21 answers

Does Cow's Milk Affect Behavior?

Does anyone have experience with cow's milk affecting behavior? I have two year old twins and and 9 month old. When they were babies they had inexplicable rashes. This occurred after I supplemented with formula at about 6 months. My 9 month old now has a rash which coincides with switching from breastfeeding to formula(they look like heat rashes). I switched from milk to almond milk for my twins and I swear their behavior has dramatically improved. Could this be a coincidence since they are almost three and have finally adjusted to a new brother or an allergy? I don't want to go through the same issues with my younger one. My pediatrician hasn't been too supportive of my concerns. Any thoughts or similar experiences? By the way, my baby is on formula not almond milk.

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Hi - I defintely can tell you first hand that Dairy products affect behavior. My Daughter is 6 years old and as of last summer she was eating dairy...she was also having temper tantrums beyond words, constipation and allergies...runny nose etc. Last summer, after much aggravation and tantrums, my (3) kids no longer eat any dairy products...It was hard at first, but I saw results immediately. My 10 year old son has not had any colds, asthma, or bronchitis for a year and is off his allergy medicine. My 12 year old son who had constipation problems since he was born - no longer has problems. I too went off dairy and lost 30 pounds. Go to www.notdairy.com and look at some of the side effects and diseases associated with eating dairy. It is something else. America will catch on soon enough. My Pediatrian did not agree either because of his concern about calcium intake but I saw results right away and did the research I needed to find out what foods were rich in it and supplements that had calcium. The first they do when a woman has breast cancer is take her off dairy...interesting isn't it. Any good Herbalist will support you. Good luck to you and just know that milk is a 4 letter word! Peace - K. H.

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I salute you, G., for even bringing this up! Your babies chose WELL!

Check out www.realmilk.org. Also The Westin Price Foundation at: www.westonaprice.org. The most complete truth about milk is there.

Avoid any soy, except for Sunrider Foods. Period.

Seitan, tempeh, likely acceptable. Be very diligent about soy products for ALL FAMILY MEMBERS.

Got Almond milk?

Obtain raw almonds from a farmer's market ONLY. (Ask the grower if they "pasteurize" their "raw" almonds. He'll know what I mean...) "Raw" Almonds sold in a commercial store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's must go through this process of chemical "pasteurization". It is a chemical that is known to cause cancer. YOU DO NOT WANT THESE ALMONDS.

Take a handful of the real, raw, farmer's market almonds(which you store in the fridge). Soak overnight in pure water. In the morning, drain off the water. Add one to one and a half cups of pure water to the almonds in a blender. Add two dates (remove the pits or your blender will be unhappy) Two tablespoons of grade B maple syrup will work as well, and blend away. Pour into glasses or use as the nutritious base for your morning smoothies. It is OUTRAGEOUS! See how your body feels! Watch your kids' expressions!

Soaked almonds have released the enzyme inhibitor which is imperative for proper digestion of this protein powerhouse. That original nut, when soaked, becomes a plant, which the body LOVES! It has also become 400-600% more nutritious!

If, in your studies you learn that raw goat's milk is an important foundation to your childrens' nutrition and regenerative process, our community has a wonderful source. The human body absorbs raw goat milk in TWENTY MINUTES versus TWENTY HOURS for cow milk! Our proteins are quite similar.

Rock on, you cool and with it Mum!

With much love,

T.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi - I defintely can tell you first hand that Dairy products affect behavior. My Daughter is 6 years old and as of last summer she was eating dairy...she was also having temper tantrums beyond words, constipation and allergies...runny nose etc. Last summer, after much aggravation and tantrums, my (3) kids no longer eat any dairy products...It was hard at first, but I saw results immediately. My 10 year old son has not had any colds, asthma, or bronchitis for a year and is off his allergy medicine. My 12 year old son who had constipation problems since he was born - no longer has problems. I too went off dairy and lost 30 pounds. Go to www.notdairy.com and look at some of the side effects and diseases associated with eating dairy. It is something else. America will catch on soon enough. My Pediatrian did not agree either because of his concern about calcium intake but I saw results right away and did the research I needed to find out what foods were rich in it and supplements that had calcium. The first they do when a woman has breast cancer is take her off dairy...interesting isn't it. Any good Herbalist will support you. Good luck to you and just know that milk is a 4 letter word! Peace - K. H.

1 mom found this helpful

It certainly does and it is poison! Pls read Dr Samuel Epstein's book ON GENETICALLY ENGINEERED (rBGH) MILK
What's In Your Milk? (2006) Then go to www.1000moms1000dollars.com/4health for "safest personal care products in the world" because there are hormone & behavioral disruptors in personal care products as well.
J.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi G.,

Cow's milk can definitely be related to the symptoms you describe, and for more than one reason. First, once milk is pasteurized, it loses the very enzyme our bodies need to digest it. It thus becomes a "toxin" which, over a long term, can bring on symptoms like rashes, sinus congestion, exacerbating asthma, etc. Second, as some of the other moms have mentioned, commercially farmed cow's milk probably contains hormones and antibiotics, which is the last thing nature intended for a baby and which can have cumulative unknown health consequences later in life.

One of my patients, who grew up on a dairy farm herself, buys fresh goat milk from a source in Valley Center. The secret to good-tasting goat milk, she claims, is to keep the male goats separate from the females! Worth looking into, as goat milk is reputed to be more bioavailable than cow's milk to begin with. I can get the farm's phone number for you if you'd like.

And, not all soy milk is unwholesome. You just need to make sure it's unsweetened and non-GMO; WestSoy and a few other brands have these features, so check it out at your local Jimbo's.

Best wishes,

S. I., L.Ac.
Lotus Wellspring Healthcare
456 E. Mission Road, Suite 100
San Marcos, CA 92069
###-###-####
____@____.com
www.lotuswellspring.com

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I don't know that cow's milk would affect behavoir, but I definately know that the rash-like thing could be an allergy. When my daughter was 9 months when we had to start with formula since I had dried up. She soon started with the runny nose, chest congestion, rashes on the inside of her elbows and knees, and coughing A LOT. My Dr. insisted that she was too young for allergic reactions and said it was nothing. I transitioned her to milk (around 13 months)and it worsened. Finally around 18 months, I said screw this Dr and switched her to Soy milk and within 4 days she was 90% better. It was amazing...now I know better and will not make the same mistake with my son! :) Good luck!

If you're children have a mild lactose intolerance they could have had upset tummies alot, but not really have known how to express it since it was common. Not to be gross, but do they have less gas now? Alot of times lactose intolerance creates more gas. Mild chronic pain certainly makes alot of people cranky.

Otherwise, I would just say that you will notice that behaviours will flip like switches about every 6 months. It's more noticeable with twins I think, b/c it is compounded.

I'm not clear on your reason for switching them to almond milk, but in case you aren't aware, just a note of caution regarding the brand you choose:

You want to make sure they are getting enough calcium and vitamin D. You also want to see what type of sugar (if any) is added. Alot of brands add processed sugar which is REALLY bad for teeth in young children and can negatively impact behaviour and the immune system.

Hi G., Sorry your pediatrician has not been to suppoetive of your concerns, honestly as a mom, I don't personally believe foods affect a childs behavior, my 3 grown kids grew up on milk, form 1 year to this day, no problems. I do know babies and toddles do get heat rashes. There maybe something in almond milk, this is the first time I have ever heard of almond milk, but if it gives your kids the same nuetrician or better then use almond milk. about 1 year ago we switched to organic milk, and that's what I give my daycare kids, it's a little more expensive but it's healthier. J.

I'm so glad you brought this up. When my daughter had a sinus infection, the antibiotics made her sick whenever she would take milk products. After a week of being off the dairy, we noticed a wonderful change in her attitude/behaviors. Since then, everytime we try to reintroduce milk, she gets hyper/moody. We finally gave up and went milk-free.

I doubt if the milk itself was affecting their behavior, but the way that they felt while on the milk probably was affecting their behavior. It may have made them itchy or hurt their tummies. If kids aren't feeling well, it makes them grouchy. I'm glad that they're feeling better. :)

I'm interested to know as well. I was told that I can switch my 11 month old to whole milk. He was primarily breastfed. I personally think that almond milk is great for yourself and kids.I have my reservations about cows milk. With all the drugs they give them, they have to at some point affect us Yes many of us grew up on cows milk, but many of us(myself included)now have autoimmune issues(eczema,RA, psoriasis etc.) once I switched to dairy free diet, the symtoms for these things subsided. I would trust your intuition and also find a new pediatrician that listens and understands the quality of life you want to provide for your children.
Best to you and your family.... S.

Hi;

from my experience I think the allergy theory is probably the most accurate. I have had my allergies cured, and my (now 18 month old) grand daughter has as well. If you like, I know for a fact that my doctor is willing to do a free consultation regarding allergy elimination. His name is Dr. David Karaba. He is with the East West Medical Group on Commonwealth in Fullerton. That way you could learn more about how allergies work and how the allergy elimination techniques work, and see if that is something you are interested in pursuing.

Best wishes,

M.

If I were you, I'd find a new ped - one that is sensitive to allergies and lifestyle as it affects health. Since all of your kids have had rashes, that is in indication that they may be prone to allergies. I have not had experience with milk affecting behavior, but I have had experience with milk affecting overall health and ability to recover from general colds, and sickness. I would not recommend almond milk, due to the predominance of nut allergies, but try rice or soymilk. Also, your baby is too young and still needs some sort of formula until he is 11 or 12 months.

We are a big soymilk family, but I know there are circles of health food folks who have issues with soy as well as milk. I say try some alternatives and see if it works... What have you got to lose?

I would say that it definately can affect behaviour, escpecially if your kids have a sensitivity to it. By the way, I am the mother of 7-ages 27-6. I breastfed my kids as long as I could-9 months -6 months then switched to whole goats milk. Goats milk is closest to breast milk and is given when kids have dietary restrictions. The red rash is probably a yeast rash from the formula-look at the ingredient list-isn't corn syrup high on the list-sugar? Sugar feeds yeast. I open an Acidopholous capsule (a natural bacteria found in the bowel and an ingredient in yogurt-you can buy it at the health food store) dip my finger in it and let the baby suck it off my finger. It can clear up a yeast rash or thrush in a few hours. You are the best gauge of how your children respond to differnt foods as you are with them daily-I would find a new pediatrician. My doctor and I did not hit it off because I used goats milk and did not immunize-however her lastest concern is that she never sees my kids in her office! They are healthy-they don't need to be there! Hope that helps.

G.,

My 22 month old is allergic to both dairy and soy. It certainly can effect behavior. My son is so sensitive that I was dairy and soy free the entire time I was nursing him (18 months) and now he drinks hypoallergenic formula. I use Similac Alimentum and you can get it in the grocery store. My son screams for days if he gets any dairy or soy in his diet and he'll also bust out in eczema (which on him also looks like a heat rash until it gets really bad).

My older child (almost 5) is intolerant (not allergic) to peanuts, milk and eggs. He's also sensitive to the artificial colors and flavors like what you find in fruit snacks. The difference in his behavior when he's eating things he's sensitive to and when he's not is like night and day.

I've found that most doctors don't believe in food intolerances and barely believe in food allergies in kids (especially breastfed babies!) but parents who have been there and done that believe.

T.

Try a soy based formula. Many kids have problems with dairy, and I have friends who've taken all dairy out of their diet with fantastic results. Good luck!

And if your pediatrician isn't supportive of your concerns, get a new pediatrician.

Cow's milk caused diarrhea in all three of my children. After breast feeding, put all three on soy formula and all became allergic to that after about six months. I found that GOAT'S MILK worked wonders for all three. They digested it easily, no diarrhea, no upset stomach. About the time they started Kindergarten I transferred them to cow's milk and they are fine since then except for one of them that only occasionally drinks milk and is still allergic to soy products to this day as an adult. I think goat's milk is greatly underrated in this country. Good luck.

Almost everybody has an allergic reaction to Cow's milk but most peoples reactions are so mild it's not a big deal. My whole family has banned cow's milk and we drink Rice milk it's fortified just like cow's with all the same vitamins still I nurse my babies until their about a year old and like to give them lots of broccoli and dark green lettuce in their sandwiches and burrito's so they get lots of calcium. Rice milk tastes much better than soy by the way and I don't know about Almond because I've never tasted it.

Absolutely, foods can and do affect one's moods and behavior. This is one of the basic tenets of aryuvedic medicine. A friend of mine had been having terrible problems with her son since infancy with constipation and digestion. It worsened as he got older. He was having behavioral problems at daycare-acting out, lack of attention, etc. After a few years of making the rounds with various specialists she got in touch with an aryuvedic chef. She found out among other things, that the bran she was giving him to alleviate the
constipation was having the opposite affect on his system. Following the advise from the chef, Courtney's son responded very quickly and Jack is a very happy, well behaved child.

Food dyes and sugar have been implicated in ADD by alternative
health care providers. Physicians are not schooled in nutrition. Unfortunately for all of us, the major funders of
medical schools in the US are the pharmaceutical companies who have their own agenda. Unless you are lucky enough to stumble onto a doctor who has taken the initiative to study and take a more holistic approach, you are likely to run into the same sort of response that you just got from your pediatrician. He/she just doesn't know better. Follow your instincts. Sometimes Mom knows best!

What you're seeing could indeed be an allergic reaction. My youngest tested as allergic to cow's milk, so we switched to goat's milk. His behavior improved dramatically as well.

Not all pediatricians are open to non-traditional ideas. If you feel switching your 9-month old to almond milk would help, give it a try (and perhaps supplement with baby vitamins to cover any concerns about missing nutrients). Not that you should have to "prove" anything to your pediatrician, but if you can support your hypothesis with data and some legitmate research, perhaps you would be able to bring your pediatrician around.

Did you enjoy science labs in school? You're about to do a great experiment! <wink>

Good luck!

Some babies are allergic.. .and this can possibly affect them. When my sister was a baby, way back then... she was a very fussy baby and inconsolable... later my Mom learned, that what she had was colic... AND she was allergic to diary. But in my Mom's days... there was not much baby care support. To this day, my sister is still diary sensitive.

As for rashes, it could be heat rash, or food related, or allergic reaction to something else which is "coincidental" with the timing of your formula introduction.

Almond (milk)...is a tree nut. I'm not a doctor, but usually peanuts and tree nuts are not recommended until after a baby is 2 years old. But, it produced a positive reaction in your children.

There are many different kinds of "formula" and even for sensitive babies. I REALLY cannot believe your Pediatrician is not doing anything about your concerns. How inappropriate.... I would really seek a 2nd opinion....

Also, I'm not sure of the nutritional value in Almond milk...but for the first year of life, the PRIMARY source of nutrition for a baby is breastmilk/formula. I'm thinking that just Almond Milk does NOT contain all the sufficient fats/vitamins/iron/DHA vitamins which is CRUCIAL for a babies physical & brain development. You should check on this...

Also, "cow's milk" is not recommended for a baby before 1 year old... this is due to possible allergic reactions and the digestive system of a baby is still not fully formed yet and still developing.

I would seek advice on other types of formula...if this is what you need to feed your babies, versus breastmilk.

All the best,
Susan

I would love to talk to the mom of the child with soy AND milk allergies. My child is also allergic to both milk and soy. I do think that if he eats or drinks something he is allergic to it affects his behavior. It is almost impossible to feed him without running across something he is allergic to. We buy goat's milk and almond milk, but this kid loves things he can't have like ice cream and pizza. Many foods have milk, soy, or both in them! Also, there is a book called "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" written by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. She is an MD and one of her kids overcame a problem thru nutrition. I bought the book and have started reading it. I think it will be very informative.
.

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