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Can Eating Dairy Cause Headaches and Fatigue?

by
author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Can Eating Dairy Cause Headaches and Fatigue?
Dairy products on tabletop. Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

Consuming dairy products doesn't cause headaches and fatigue in healthy adults. If you eat dairy products and get a headache and fatigue, you may be allergic to milk or may be lactose intolerant. AskDrSears.com says headaches and fatigue are subtle symptoms of lactose intolerance. Most of the headaches related to a milk allergy or intolerance are the result of sinus inflammation, which causes sinus headaches. Stop drinking milk and make an appointment with your doctor.

Milk Allergy

Milk is a common food allergen, primarily discovered during infancy. But it can develop later in life. A milk allergy is an immune system reaction that causes various symptoms to form within the first hour of consuming the dairy product. Headaches and fatigue related to a milk allergy are the result of sinus inflammation. Histamine is one of the chemicals produced during an allergic reaction. Histamine in the sinus cavity causes swelling, irritation and inflammation. This results in pressure throughout the head, which leads to headaches. Pressure behind the eyes can make you fell tired.

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Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is more common than a milk allergy. It commonly develops during adolescence because your intestines stop producing as much lactase needed to digest the lactose, according to AskDrSears.com. Lactose is a sugar found in milk that needs the enzyme lactase to properly break it down so that the body can absorb it. Common symptoms of lactose intolerance are bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramping. Headaches and fatigue are minor symptoms that can result from lactose intolerance.

Prevention

The most effective way to prevent headaches and fatigue from a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance is to eliminate milk from your diet. People who are clinically diagnosed with a milk allergy shouldn't consume any dairy products or products that contain milk proteins. If you’re lactose intolerant, you can still enjoy dairy products without headaches and fatigue by either buying lactose-free dairy products or taking a lactase enzyme supplement before you ingest milk products.

Treatment

Because the headache and fatigue are related to sinus congestion and pressure, you can treat the symptoms by taking an antihistamine, a decongestant and pain reliever, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Antihistamines prevent further production of histamine in your sinuses, a decongestant reduces the swelling in the nasal passages, and the pain reliever alleviates any sinus pressure pain related to the condition.

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