Q&A: All About Dairy & GAPS

I wanted to say I liked your posts about the GAPS diet but I know nothing about it. I’m interested in learning more. Is there are book? Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet goes with SCD and I have looked at that some and am considering it. I would appreciate any guidance you can give me in that regard. Sounds like a better variation of what I am doing which is meat, nuts, water and minimal veggies…and then chocolate when I break down! Ha! It’s true. I’ve been gluten free for 7 months and just wanted to fine tune things. I already eliminated all grains. Thanks in advance. I don’t tolerate dairy so not so sure about the kefir? or yogurt, but maybe there is a key I don’t have.

Hi Jan,
Yes, there is a book! Gut and Psychology Syndrome
Definitely get the newest edition. If you want a quicker read with very easy instructions, you can also try the GAPS Guide (Simple Steps to Heal Bowels, Body and Brain)

Even though you’ve been on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, if you decide to start the GAPS diet I’d definitely begin with the Introduction Diet and take reintroducing foods very slowly.

As for the dairy, it depends on the reason you don’t tolerate it. This diet is aimed at restoring gut health, so you may heal enough to be able to have it. Also, changing the forms in which you try dairy could make a difference. Reading the book will give more details about it, but I’ll try a quick synopsis.

Raw Milk

Raw Milk

Lactose: Lactose is the sugar found in milk. It is a disaccharide sugar, which needs processing to be digested. Celiac guts have damaged villi, and villi are where the lactase necessary to digest lactose is made. If you have damaged villi, lactose will be a problem until they heal!

Casein: Casein is the protein found in milk. Like grains, it is one of the bigger proteins and is prone to turning into an opiate form (casomorphins) and getting through the gut and into the body and wrecking havoc like gluteomorphins do. People who have an anaphylactic response or histamine response (like a runny nose) to milk are having an IgE reaction to casein.

Cultured and fermented dairy (Kefir & Yogurt): In cultured and fermented foods, bacteria and/or yeasts do the work of digesting the sugars for you. Yogurt that is adequately cultured does not have lactose in it. Same deal with milk kefir. This makes them safe to eat for many people with an intolerance to lactose. Much of the casein gets processed by the fermenting microbes as well. This process is generally not complete in the yogurt or kefir you would get in the store. Also, the pasturized milk used only has the introduced cultures, not the good natural stuff you get when you do it at home with raw milk. We use raw, organic milk for our yogurt and kefir, and are careful not to heat it too high before culturing it. You can get your starters at Cultures 4 Health.

Here’s a fascinating conversation about raw milk between Dr. Mercola and Mark McAfee.

Ghee: Ghee is clarified butter. Butter is already naturally low in lactose, because the lactose stays in the liquid that comes off in the churning process. When you make ghee, you remove the casein protein from the butter. This changes the butter so that it can be used to cook with at high temperatures, and makes it safer for some people who are sensitive to casein. Ghee is fine to buy in the store, but we prefer to make our own from organic unsalted butter. All you do is put a bunch of butter in a heavy saucepan, heat it for about a half hour so that it bubbles and foams (but doesn’t scorch), then skim off all the foam. Then you set up a funnel with a filter or cheesecloth and pour it into a jar. It can be stored on the counter.

All this said, I’m not suggesting you go nuts on the dairy if it’s been giving you problems! Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, (the person who came up with GAPS) suggests doing a sensitivity test before introducing new foods – you take a bit of the food and place it inside your wrist at night and look at it for any reaction in the morning. Reaction=not ready for that food. In our experience, this kind of sensitivity test works best for people who normally get some skin reactions. Please consult your health care provider before introducing any food you’ve ever had a severe reaction to in the past!

I hope some of this helps!

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1 comment to Q&A: All About Dairy & GAPS

  • Mama, this is an interesting article! Thanks for giving me a little more insight. I am on SCD, have celiac disease and have problems with dairy products, even butter.


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