I'm lactose intolerant. According to the wonderful doctor [Curtis Andersen] who diagnosed me, most adult Americans are and don't even realize it since their symptoms aren't too terrible, unlike mine. Throughout college until my junior year (the year I came to the awful conclusions I could no longer drink milk), I drank whole milk. Boy, was it delicious! My dear husband (boyfriend at the time) also reintroduced me to cheese, a life long enemy, and I began to love it. All too quickly I developed severe stomach pains - the kinds that hurt so bad you can't stretch out your abdomen - and an array of other symptoms I won't go into to save you from throwing up your dinner.
Now I can only drink 2% milk after taking about 3 lactate enzyme pills, which taste terrible. I also have problems with cheese, ice cream, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk (what we make caramel out of), etc. I LOVE dairy, therefore, I take a lot of what I like to call "milk pills". I've tried to replace normal cow's milk with soy milk. Sometimes (a lot of times) I still drink normal milk, but I've learned to love soy milk. My favorite kind, which we just bought at Target tonight, is Silk Very Vanilla. I recommend it to anyone wanting to try soy milk for the very first time. I promise you won't like any other brand as much as you'll love this one.
But be prepared for the high cost. This half gallon cartoon cost us almost $4. Then add in "milk pills" which cost about $10 for 60 pills, and a life without lactose adds up quickly.