5 Possible Dairy Sensitivity Symptoms

Dairy sensitivity is an abnormal immune response to milk and products that contain dairy. It is a common food problem, especially in young children. The reaction is connected to the milk antigens, which are protein structures found in dairy products.

While dairy sensitivity and lactose intolerance are used interchangeably, they do not refer to the same issue as they are caused by different factors. While dairy sensitivity is an immune response, lactose intolerance is caused by a lactase deficiency. Lactase breaks down lactose for digestion. Understanding the difference can improve your consumption of dairy products such as yogurt, butter, ice cream, cheese, and milk.

As manufacturers continue to implement stringent dairy and food testing measures, it is becoming easier to find products that will be gentler on your body. Testing ensures that you get quality products, eliminating chances of contamination that could lead to foodborne diseases. However, this doesn’t mean that you can consume any product, as you may still experience dairy sensitivity symptoms. It may not be the quality that’s necessarily the problem. If you are wondering if you have a dairy sensitivity, here are some of the symptoms that can help you make an informed decision.


Bloating is among the most common symptoms associated with dairy product sensitivity.  Excessive abdominal swelling and discomfort are often due to food and if it happens often it is likely caused by dairy products. You can use an approach such as cutting back on dairy products and see if the bloating subsides or continues to be a problem. If it does, then the elimination method tells you that you have dairy sensitivity.

Stomach Pain

Much like bloating, discomfort and stomach pains are indications that you could have dairy sensitivity. While the symptom might take some time to develop once you consume dairy products, you could also experience diarrhea or loose stool containing blood in some cases.


Dairy product sensitivity could cause frequent headaches and migraines. While it may seem unlikely that dairy could trigger a migraine, it would help if you cut back for a few days and see if the symptoms subside instead of relying solely on medication.

Skin Issues

Some people experience skin problems such as acne-related flare ups after consuming dairy products. While scientists still haven’t proven the connection, dairy sensitivity could be what’s causing your recurrent skin problems. You can test this by removing dairy from your diet and seeing if your skin condition improves.

Immediate Concerns

You could also notice immediate symptoms, especially in young kids. Shortly after consuming dairy products, you can experience symptoms such as wheezing, vomiting, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat, and tingling/itching around the mouth/lips.

Above are some of the common symptoms you should look out for if you are concerned that you have dairy sensitivity. Ensuring that you buy quality dairy products, as contamination could cause such reactions, is advisable as you strive to establish if you are experiencing dairy sensitivity. With reliable manufacturers employing effective dairy and food testing, you can consume quality products and avoid experiencing symptoms like sensitivity or intolerance.

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