Yeast is a very common ingredient in foods and drinks we regularly consume. Brewers and bakers deal with yeast the majority of the time. Having a yeast intolerance means keeping away from some baked goods and beers. However, yeast intolerance isn’t too common. Yeast intolerance mostly stays in the gastrointestinal tract causing digestive issues. But if you suffer from general body pain, hives, or anaphylactic shock after consuming a food or drink that contains yeast, then you might be suffering from a yeast allergy.
1-2% of adults worldwide experience yeast intolerance or allergy, according to studies. The number climbs above 20% if you consider the children.  If you’re among those 140 million people, things won’t be easy for you, but thankfully, little management can go a long way.
Yeast intolerance symptoms are similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Due to this, many medical practitioners often confuse the two, and misdiagnoses can prove very unhealthy as the quality of life keeps on depreciating. You can read “How to avoid Yeast’ to know more about IBS symptoms.
What Is Yeast Intolerance?
Yeast is a fungus that is actively used around the globe and is responsible for foods we love, including baked ones, yoghurt, and wine! Even though we use yeast in food, yeast is also naturally found in the human body.
Yeast naturally found in the body is known as candida. Usually, other microorganisms keep candida in check to prevent it from overgrowing or being imbalanced. However, using antibiotics or other lifestyle changes can result in an imbalance causing candida to grow either in the throat, vagina, skin, or gut. In some rare cases, it can affect internal organs. When candida overgrowth occurs, it leads to yeast infection.
Yeast intolerance refers to the antibody Immunoglobulin G or IgG production when exposed to yeast. On the other hand, if you’re allergic to yeast, the immune system produces Immunoglobulin E or IgE antibodies that trigger a much more violent response .
Generally, yeast intolerance, like other food sensitivities, can disappear over time even without mediation but knowing your intolerance is necessary to contain it better and limit its harmful effects. If you have a yeast intolerance or yeast allergy, you might also experience a reaction to other fungi like mould. If you have a fungi allergy, avoid eating foods with mould, yeast, and any that involve fungi production.
7 Worst Yeast Intolerance Symptoms
Different people experience different kinds of yeast intolerance symptoms. Where one might be experiencing unexplained weight gain, others might have skin complaints like eczema, itch, or even rashes.
If you suspect that you might have yeast intolerance, then discussing it with a medical professional is the best course of action. Some of the most common yeast intolerance symptoms include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Joint pain
While these symptoms are common and easy to detect, continued exposure to yeast and refusal to discontinue usage can lead to worse symptoms, including
- Uncontrollable Itch
- Rapidly spreading eczema
- Severe Anxiety, often leading to depression
- Chronic sinusitis
At first glance, one might confuse the yeast intolerance symptoms with that of IBS, and if you do that, you’re not alone. Even seasoned medical professionals have been found guilty of misdiagnosis.
Coming in contact with yeast can lead to skin issues like rashes and uncontrollable itches that can last for hours. These symptoms can flare up upon yeast consumption, in which case the gut can experience excessive wind production as the body isn’t able to neutralize it.
In addition, you can also experience chronic headaches, persistent sinusitis (stuffy nose and airways across the year), or migraines that negatively affect the quality of your life.
Some people experience symptoms like redness and blotchy skin after consuming alcohol or alcoholic beverages. It is a misconception that this is due to yeast intolerance, which it isn’t. This common rash is an allergy-like reaction (typically not a true allergy) to other substances in the drink like sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide often causes an allergy-like reaction, and it’s good to look out for it since it’s not only used in alcoholic beverages only but foods containing wheat as a preservative. When looking out for a yeast intolerance, cancel out rashes.
Because of the close resemblance of most intolerance or allergy symptoms, the conclusive evidence for diagnosing a yeast intolerance is the intolerance test.
How Can I Diagnose Yeast Intolerance?
A simple blood sample can help diagnose yeast intolerance alongside many other allergies or intolerances that you may have. Knowing your allergies and intolerances enables you to manage them effectively and keep yourself and others around you safe. Order an intolerance test kit online to help you rule out yeast intolerance and other common ones. Ordering online is simple since you don’t have to waste time going to your doctor’s office, and the kit comes in your mail a few days later. All you’ll do then is read through the instructions and send back your sample to the lab for analysis. You will then get the results in a week’s time.
Simple actions like cutting back on wine consumption and reducing the intake of yeast-rich foods like yoghurt can go a long way in ensuring that your body stays in optimal shape and health. Don’t keep indulging in yeast-rich foods and drinks if you’re intolerant since it will damage your intestine walls leading to a lack of nutrient absorption. If you aren’t sure how to substitute your favourite beverages and meals, talk to your doctor or nutritionist on the best way forward. A professional will help you replace the things you love containing yeast with similar yummy foods but without the yeast.
An undiagnosed Yeast intolerance is dangerous. If you continue to leave it in your diet you could see increased cases of thrush, bloating and lethargy, but in extreme circumstances, stomach ulcers and digestive issues.
Lifelab Testing offer a range of affordable tests that can help to point you in the direction of a yeast intolerance, which gives you the ability to change your diet, cut out the risks and change your life.
About the Author
Written and edited by Dr Enzo Fornari PhD, MSc trained as Scientific Researcher in the field of Pharmaceutical Science, Biophysics. The early years of his career were spent developing novel assays for the analysis of physical properties and aggregation of micronized material (APIs and human proteins), using Advanced Microscopy (AFM, Electronic and Optical Microscopies) working in collaboration with industrial partners (GSK, GMP Material Science, Novozymes).
His passion then progressed into product development and in 2017 he joined to group of I-SMART material in Nottingham Trent working on the design, development, and characterisation of nanotechnologies for in-vitro medical devices. Multiple applications were explored in the field of tissue engineering (spinal cord Injury) and medical diagnostics (3D retina, in vitro Parkinson studies). Find more about Dr Fornari and the team here.
- C.J Tuck, J. R. Biesiekierski, P. Schmid-Grendelmeier and D. Pohl, “Food Intolerances,” Nutrients, 2019.
- Platts-Mills, T. Schuyler, A. J. Erwin, E. A. Commins and S. P. &. W. J. A., “IgE in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic disease,” The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, pp. 1662-1670, 2016.