Q. Why do I have a mild scratchiness in my mouth and lactose intolerance since I have started a vegan diet?

Answered by
Dr. Shyam Kalyan. N
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 09, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have been on a vegan diet for the last five years. I tried a dairy product on a vacation and noticed a mild scratchiness on my tongue and mouth at some instances. I was able to eat different kinds of dairy products but I had gastrointestinal disturbances. I again started a vegan diet but I just recently tried a milk chocolate candy and noticed the same mild scratchiness. I have never had any issues with dairy products previously so I am wondering have I developed lactose intolerance or could this be an allergy?



Welcome to

As I understand you are having this issue everytime you consume dairy products.

Other than the mentioned symptoms, are there any other symptoms like bloating, gas, loose stools, or pain while passing stools?

Kindly revert for further queries.


Hello doctor,

Thank you for your reply.

I have had dairy products for my entire life with no issues and then I started with a vegan diet five years ago. This started after I was vegan for three years. It does not happen every time I consume milk, but It seems to be dependent on what I am consuming. I noticed it three separate times, once with cheddar popcorn, twice with multi-coloured button-shaped chocolates and once with deep-fried potatoes that have a milk product in them. I have consumed other milk products and have not had the scratchiness with mozzarella, baked goods with milk and cheddar. When I ingested large amounts of it two years ago, I did have some gastrointestinal disturbances which were bloating and diarrhea. I should also mention that I am on inhalation tablet Advair (Fluticasone and Salmeterol) for asthma which has lactose in it.



Welcome back to

Most likely this is because your body is no longer producing the enzymes to digest these products. It need not necessarily mean an allergy to milk or lactose intolerance. With a few years gap, some changes must have occurred by which those particular enzymes are not getting produced by your digestive system. I would suggest you keep avoiding these products. When you want to start, start in a very slow fashion. To start with, I suggest you start having it leaving a few days gap every time and then gradually bring it up to the normal consumption levels.

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