Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

An Unanswered Question May Be Answered

Tucked away in a far back corner of my website, Steve Carper's Lactose Intolerance Clearinghouse is a page that I forgot I had. Well, we don't like to forget our failures, do we? It was called Questions Even I Couldn't Answer.

I'm not alone. Columnists from Dear Abby to Dan Savage pile up questions that are so off the wall that no good answer is possible. A fun column can always be had on a slow day by simply reprinting them.

Like I said, I had almost forgotten about the page until I came across a newspaper article that triggered an inch in my head. Wasn't I asked a question something like this once? Turns out I had. Here was the original question.

Q. I have noticed over the years that the severity of my LI waxes and wanes with the amount of physical activity I do. I recently started working out 4-5 days a week and noticed about a week or so afterward that the LI was "gone". I also noticed this several years ago when I was cycling about 20-25 miles a day for 4-5 days a week. Have there been any studies linking physical activity to a significant reduction in LI?

My original answer had to be, no. Nobody's ever done a study to see if anything outside normal digestion is implicated in LI.

Allergies may be a different story. An unsigned article in the Tamil Star, What is exercise-induced food allergy? starts with this tantalizing paragraph.
Exercise can induce an allergic reaction to food. The usual scenario is that of a person eating a specific food, and then exercising. As he exercises and his body temperature increases, he begins to itch, gets lightheaded, and soon develops the characteristic allergic reactions of hives, asthma, abdominal symptoms, and even anaphylaxis. The cure, actually a preventive measure, for exercise-induced food allergy is simple-not eating for at least two hours before exercising.

No cites, no studies, no doctors quoted.

Tantalizing, though. And unproven.

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