Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fibro & Lactose Intolerance: I'm breaking up with cheese. Again.

Breaking up is hard to do.
My adventures with hidden disabilities began during the mid-1980s, a time when complementary/holistic medicine was considered the domain of woo-woo weirdos who carried chakra-color coded healing crystals. Certainly no allopathic medical practitioner linked lactose intolerance with fibromyalgia.

This was also before Internet search engines were invented, so I could not have gotten a second -- or any -- opinion from Dr. Google. Now, of course, searching "lactose intolerance and fibromyalgia" brings up all sorts of information about a possible correlation.

I stopped eating ice cream and cheese because of the lower digestive tract symptoms, the technical term for which is: gross. Lactaid, which hit the retail market during the early 1990s (and then cost a fortune), provided some relief, but cheese was still a digestive challenge. I broke up with cheese.

Fast forward to 2011-ish and I hear -- from who or where I can't remember -- that some cheese can be tolerated by folks with lactose intolerance (see, for example, this great post from Ask The Cheese Snob). I'm beyond thrilled by this news because I need quick, high protein snacks I can scarf down when I have no energy for food prep.

I buy hard, aged cheddar and other goodies from the okay-to-eat list. No problem digesting it! Cheese is available in super-accessible packaging!! I re-dedicate the cheese drawer in my refrigerator to cheese!!!

My fibro flares up more and more often. I ignore the major mucous mess clogging my upper respiratory system. I gain twelve pounds. And while some of that weight is due to popcorn, corn chips, and lack of exercise, I can track most of it back to my epic cheese-a-thon during the past year.

I know what I have to do. I have to break up with cheese. Again.

And I'm planning to do so right after eating the rest of my cheese stash, moaning with fibro pain, and gagging on excess mucus. But at least I won't be farting my brains out.

*I've also had to slash gluten from my diet, but I'll focus on that cooking challenge in another post. 


  1. Meredith, there are so many invisible illnesses of which people are unaware and which are difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to control. I remember many years ago when people would scoff at someone who claimed to have one of these illnesses; I do hope that people have learned a lot about compassion in recent years. Take care, be kind to yourself and know that you are in my prayers.

  2. Thanks, Lynda. And the challenge is always generating awareness and advocacy without plunging into angry despair. My humor has gotten me through this and more!


Please be kind and helpful. Don't make us stew!