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Yeast Allergy: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors & Treatment

What is Yeast Allergy?

Yeast allergy is a preponderance of yeast in the body which subsequently leads to feeling fatigued most of the times and also causes dizziness. At the same time, an increased level of yeast in the system makes you greatly vulnerable to recurrent spells of diarrhea and you may also suffer from periodic indigestion and bloating. Allergic symptoms arising out of excessive yeast in the body can be contained and prevented by staying away from food items that are loaded with yeast.

Yeast is a unicellular microorganism that together with mushroom and mold is classified as a fungus. Therefore allergic reactions arising out of yeast can also be dealt with by taking the proper antifungal medications. This fungal microorganism thrives and propagates in the presence of

  1. Sugar
  2. Zymosan
  3. Gliotoxin
  4. Alcohol
  5. Acetaldehyde

 

How common is yeast allergy in the USA?

As per data released by the ‘American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology,’ there are more than 50 million Americans suffering from some form of allergy. Out of which only a small percentage have food allergies. Yeast allergies make up only a minuscule proportion of all the food allergies put together.

Causes of Yeast Allergy

Dieticians, nutritionists, and health experts offer different views and opinions on the possible causes of yeast allergy or intolerance.

  • Some medical specialists believe anybody hosting an anomalously large amount of yeast in the system, particularly Candida Albicans is more vulnerable to have an allergy.
  • Others believe that the immune system in many individuals is oversensitive to specific variations of yeast, especially the strains found in beer and bakery products. So, when these people drink beer or eat cakes in copious amounts, their immune systems release histamines as a stimulus to deal with the sudden gush of yeast passing through the gastrointestinal tract resulting in an allergic reaction.
  • A significant section of health professionals opines that consumption of food items loaded with yeast might cause health issues classified as plain intolerance (to certain foods) and not allergies.

Yeast Allergy

An allergic reaction in many individuals is usually triggered when they consume foods rich in yeast including:

  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Dried Fruits
  • Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios & other kinds of nuts
  • Tomato sauce, garlic sauce, Tabasco & other types of sauces
  • Soy sauce, vinegar or ketchup

Possible Risk Factors

  • Intake of excessive antibiotics
  • Swallowing oral contraceptives that contain artificial progesterone
  • Indigestion problems
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Deficiency of vitamin D
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy

Symptoms of Yeast Allergy

Indicators that you may experience depend upon the preexistence of excessive amounts of yeast in your gut. On the other hand, symptoms may also outbreak or erupt if you consume a food item, say bread laced with cheese, causing the immune system to react and respond. Since, it cannot be perfectly predicted or conjectured as to when the symptoms will become manifest, tracing the root cause of yeast allergy becomes difficult in most cases.

Some common signs and symptoms include:

  • Flatulence or bloating following consumption of sugary foods
  • Outbreak of oral ulcers
  • Halitosis
  • Skin ailments like eczema or psoriasis
  • Feeling tired, usually after meals
  • Acidity or heartburn
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded when hungry
  • Nasal tract congestion
  • Cravings for sweets and sweetened products
  • Mood swings
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Diagnosis for Yeast Allergy

The best way to determine whether you’ve yeast intolerance or allergy is to go for a checkup. However, prior to reporting at a diagnostic lab, you can carry out a simple test at home by spitting into a glass of drinking water. If the water becomes turbid, then it might indicate that you’re yeast intolerant but it is recommended to always opt for a medical examination to be on the safe side.

There are five distinct assays for establishing your yeast intolerance:

  • Skin prick assay where a needle containing a suspected allergen is pierced just under the epidermis
  • Intra epidermal test where a tiny amount of the alleged allergen is injected using a hypodermic syringe
  • RAST (radioallergosorbent test), a special type of blood test where the presence of a specific amount of IgE (immunoglobulin E). The antibody that causes the atopic intolerance or allergy is gauged
  • A diet test where the food item suspected of triggering allergic reactions are removed from one’s regular meals for a week or two and then reintroduced. This method is adopted to make sure whether the removal or the reintroduction of the foods was behind the allergy.
  • Oral food challenge where the food items containing the alleged allergens are consumed by the patient. A clinician is at hand to observe and note the possible reactions.

Treatment of Yeats Infection

  1. Antifungal medicines

Treatment for yeast allergy is plain and simple as the majority of the symptoms disappear on their own once you start an antifungal medication course. Most of the people take pills and tablets, particularly antihistamines including loratadine and diphenhydramine. However, if you’re taking medications for other ailments, you should make it a point to consult with a physician before you start taking any allergic medicine.

You can use antifungal creams and unguents for dealing with skin rashes. For treating vaginal yeast afflictions, antifungal vaginal creams and suppositories work best. While most of the antifungal formulations happen to be OTC drugs, some specific medicines can only be bought using a prescription from the doctor.

  1. Remedies To Try At Home

Apart from taking antifungal medications, there are particular food items, labeled as ‘probiotic foods’ which you can eat to cope with your yeast intolerance. These probiotic foods are naturally endowed with a high amount of the beneficial bacteria ‘lactobacillus acidophilus’ that prove instrumental in containing the overgrowth of yeast in the body. Consumption of the following will release additional ‘good bacteria’ in the gut, essential for reinstating the microorganisms’ balance that helps in prevent excessive yeast build up.

  1. Yogurt
  2. Kefir
  3. Sauerkraut
  4. Tempeh (fermented soybeans)
  5. Pickles
  6. Miso soup
  7. Microalgae
  8. Dark chocolate

You’ll be easily able to source the aforementioned ‘probiotic foods’ in many health food outlets and groceries.

  1. Food Items That Should Be Avoided

To check yeast allergy symptoms and prevent them from occurring in the future, stay away from those foods which you feel is triggering the allergic reactions. Stay away from sugary foods and food items rich in carbohydrates. Avoid the following kinds of food:-

  • Milk products including cheese & whole milk
  • Processed meats like corned beef, bacon, ham, & sausages
  • Condiments like mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, salad dressings
  • Fermented beverages like root beer, beer, and wine
  • Doughnuts and yeasted breads
  • Pickled veggies containing vinegar
  • Tomato paste, ketchup, tomato puree, and tomato sauce
  • Vegetables like parsnips, yams, corn, mushrooms, and potatoes

Foods That Can Be Taken Without Having to Worry About Yeast Allergy

  • Unleavened bread, whole grain breads, yeast free cakes & biscuits
  • Salads dressed with olive oil and lemon juice
  • Fruits juices extracted at home
  • Meals cooked with frozen or fresh spices and not dried or processed
  • Multivitamin supplements that are yeast-free

When to Consult a Physician?

More often than not, yeast allergy might be symptomatic of an underlying disease like diabetes. Additionally, if you are plagued with repeating symptoms of sinusitis, insomnia, nervousness, anomalous vaginal discharge or diarrhea, you should visit a doctor. Dealing with the core disease and treating it will go a long way in getting relief from symptoms of yeast allergy.

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