Detoxing From Dairy Products

by Denise
(Aurora, CO)


Should I expect to be detoxing from dairy products?

I have been vegetarian for a year and a half, but went completely vegan 4 months ago. I have tried to find information regarding the effects of detoxing from (lots of) dairy products, but have not been able to have my question directly answered. I have suffered from breakouts on my forehead and jawline since becoming vegan. I am curious as to how long this "detoxing" might last, if you think that is the issue.

I have also considered a sensitivity to soy products as a possible cause. If you have any advice on clearing it up, that would be wonderful as well. Thank you for a great website and newsletter!

Denise King


The same exact thing happened to me, and I have heard of many other people going through the same thing. Dairy products today are filled with unnatural growth hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals, and our bodies are simply not designed to deal with the milk of another animal. Milk is created to give babies (of the same species) a way to quickly gain weight, and then the babies are weaned off of it onto food that is natural to them.

You can read all about the dairy and cheese industry in its gory detail in my ebook Cut the Cheese, which is dedicated to helping people quit cheese and move on with their lives.

So, when you stop eating dairy products, your body will likely react in some way. Some people immediately begin to feel lighter, and misinterpret that as feeling weak. Others get headaches, feel nauseated, get rashes, and/or break out. Don't worry-- it's completely normal. It's hard to say exactly how long it will last, but it should probably only be about 6 months total.

Having said that, there is a way to quickly balance your hormones with food. I found that as soon as I started eating 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed every day, my acne went away. I now use chia seeds and make a chia gel that gives me the same results. The reason these seeds work so well is that they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and work as anti-inflammatory agents (keeping inflammation in the form of acne at bay) and they also help to balance your hormones. I highly recommend adding those to your diet right away, and I bet you'll see results quickly.

Some people also find that eating sugar, wheat, and soy can affect the quality of their skin. My guess is that this is because of how they tax our bodies and disrupt our hormones. If you focus on vegetables, fruits, true whole grains, legumes, and nuts/seeds and drink plenty of water, your skin should work its problems out fairly quickly.

I hope that helps!


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by: Riannon

I have been vegan for 3 months and vegetarian for 4 before that. Unlike a lot of vegetarians I ate cheese less often when I become one after reading about the dairy industry. After a few months I decided to go vegan.

I did have side effects a few days after quitting dairy, so I did a web search. This lead to your website and the questions and answers section entitled 'detoxing from dairy products' I've experienced pretty much all those symptoms. I noticed a few comments about people getting breakouts on their legs, back, body etc. Is that also a part of it? It's hard to know as I do have a skin condition called folliculitis. I have had that for a couple of years but since I took antibiotics (doxycycline) for it about this time last year and stayed on it for 2 months... my skin has been worse since.

It has occurred to me that I was consuming antibiotics, hormones and all the nasty things when I was consuming meat and dairy products so surely that would have an effect right? Although I have a fairly healthy diet, I have been eating too many sugary/fatty foods (vegan junk food) so I am eating more wholefoods and working on having a healthier vegan diet from now on. In regards to the ground flaxseed, how would you consume the flax? Just straight from a spoon or mixed with food? If so what goes well with it? Would you still give a time frame of 6 months and is that because it takes 6 months for milk to leave someones system or is that just an adjustment period?

been off dairy a week
by: Oregon

Last week I was diagnosed as prediabetic!! Then I did some online searching and learned that the saturated fat in dairy (which I ate a ton of) and eggs was probably the cause.

It's been 7 days since I went vegan after being a vegetarian for 25 years. First thing I noticed was a panic at not getting to eat my favorite eggs/cheese dishes. Major stress. I knew it was the right thing to do for my health but change is hard. So I decided to treat myself to nut butters the first few days as I figured my eating dairy "routine" would be the hardest challenge to change. It helped. No headaches thank goodness. I have made lists of snacks that I like to help me thru the moments when I miss.

I also am feeling calmer. Not as hungry. Sleeping much better too. The lack of cravings for cheese is strange to me. I had such strong cravings for cheese during the day when I ate dairy - those appear to be over. Very wonderful. Hope it stays like that. Congrats to all of us who are trying this healthier way of eating and living!

Me and my stomach
by: Anonymous

Thank you for all the writing I am going through a lot of stomach problem due to food and stress A friend said I should try an detox from dairy because that seems to be my biggest problem Your writing have given some where to start Again Thanks

Headaches ? Dairy detox
by: Miranda

I had decided to go totally vegan and had just given up dairy three days ago but have developed a terrible headache. I had already detoxed from sugar and carbs recently and was feeling the same as I had then, but didn't know that it was possible to have the same reaction from cheese and dairy!
I thought I'd google just out of interest and was amazed to find out that withdrawal symptoms happen. That totally surprised me but explains everything about why I'm feeling so bad although it's definitely worth it.
I'm loving the vegan diet though and feel thoroughly energised! (Apart from the headache that's developed.....) I have to say that I am embracing the vegan diet especially now I've found a couple of cookery books by Ella Woodward (deliciously Ella) and (Ella everyday). She explains a lot about the foods and how to convert to plant based diet and has fabulous recipes.

the hangover
by: Trishma

I just wanted to try vegan diet to see if I can change my body for the better. I am on day 3 and I feel like I am suffering from a hangover. My nose is running,I have a cough, my head feels like it is going to explode and I am evil!

How do I ease the pain? I do not want to give up because I literally believe every bite is a closer one to a new and healthy me.

Please help!

Day two
by: Jadefer

I just quit dairy and got a headache the first day and it's continuing into the second day. The thought crossed my mind that it would be the same as quitting caffeine, which I did over a month ago with major fatigue. I'm feel fine with no caffeine now, but the dairy... this is going to be worse. I've always been lactose intolerant, but I'm addicted to cheese. Most dairy I won't eat, but cheese that's another story. I haven't been able to lose weight at all and am drained of energy. I'm sticking to the no dairy in order to get my life back.

What to expect in the first few weeks of going vegan.
by: Alyse

What should I expect {as far as changes with my body or symptoms} in the first few weeks of becoming vegan?

I’ve recently made the choice to go vegan and I’m just wondering what I should expect from my body as I switch diets. I’m jumping right off the deep end from a very unhealthy meat and dairy full diet so I’m sure I’ll be detoxing a lot and would just like to know what is normal in the first few weeks.

Sooooo sick!
by: Natalie

Thank you for your helpful article. I was vegetarian and went vegan just after Xmas. About 6 days later, got really bad flu like symptoms. Body aches and pains, headaches, lethargy. Worst of all is the skin breakouts over my legs, back etc. And a hideous barking cough. I can't be sure if it was from the cessation of all dairy or if I picked up a bug. I was eating a shitload of butter. That's what inspired me to search for the possibility that maybe it's not a bug but rather detox. To cut something out like that surely it's going to produce some effect as it leaves the body. Either way, I'm never going back to my old lifestyle!

Thanks for the advice
by: Steve

I just wanted to thank you for your comments here. I am not vegan but am have given up dairy products owing to an allergy. I am having an 'interesting' time!! I am breaking out in itchy rashes which go far beyond anything my allergy ever caused. I am pleased to hear that this is only likely to go on for six months or so and also reassured to know that this appears to be a common reaction.
Thanks again for this site.

Dairy Detox
by: Anonymous

My 7 year old son has had tummy issues all his life. Sometime ago I brought him to the doctor and we decided to give him yogurt everyday. This seemed to help, but eventually the tummy issues returned. A different doc last week suggested taking him off dairy for two weeks. Now he's having sudden bouts of diarrhea.
So my question is, can stopping dairy lead to more intense problems during detox? And could a small amount of dairy (like a pat of butter) set off a reaction?
Thanks for any thoughts on the subject.

to Georgia
by: Anonymous

I hadn't read your comment for Dairy detox. I have THE SAME BUMP under my eyebrow and that started my search for "how long does this part last". WEIRD!

Thanks for the hope. I just feel that this is the right path and I love how I feel.

detoxing from dairy
by: Anonymous

Finally, I have been searching the internet all morning because I went vegan a month ago and oil free (McDougall) a week ago and I'm am totally breaking out all over my face and having dry, flaky skin all over my body.

You give a possible time period (6months). Even though the dairy I ate was mostly raw and I only eat organic everything else, I believe I am purging. I am hoping I am purging.

No one else has give the time period and you did. Thanks! I think I can hang. I just needed a little hope.

Quit dairy and arm bumps disappeared
by: Anonymous

I used to have these tiny little bumps on the outside of my arms when I are dairy and meat. I have been vegan for a little over 2 years and the first thing I noticed was the bumps went away entirely. I have never had any side effects that are negative from giving up dairy and meat. When I begin to waiver, all I have to do is re read the China Study by T. Colin Camptell and I am right back on track. It's a must read for all. Teens would do well to read it too.

RE: Detoxing from Dairy
by: Georgia

I think this is probably pretty normal. I was very sensitive to dairy to begin with. It caused a lot of sinus and abdominal issues with me, and when I was vegetarian, I was eating way too much of it. So when I went vegan, I got a huge (and when I say huge, I mean HUGE) boil on my upper eyelid right under my eyebrow. Yeah. ICK. It was horribly gross and embarassing, and it took several months to go away, but it did go away. And I've experienced so many benefits from giving up dairy that I now feel the few months of embarassment were worth it. Probably the best thing you can do is drink lots of water, and eat your fresh fruits and veggies, and try to ride it out. Wish I had a more miraculous cure for you!

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Disclaimer: Everything in this website is based upon information collected by Cathleen Woods, from a variety of sources. It is my opinion and is not intended as medical advice.
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