Is Milk The Cause?

Could milk and speech delay be related? find out for yourself

Milk is a comfort food for me. If nothing else then have a big hot mug of milk + bournvita + coffee and sugar…..ahhh pure bliss! I could easily drink three mugs a day, until one day I passed out minutes after having the milk. This was about 3 years ago.

The symptoms started a few weeks ago but I ignored them. Symptoms like bloating, upset stomach, loose motion, nausea, vomiting, rumbling in the stomach, and restlessness – within minutes after drinking milk.

Well I checked with my most trusted ally, Google! I was shocked to learn that I was lactose intolerant. It is our inability to digest lactose, a sugar compound found in milk and dairy products, which has side effects. Amazingly, I was drinking milk for almost 3 decades. (Although there are many reasons for this. A little Google searching helped me understand how to do it for discussion later).

I didn’t take it that seriously until I came across an article on the site of the Institute for Human Resource Achievement (IAHP). This refers to the relationship between milk consumption and speech development in children.

Incidentally, I have been reading many questions on social media in recent times about delayed speech/language development among children. Apart from external environmental factors like lack of appropriate modeling of language, change in family styles from joint to nuclear, lack of quality time with parents/caregivers, some internal factors are also responsible for delayed speech. Some of these causes are avoidable – one of them, apparently, is dietary intake of dairy.

Surprised? Well, I was too, but guess…

Since human infants are deprived of breast milk, they are given cow or buffalo milk at least twice a day as an additional source of calcium.

So when I read this article from the IAHP it got me thinking – children’s health often improves when dairy is eliminated, so how exactly does dairy produce such a problem for the human body? Why are there?

As the IAHP puts it, dairy products are derived from the milk of cows. Cow’s milk is a highly specialized baby formula designed for infant cows, but not designed for baby humans (or adult humans either). It contains special hormones for baby cows. These hormones are not good or favorable for humans. This is why organic milk is still not as good for your baby as human breast milk.

Additionally, cow’s milk that is not organic contains antibiotics and growth hormones to increase milk production. These antibiotics and excess growth hormones are also harmful to humans, especially young humans whose immune systems may be fragile, the IAHP article states.

I read more about it. “Cow’s milk contains casein, which reacts with opiate receptors in the temporal lobe of the brain. The temporal lobes are involved with speech and auditory integration. When casein reacts with opiate receptors in the temporal lobe, it can mimic the effects of opiates. Drugs and this can negatively affect speech and auditory integration. ,

In India, milk is sacred especially for small children and we have been trained to think that milk brings growth in them. So, as mothers, we think something terrible will happen if our babies don’t drink milk. Well, when I stopped taking those 3 mugs of milk, I stopped having constant cough and ear pain. The feeling of lethargy wore off and I became more active.

As the IAHP article says – “Doctor visits, or worse, hospital trips, will be reduced. Appetite, sleep and behavior – these can all be much better. For some children, comprehension and language will also improve.”

Great but does this mean I can’t drink milk anymore? Not necessary. I still drink half a cup of milk occasionally (maybe once or twice a month).

But I certainly don’t force my daughter to give me more milk. I give him lots of fresh vegetable juices in the morning. Carrot – tomato, spinach – mint – bottle gourd or beetroot – tomato – carrot are some of the ones we have explored. Most of us like or dislike foods by memory. So it takes a while to forget what you once liked and develop a taste for them. So from a teaspoon, my daughter has progressed to half a glass. I’m happy so far and so is she!

If your baby is falling ill often or you notice some unusual symptoms that you can’t get to the root of, then give up breastfeeding for a limited period of time. Symptoms may disappear!

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