More than twenty years ago I discovered something: When I stopped having dairy, I stopped having period pain.
Since then, I’ve worked with thousands of patients who have had the same result. For many women (not all), stopping dairy can dramatically improve period pain, heavy periods, endometriosis, acne, and PMS.
The inflammatory effect of A1 casein
How does dairy cause heavy pain and bleeding? It’s all to do with A1 casein, which is one of the proteins in normal cow’s milk. For some people (not all), A1 casein converts in the gut to the inflammatory peptide casomorphin or BCM7, which, in turn, can stimulate inflammatory cytokines, histamine, and mast cells — all leading to menstrual pain and heavy bleeding. Dairy, mast cells, and histamine can also play a role in PMS and PMDD.
👉 Tip: Feel better on a vegan diet? It could be because you’re avoiding dairy and you might find you can continue to feel well even if you reintroduce non-dairy animal products.
People who don’t form BCM7 from A1 casein can tolerate normal dairy and most people can tolerate A2 dairy, which is dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein. A2 dairy includes all products made from the milk from Jersey cows, goats, and sheep.
👉 Tip: One sign of dairy sensitivity is a childhood history of recurrent tonsillitis or chest infections. You probably outgrew that immune problem but it’s now showing up as chronic inflammation affecting periods.
Is dairy necessary for calcium?
The short answer is no. There’s plenty of calcium in green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and A2 dairy. Research shows that milk drinkers do not have better bones than non-milk drinkers, and according to Harvard researcher Walter Willett, “humans have no nutritional requirement for animal milk.”
The bottom line about dairy and periods