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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Plus for U.S. Health Care

Although you can easily find any desired number of articles and anecdotes from people whose lactose intolerance, dairy allergy, or other food-related ailment was not diagnosed properly for a time even here in the U.S., we need to remember that our system is still far ahead of much of the surrounding world's.

An article by Andre Bagoo in Trinidad & Tobago's Newsday shows that even the rich and powerful in other countries can hardly hope to equal the medical service that most of us can find in a neighborhood doctor's office.

Mariana Patricia Browne, 19, is the daughter of businessman Mariano Browne, who is now Minister in the Ministry of Finance. She's a scholarship student and a pre-med hopeful. And yet her experiences with the local hospital system is one of the reasons she wants to study medicine.

Another dramatic story involves her suffering from a phantom illness when she was only seven years old. At the time she would become very ill after eating, experiencing severe stomach pain. After seeing countless doctors in Trinidad – several at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex – the family was no where near solving the cause of her pain. They flew her to Washington where American doctors at a paediatric hospital diagnosed her condition: she was lactose intolerant.

Asked if, in retrospect, she is alarmed at the fact that she had to fly to America for foreign doctors to realise she was lactose intolerant, Mariana notes that the quality of the local health care system leaves a lot to be desired.

She's candid in saying that the scholarship she won, a national award called an additional scholarship, will be needed if she hopes to study at Howard University in Washington, D.C. But she also says that all the national scholarships awarded should be given on the basis of both financial need and academic accomplishment.

An accomplished young women, especially for her age. I hope she gets her dreams. I think we all benefit if those come true.

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