People have always been told that milk was healthy. The catchphrase ‘milk is good’ has been blasted on TV, posted in ads, and printed in health and wellness in magazines. Anything that the doctor recommends should be healthy, right? Not quite. While doctors promote the regular consumption of milk, it may actually be harmful for you. Whether it’s raw or pasteurized, milk can be a danger to your health.
Here are 9 diseases caused by drinking milk that you probably didn’t know about.
1. Stomach flu
It isn’t really a kind of flu. It’s much worse than that. Otherwise, doctors wouldn’t call it by its medical term – gastroenteritis. Sounds scary, huh? Gastroenteritis or stomach flu is one of the 9 diseases caused by drinking milk, often due to the Campylobacter bacteria.
Why drinking milk is bad for you: Most strains of Campylobacter infect humans and animals, including cattle. The bacteria affects the gastrointestinal tract where it breeds and multiplies, and is able to infect others through contaminated feces. According to the U.S. Food Safety Department, most cases of food poisoning in the country are caused by Campylobacter, with raw unpasteurized milk as one of its main causes. However, it could also be caused by E. coli, Salmonella, and viruses like rotavirus and norovirus.
Gastroenteritis takes place within 2 to 5 days after drinking ‘bad’ milk and may last more than a week. Symptoms include stomach cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea or bloody stools. Children are the most vulnerable to stomach flu since dehydration can be fatal to them.
How to prevent disease caused by milk: Milk can be contaminated with bacteria and viruses during processing, but pasteurization is usually enough to kill them off and prevent infection. You can avoid gastroenteritis by switching to pasteurized milk. Doctors also recommend practicing sanitary food storage and preparation at home.