Yeast Allergy

Allergies to food products can produce alarming symptoms. Many people develop new allergies to yeast every year. Read on to learn about this common problem

Symptoms of Yeast Allergy

Allergic symptoms can develop within minutes after consuming yeast-containing products. Other people may not notice any symptoms until an hour or more after ingestion. This variability is impossible to predict. Subsequent allergic reactions may be the same but could rapidly worsen with future exposure to yeast. Fortunately mild symptoms generally resolve within a day. Some people cannot eat any food items that contain yeast such as pretzels, beer, bread and bagels.

1. Digestive Problems

Common signs of a yeast allergy include diarrhea, bloating and cramps. Others may experience constipation, although less common. The pain and cramping can be intense. Bloating, nausea and at times, vomiting, can all occur due to a yeast allergy.

2. Skin Rashes

The skin may be the first place an allergic reaction manifests itself. Small red raised bumps or larger hives can develop and then spread after an allergic person consumes yeast. Any swelling of the lips or tongue signifies a more serious allergic reaction and demands immediate medical attention.

3. Other Symptoms

Common symptoms include a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes. Sneezing and coughing, fatigue, sore throat and a feeling of achiness can all occur due to a yeast allergy. Heartburn, headaches and dizziness have also been reported.

Foods That Induce Yeast Allergy

Yeast is a common ingredient in more foods than most people realize. The fermentation process from yeast is utilized in baking and brewing extensively. Some people tolerated brewer's yeast and drink beer but cannot tolerate breads. The point is that brewer's yeast and baker's yeast are different strains and a person may be allergic to one and not the other. Below are some foods that can cause yeast allergy.

1. Baker's Yeast Foods

Both baker's and brewer's yeast are of the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but they are different strains. Common foods produced with baker's yeast include breads (multigrain, sourdough), pizza, biscuits, most cakes, rolls, muffins and pasta.

2. Brewer's Yeast Foods

Brewer's yeast remains alive during the fermentation process and that is why many more people are allergic to brewer's yeast. Brewer's yeast is also Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is used to make beer, wine, malt vinegar, barely malt and many other types of alcohol.

3. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are actually the fruit of fungus. Hypersensitive patients can experience allergic symptoms and anyone allergic to fungus should avoid mushrooms in their diet.

4. Dairy Products

Lactose is the main sugar found in dairy products and both yeast and fungus use this as food for growth and to multiply in number. Many dairy products contain strains of yeast. If you are highly allergic to yeast it is imperative to discuss dairy consumption with your doctor.

5. Dried Fruits

Depending on the preparation and storage methods, many dried fruits have traces of fungus and yeast on their surfaces. The concentrated sugars in dried fruits provide the perfect medium for yeast growth.

6. Canned Fruit Juices

Canned fruits and fruits juices are often contaminated with yeast. The sugar content in these products is very high and provides fuel for yeast to grow.

7. Other Foods

Many other foods contain baker's, brewer's or wild strains of yeast. Examples include blueberries, blackberries, cider, ginger ale, grapes, jams and jellies, MSG, mushrooms, aged meats, black tea, root beer, strawberries and tempeh.

Treatments for Yeast Allergy

1. Change Your Diet

Diligently work to remove foods that can trigger yeast allergy from your diet.

2. Use OTC Drugs

Antihistamines such as benadryl block the allergic symptoms caused by a yeast allergy. Loratadine is another OTC antihistamine with less sedation and can be used to prevent or treat allergic symptoms caused by yeast.

3. Eat Yeast Free Foods

  • Fresh Vegetables. Fresh vegetables are a perfect food choice for those on a yeast free diet. Be sure to wash them before eating. Safe vegetables include broccoli, celery, radishes, turnips, raw garlic and onions.
  • Proteins. Beef, fish, turkey and eggs provide an excellent source of protein and are an important part of a yeast-free diet. Organic and fresh meats are always the best option.
  • Complex Carbohydrates. Use moderation when eating from this group and choose brown rice, buckwheat, barley, whole grain oatmeal and couscous. Beans and lentils are another excellent option. Plan for 15 grams of complex carbohydrates per meal or less.

4. Consult a Doctor

Seek medical advice if you have no idea how to properly plan a meal and which foods to choose. For those with food allergies, consultation with your doctor and a dietician will provide a roadmap for dietary success.

5. Take Preventive Measures

Avoidance is the best overall strategy for those suffering from yeast allergies. Steer clear of any food containing yeast to prevent an allergic reaction. Take an antihistamine as soon as any symptoms develop.

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