing
Stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea


  Since I always experience nausea after eating milk products, I thought that I had lactose issues and I just tolerated it. I guess my nightly snack of cheese and crackers was just too much and that caused my asthma to be out of control. The crackers were wheat crackers, makes me wonder about the wheat allergy thing. For now, I will avoid all dairy and soy. I may in the winter when my seasonal allergies subside, another cause of my asthma, eat dairy on occasion to see how my body reacts as I do love pizza. I am glad that I discovered dairy-free cheese and dairy-free ice cream.

What blood test would you like to have completed?

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Health Testing Centers offers thousands of blood tests (lab testing) available direct to you. Our prices are super low for this service because it's all cash, we do not accept insurance. There is no need to visit your doctor to order lab tests. We work with the largest FDA and CLIA approved labs in the country and have over 3500 locations where people can get tested.


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21 comments:

  1. Lucky that you have done the blood test to find out what cause the problem and glad it is clear now. Hope you get well soon and are able to taste the pizza again.

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    1. For now it has to be made at home with a dairy-free cheese until I find a place that uses vegan cheese. The other day I had to have cheese less pizza when my family went out for pizza.

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  2. My Mom realized she was lactose free when she realized cheese was making her run to the bathroom. She's pretty bummed since she enjoys ice cream, but she's glad many foods are available lactose-free.

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  3. I do suspect I am lactose intolerant but I never had a test to confirm it. All I know is that every time I drink milk I feel really bad.

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  4. It is great you got it figured out! I have been cutting down on dairy and I really think it may not agree with my husband but of course he refuses to go see a doctor.

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  5. My daughter had a milk allergy when she was younger and it was miserable for us! I'm so glad she outgrew it! Her body adjusted as she got older and she was able to start tolerating it.

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    1. My daughter had a milk allergy when she was younger and it caused fluid to be in her ears which resulted in her not talking until we took her off dairy. I am not sure if she outgrew it as she has asthma but as an adult she is not willing to give up dairy.

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  6. Oh gosh! Amazing how much a milk allergy can effect. I am glad you have found out that you have one but also I'm sorry you have found out you do as well.

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  7. Wow! I've never suspected that dairy allergy can have such an incredible influence on our lives! I'm happy to hear that from now on you'll know what to avoid to feel well! :)

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  8. Wow I never knew that you can get to know about allergies from blood test.. I really Hope you get well soon and are able to taste the pizza again. Because I love pizza and it hurts to know that my friends are unable to eat it.

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  9. I didn't know you could test for dairy and soy allergies throng a blood test. But the results seem to be inconclusive without a reaction.

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  10. This is very interesting! I find more and more people are developing allergies so its important to have safe ways to find this out!

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  11. Now this is new! I always knew that too much dairy could bring about allergies but not to the point of affecting you as much. But I'm glad you're certain of this from the blood test results and even embracing a dairy-free diet.

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  12. That is so interesting. I had no idea about milk allergies until my husband became lactose intolerant as an adult.

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  13. Better late than never. Milk allergies can be pretty bad. My cousin is allergic to milk but he was found out very early one!

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  14. I was shocked when I found out years ago that the majority of the population has a lactose intolerance without even knowing! I was never tested but decided to go vegan and I did notice an improvement in my overall health.

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  15. Wow, it is great that you actually have done something like the blood test to find out what really caused the problem, instead of simply assuming like most of people do. Good that is clear for you now. Thanks for sharing the discount code with us!

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  16. Oh, I don't think we have that in my country, but I would like to have my daughter tested. Right now, she is not drinking milk because of her cough. I usually stop giving her milk when she has cough. Her allergic cough has improved, but it's still there.

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  17. I totally relate. I eat fish (but no meat) and I don't eat dairy. My stomach can't handle it. Also, I get super congested and it gets hard to breathe. I'm glad you tried eliminating dairy and had the test and are listening to your body. We are lucky that there are so many options available to us in the grocery store.

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  18. I became lactose intolerant myself at a very young age. Lots of attention and thought needs to be given until now before buying food items and eating out.You put your experience nicely in a detailed way.

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  19. I think many of us have a milk intolerance. I think more and more of us including myself switching over to plant based milk such as almond.

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