Beautiful women in a white tank top lying on the couch holding her stomach in discomfort.

Promoters of the ketogentic diet often suggest increasing the use of dairy products like butter, cheese, and cream as a convenient and tasty way to boost the fat content of your foods, but consuming dairy could actually be interfering with your health and weight loss goals?

Millions of people simply cannot consume dairy due to food allergies, intolerance, autoimmune issues, or other illnesses. Some choose to eliminate it due to personal preference, and many others are simply unaware that dairy is the cause of their symptoms.

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10 Signs its Time to Ditch the Dairy

Dairy-related symptoms can be subtle or delayed, and they may not present consistently with all forms of dairy. Many of the symptoms commonly associated with dairy can also be caused by a variety of other illnesses or diseases further complicating a diagnosis.

It is important to note that even without noticeable symptoms, dairy could be compromising your health by causing inflammation and interfering with your ability to absorb nutrients and medications. Consuming dairy may also increase the prevalence and/or worsen the symptoms of other illnesses.

This list is not intended to replace medical advice, but rather allow you to communicate with your health practitioner and determine the best approach for your health.

1) Nausea

This can range from simply feeling “off”, to dizziness, stomach upset, and even vomiting. Reactions to dairy can develop later in life and therefore many people that had previously consumed dairy without issue overlook the potential that these types of symptoms could be linked to dairy.

2) Acne, Skin Rashes, or Hives

People often attempt to treat skin issues from the outside in by using cleansers, creams, and/or ointments, when the source of the problem is internal. Many people have reported a considerable improvement in their skin while following keto, and even further improvement once they eliminated dairy.

3) Joint Pain

Dairy is inflammatory in most people, and can contribute to stiff and painful joints. We often too quickly accept joint discomfort as a natural part of aging, and therefore view it as unavoidable, when in fact many cases can be alleviated through proper diet and nutrition.

Keto is a great dietary approach for alleviating inflammation, and healthy fats are extremely beneficial for lubricating and hydrating joints. Many dairy products meet the macros for keto, however the inflammation caused by dairy can undermine or obscure the the benefits of following a keto lifestyle.

4) Digestive Issues

Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation are the symptoms most people associate with severe dairy issues, but these are still often downplayed and misdiagnosed. People often become accustomed to mild instances of these symptoms and simply accept them as part of life, not realizing that they may be signs of more severe health issues.

Instead of addressing the underlining problem many people consume dietary aids to relieve or lessen these symptoms, but these do not address other issues that are occurring internally. Utilizing products like Digestive Advantage® or Lactaid® can be beneficial in the instance you consume dairy inadvertently at a restaurant or dinner party, but using these products to mask the symptoms and continue the regular consumption of dairy can be extremely problematic.

5) Weight Gain or Inability to Lose Weight

If you have maintained a healthy diet and regular exercise and continue to gain weight, or have hit a weight loss plateau, consider ditching the dairy. Any amount of bloating or digestive issues will halt your ability to lose weight. Even if you aren’t experiencing any of the other symptoms on this list, dairy could still be sabotaging your weight loss efforts.

6) Respiratory Issues

For many people, especially those with asthma, dairy can contribute to an increase in the prevalence and severity of respiratory infections. Less threatening dairy related respiratory symptoms also include sneezing, wheezing, runny nose and postnasal drip.

7) Anxiety or Depression

Anxiety and depression are extremely complex issues, and listing them here is not intended to suggest that simply eliminating dairy will instantly alleviate these conditions. However, diet does have a powerful influence on stress and mood, and food sensitivities in particular can contribute to, or worsen, these issues.

8) Fatigue

Consuming inflammatory foods, or foods we have difficulty digesting properly can tap our energy and leave us feeling tired. As mentioned previously, dairy consumption can interfere with the digestion and absorption of nutrients that are needed for consistent energy production.

9) Brain Fog

Consuming inflammatory foods like sugar and dairy can contribute to brain fog, or an inability to focus. Keto is known to boost clarity and eliminate brain fog especially when dairy is eliminated and when coupled with intermittent fasting.

10) Headaches and Migraines

Headaches or migraines are common among those with dairy sensitivities. Again, may factors can contribute to headaches, but many people have reported a decrease in the prevalence and severity of their headaches or migraines once they have eliminated dairy from their diet.

Testing for Dairy Sensitivities or Allergies

Don’t just assume you don’t have a certain food sensitivity because you “haven’t noticed any symptoms”. Eliminating dairy from your diet and documenting any potential changes is one option, however only careful testing of blood, breath, saliva, or a stool antigen can reveal this issue with any accuracy. Consult your primary healthcare professional if you suspect you have any type of food sensitivity or allergy.

At-Home Food Sensitivity Tests


Everlywell offers the most popular and reasonably priced at-home food sensitivity tests. Their standard test assesses IgG reactivity to 96 different foods including cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, cow’s milk, mozzarella, and yogurt.

Everlywell also offers a more comprehensive test that assesses reactivity to 204 different foods. This test includes all of the same dairy foods as their standard test but also specifically assesses butter, casein, Emmental cheese, goat cheese, goat milk, kefir, processed cheese, sheep cheese, sheep milk, and whey

Health Testing Centers

Health Testing Centers offer both in-lab and at-home test kits including four levels of food sensitivity assessments

Their basic food sensitivity test assesses reaction to 88 different foods including cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and cheese, and their premium test measures an individual’s sensitivity to 207 different foods.

Local Lab Food Allergy Testing


There are more than 4,500 HealthLabs locations throughout the US. for your convenience and more than 500 lab tests available. No doctor referral or insurance required.

HealthLab’s basic food allergy test assesses 15 of the most common allergenic foods including cow’s milk, and they also offer a focused lactose intolerance test. Visit their website here to locate the nearest lab and order your tests.


Personalabs has more than 2,300 partner patient service centers nationwide, and offers hundreds of different lab tests

Their standard allergen profile blood test assesses 15 of the most common allergenic foods including cow’s milk, and they also offer a specific milk allergen blood test that assesses reactions to 7 different forms of dairy including cow’s milk, casein, cheese, blue cheese, cheddar, Alpha-lactalbumin and Beta-lactoglobulin

|RELATED| The Difference Between Food Allergies, Sensitivities & Intolerance

Have you experienced any of the symptoms listed above? Have you tried testing for dairy allergies or sensitivities? Please consider sharing your experience by commenting below to help support others navigating a healthy keto lifestyle. You do not need to provide your email address to leave a comment.

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