Is Dairy Good or Bad For You?
Last updated: February 2022
Is dairy good or is it bad for you?
This is a question I received from one of my nutrition coaching clients who were struggling with endometriosis, PCOS, and along with it, fertility issues.
“I will do anything to feel better,” she told me. “But there’s so much conflicting information out there. Which is the best advice to follow?” Her desperation sent me back to the beginning of my own diagnosis of endometriosis.
I too was willing to do anything to get relief from the pain. I wanted freedom and normalcy back in my life.
The online dairy debate
My client was right. There is a lot of information out there about dairy and its effects on endometriosis.
Some research suggests that dairy can potentially lower the risk of endometriosis.1
This study actually specifies that it’s not just dairy but also yogurt and ice cream. Personally, I’m a little skeptical of any research that suggests ice cream as health-supportive food, but we’ll set that aside for the context of this conversation.
Yet, there is an ever-growing amount of testimonials from people who tout a dairy-free diet for relieving inflammation and pain in their bodies. So, what’s the truth?
More importantly, which is right for you? There is no conclusive evidence to prove either side that I have found.
Elimiating certain foods as a cure
The reality is there are no guarantees when it comes to health. No one medicine, no one surgery, and no food can guarantee results.
The question becomes where does this leave you in terms of knowing what’s best for you? Personally, I looked at it this way…
I’m currently eating dairy and I’m not getting the results that I want. I don’t know for sure if my symptoms will change by removing dairy, but when I was desperate for relief, I was willing to give it a try.
Trying out going dairy-free
I decided to eliminate dairy for three months and pay attention to how my body responded. Very early on I noticed that I was far less bloated and gassy.
In fact, I didn’t realize how bloated and gassy I was until I eliminated dairy. In time, I also noticed that my pelvic pain, specifically cramping, wasn’t as intense either.
So, I made the personal decision to eliminate dairy and believe it to be a contributing factor to my healing.
Did eliminating dairy cure my endometriosis? No.
I still needed laparoscopic surgery. However, I do believe it was a big factor in reducing my pain leading up to the surgery and reducing my risk of reoccurrence.
So, I posed this same question to my client. If what you’re doing now isn’t giving you the results that you want, are you open to trying a different approach and seeing how your body responds?
She may eliminate dairy and notice no changes at all, but that is information that she now has on her specific body, not information about someone else’s experience.
Eliminating certain foods but still getting nutrients
Of course, these decisions are a personal choice, and if you do choose to eliminate dairy, you want to make sure that you’re maintaining a well-balanced diet in the process to receive all your proper nutrients.
Remember that your health is ever-evolving. It’s something that can change in time.
Diet and lifestyle are two factors that can support that change. That to me is very empowering.
Whatever you chose to eat or not eat, the simple idea that I can influence my health based on what I eat versus not eating feels good.
Share your experience. How have you navigated the dairy debate?
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):