Lactose intolerance...but only with certain things?

Hi all,

I’ve been struggling with lactose intolerance but only with certain food types. For example, I can drink milk just fine but an In-N-Out milkshake will put me out of commission for a whole day. Hard cheeses appear to be OK for me, but mozzarella is hit or miss.

Does anyone have any idea why this is? Why am I intolerant on certain kinds of lactose products but tolerant with others? I’m trying to find out why so I can pinpoint what specific thing I need to avoid.


Probably not the answer to your situation, but there are 2 kinds of cow milk: A1 and A2. It’s a different protein, and it turns out many people are allergic to the A1 type, but not A2. Commercially, “milk” is usually the A1 type. I’m not sure if the milk you drink just happens to be from an A2-source? It’s not labeled, so there’s no easy way to tell.

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A lot of cheeses have lower lactose content. Cheddar doesn’t have much. The sharper the cheddar the less lactose it has. Don’t know about mozzarella…but cheaper cheese billed as mozarella or cheddar but in a ‘string cheese’ form factor are probably just cheap cheese flavored. Processed cheese can have a high lactose content.

Don’t know about In N Out shakes. Never eaten there, but in general if a shake is made out of ice cream, and the ice cream is made of real dairy cream…it’s gonna be low lactose. Heavy cream doesn’t have much lactose in it. So what does that tell you about the content of an InNOut shake? :wink:


I have had may advanced food allergy tests, and it turns out I am gluten and lactose intolerant (not allergice, but intolerant).

With lactose, I discovered I can manage goat cheese, or diery products based off of it, but not cow milk. In diery products, there is also casein besides lactose. I can manage lactose, but not casein.

And I understood that across mammals, the structure of the proteins, lactose, and casein vary slightly. You may be allergic for some of them or all of them.

Finally, I understood that the higher the fat percentage, the lower the amount of lactose and casein, and the more you should be able to handle it (e.g., butter).

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Not all dairy-food contains the same amount of lactose. Hard cheese and mozzarella for example are lactose-free (or contain less than 0,1g per 100g or less than 0.1%). I’ve been to a GI-specialist because of my partial lactose intolerance and he told me that it’s perfectly normal that not everyone has the same reaction to every product containing dairy. Some get bloated and glogged others get diarreah. The human body is complex and not everyone is the same. You have to find out for yourself what you can and can’t eat.

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Sounds very similar to my background!

Certain dairy foods and ingredients destroy me yet I can drink milk, cream and eat cheese until the cows come home.

The big problem I have is when that dairy product is processed or altered like a typical commercially available cheesecake or in the case of some cheeses cooked.

After years of dietary experimentation (following a medical exclusion, keeping diaries and working out what I ate just before running to the toilet) I can only assume it is a protein issue rather than lactose.

If you don’t mind sharing, do you have any other allergy or sensitivity type issues? For example asthma, allergic rhinitis, specific food allergies, or even minor allergic reactions like oral allergy syndrome?

I only ask as I have met a few people over the years who have similar results from eating dairy and every one of them had at least one of the above.
A family member has a genuine food allergy and I spent a lot of time talking with the guys about patterns and likelihood of if you have allergy or intolerance X you are likely to have Y.

It has helped me make some dietary choices and I can genuinely manage any symptoms through avoiding certain foods.

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I tolerate cheese and milk pretty well but must avoid butter at all costs. Butter hides everywhere and when I’m not paying attention I get in trouble. Hate the feeling! I cut dairy out completely in the past but realize that I tolerate and enjoy most of it.

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