What NOT to say to Lactose Intolerant People | One To Nothin'

What NOT to say to Lactose Intolerant People

Over the past few years of cutting dairy out of my diet instead of simply pretending like my severe lactose intolerance doesn't exist (like I did in college), I've encountered some pretty interesting (and sometimes idiotic) reactions. I thought I'd compile some common responses to "I don't eat dairy," and answer any pressing questions you might have so you can avoid saying the wrong thing to someone equally sensitive about their diet-al disadvantages.

"Whatever, I'm lactose intolerant too. It's not that bad."

Clearly you're not actually lactose intolerant, so go take your #blessed stomach elsewhere.

"I would kill myself if I couldn't eat cheese." 

First of all, I have gotten this response a surprising number of times and while I am familiar with the concept of hyperbole, I still don't appreciate being told that my life is not worth living due to a missing stomach enzyme. My life is awesome. Shut up.
"My friend is lactose intolerant and she just eats all the dairy anyway." 

I'm stoked for your friend, really I am. But unfortunately the severity of your friend's lactose intolerance in no way affects my digestive system at all whatsoever. Pass the soy milk.

"Don't you have pills for that?" 

Lactaid pills have about a 30% chance of stopping the tornado of pain that will hit me in 10 minutes if I eat that cheese. Also they're expensive, I have to take them with the first bite of dairy and I'd have to search through my purse for about 30 minutes just to find one, so no. No, I don't have pills for that. Do you have pills for that thing your face does? Didn't think so.

*Let me set the scene: It's 2:30am. The bars just closed. You're with a group of about four people who are sufficiently intoxicated. No one is tired. Everyone is hungry.*

"Let's order pizza!"


"You can't eat that; it has mayo in it!"

Eggs are not cow milk. They're in a similar section at the grocery store.. they're still from a different animal. I can also eat cow meat. And goat, sheep and human milk, for that matter, but I repeat: eggs do not equal dairy.

"Can you eat marshmallows?"

Yes, I can. Fun fact: they used to be made from the root sap of the marsh mallow plant, which coincidentally can be used as a laxative, but these day they're just made out of sugar. White also does not equal dairy.

"What happens if you eat dairy?"

You probably already know; just don't ask.

"Why do you have Pepto Bismol in your purse?"

See previous question.

"You can't even have BUTTER?"

No. It's made out of cow milk. How is butter different from any other dairy product? Read: it's not.

"Have you always been lactose intolerant?"

Probably, but I used to eat dairy and that's how I found out. Yes, I know how awesome it is. You're not helping.

"This ice cream is better than sex."
LOL. Sucks for you.

Did I miss any? 


  1. Hahaha I love that last bit. Truly, that does suck for that person haha.

  2. I'm thrilled that I read this today. I'm sorry for anything insensitive I may or may not have said to you in our visits together, but now I must ask. Which is worse: The side effects from accidental dairy consumption or the experience of your epic hangovers (specifically from not-fireball-but-tried-to-be-fireball shots)?

  3. HA! This had my LOLing at my work desk. And I'll drink a White Russian in your honor. ;)

  4. I hate when people ask what happens when I eat dairy without my pills. What an awkward question to answer! I do take the Lactaid pills though & they work miracles for me. But they are really expensive, so I'm starting to stop eating dairy as much as possible.


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