I haven’t had dairy in almost five years, and I couldn’t feel better. Before I became a vegan I was a vegetarian going on four years of a meat-free, but dairy filled life. Around the end of year four I started feeling sick (mainly being woken up in the middle of the night by nausea) and had no idea why. The doctor couldn’t really pinpoint what was wrong, which means we tried several different things. Being a doctor, her first instinct was to try a variety of different pills (after we confirmed I was not pregnant). I wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but I couldn’t sleep so I was up for anything. I stuck with it for about a month, but it wasn’t helping, that’s when she decided to go over my diet (which these days would hopefully be the first option). She thought maybe I needed protein or iron, of course, and did an anemia test. When it came out negative and I refused to eat meat, she decided to try giving up dairy. It was almost overnight (over a restful night) that I got better. I’m not exactly lactose-intolerant. If I ate dairy earlier instead of later I’d be fine. It’s very strange and I’m not sure its actually a medical condition of any kind. But it is what helped push me to becoming a vegan because it made it easier.
Five years ago giving up dairy was a lot harder than it is today. There are so many different diary-free milks, CHOCOLATE, AND CHEESES! Some are fortified and some aren’t. If loosing the calcium is whats keeping you from transitioning I’d recommend checking out this article from One Green Planet. They offer a great list of calcium rich non dairy products for you to check out.