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Do you react badly to fermented food? Is yeast a factor?

by (3631)
Updated about 13 hours ago
Created April 18, 2011 at 2:35 AM

My question, especially for those of you who know you are allergic to yeast and for those of you who believe you have yeast/candida issues is: Do you react poorly to fermented food? e.g. kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc. What are your symptoms?

I believe i am allergic to yeast. I have not been tested. Additionally, i may have candida/yeast related issues (if you don't know what i mean by that, ignore it, it's thought by many to be quackery).

I used to crave these things like crazy (still do, actually) but kombucha reeeally messes me up now (kinda like beer does. w/o intoxication, natch). I now suspect kimchi does too, but i'm too scared to do another trial. I ate half a jar over a couple days after abstaining for months, and though i can't pinpoint it as the bad-guy, i'm suspicious.

ANY INPUT WELCOME!

ps. i know this question isn't terribly paleo specific, but this forum seems to be full of some of the most acutely body/food-connection-conscious peeps around. <3

*

EDIT: 48 hrs ago I ate some high-quality un-cured, gluten-free, nitrate-free, pastured-beef summer-sausage and had some rather immediate as well as some sneak-attack familiar negative symptoms! Heart rate increase, mood-changes, brief weepiness, brain-fog that lasted at least 24 hrs, and skin stuff (psoriasis-ish). Still unsure if it's allergies or histamines or the yeasts or candida or the leaky-gut or if it's all interconnected and/or the same thing. Anyway: to those with weird intolerances: Beware of sausage!

2564c814ad9931c834ae092e1ef069fb
221 · August 07, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I stopped reading when I saw the phrase "too yin."

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 12, 2013 at 9:53 PM

@HappyNow It was about half of a 16oz a jar over a period of a few days. So prol like four 2 oz servings? I don't remember exactly, it was so long ago now. I really don't mess with any fermented stuff anymore (alas).

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 12, 2013 at 9:51 PM

It's been 2 years since my post, and I don't really have answers. I strictly avoid beer, kombucha, most vinegar, kefir, (yogurt is ok) kimchi, aged cheeses, and any food that has yeast as a flavoring agent. Some wine seems better than others.. if i start feeling weird after half a glass, I stop. I don't seem to have a problem with clear liquor (mixed with club soda or something) for social occasions. I wish there was a solution besides avoidance, but I'm just so grateful to have figured some of the major offenders for me. I was really unwell for years; I feel so much better now.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b
24538 · April 09, 2013 at 8:46 PM

Half a jar of kim chi is a lot. I think I might react to that much, especially after not having it for a long time. I think it is supposed to be eaten as a condiment or small side dish.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · August 01, 2011 at 3:08 AM

interesting, thanks for sharing!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · May 13, 2011 at 3:53 PM

thank you - good luck to you, too!

3c49f67b3c8c0b580e89fdba0b95a8e8
211 · May 13, 2011 at 7:30 AM

There is a group of doctors (which includes allergists, digestive specialists and biochemists) here (in Spain) that diagnose and treat it. I just got my test results back last week and had my appt last night. It's a long story but my symptoms IBS, eczema, congestion/runny nose, bloating went away initially went away eating paleo but then after a while I began having symptoms intermittently (despite not eating dairy and wheat) and couldn't figure out why. Personally, I think it all goes back to an uncured leaky gut but I still have a lot of experimenting and researching to do. Good luck!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · May 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

googling is giving me no instant gratification! lol

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · May 12, 2011 at 9:50 PM

thanks, fascinating!! who diagnosed you, and what did they tell you to do? can something be done to raise DAO?

3c49f67b3c8c0b580e89fdba0b95a8e8
211 · May 12, 2011 at 8:47 PM

I was just diagnosed with food-induced histaminosis. It definitely could be a histamine issue. I wouldn't use meds to deal with it though. I was told that taking antihistamines may only acerbate the issue, as certain medications (including certain antihistamines) can affect the production of the DAO enzyme which is responsible for "dealing" with the histamine.

3c49f67b3c8c0b580e89fdba0b95a8e8
211 · April 24, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Besides from Paleo I'm not following any specific protocol but I'm looking into things as paleo alone hasn't been enough it seems-I think there may be a histamine component....

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 20, 2011 at 4:03 AM

could you elaborate a teeeeny bit?

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3631 · April 18, 2011 at 11:35 PM

thanks. ok, so a 3 week fermented fiber use cycle. ok! wait.. whathuh? halp!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 9:10 PM

hm. "fermented fiber use cycle"?? this is new to me. google doesn't bring up anything with that word order. gotta link? or some additional brief 411 for me? thanks for the above inputting. :)

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · April 18, 2011 at 8:49 PM

i think when you have a bad microbiota and/or problems with zonulin you may have bad reactions until the situation reloads. I generally recommend a consistent three week fermented fiber use cycle to see a real change with no dairy reintroduced for a week thereafter.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM

i've long suspected a histamine-component in the puzzle, even to the point of experimenting recently with occasional 5-10 mgs liquid children's allegra (less additives, controlled dosing) for improvement of atypical symptoms! (such as the symptom i call 'black cloud' = brain-fog+negativity, ugh. it's real.) (i am loathe to take meds for anything, but desperate times etc.) Now I'll def be more vigilant about histamine foods; tho i must say fish, sausage, wine and chocolate don't even come close to beer, kombucha, and aged cheeses, reaction-wise.. back to yeasts.. sigh. it's all too much..

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:10 PM

thank you! i'm figuring this all out on my own, and had never heard of ppl having trouble with fermented stuff -- b/c as you said it's so often encouraged, for the pro-biotics -- so it took me forever to even suspect it. i always took for granted that it was healthful for me. i was guzzling home-brewed kombucha and kept thinking i was getting "glutened" from some mystery source! :/ While i can't say I'm HAPPY that you have some of the same symptoms as i do, i am glad to know it's not "all in my head", and i'm not alone!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 4:54 PM

thanks! yes, i strongly suspect i have a leaky gut, (hence extreme gluten intolerance). working on it. also it's my understanding that if you buy into the candida thing, it can be a factor in causing leaky gut. i'm curious what kind of test was done for candida. are you following any protocol to decrease permeability? (aside from presumably eating paleo..)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 4:47 PM

thanks, i'm off to check it out!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 4:46 PM

thank you! i'm figuring this all out on my own, and had never heard of ppl having trouble with fermented foods -- b/c as you said they're so often encouraged for the pro-biotics -- so it took me forever to even suspect them. i always took for granted that they were healthful for me! i kept thinking i was getting "glutened" somehow. While i can't say I'm HAPPY that you have some of the same symptoms as i do, i am glad to know it's not "all in my head", and i'm not alone!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 4:28 PM

thanks! yes, i strongly suspect i have a leaky gut, (hence extreme gluten intolerance). working on it. also it's my understanding that (if you buy the candida thing), it can be a factor in causing leaky gut. i'm curious what kind of test was done for candida. are you following any protocol to decrease permeability? (aside from presumable eating paleo..)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:05 AM

i guess the theory is that a person can be allergic to their own candida/yeast. ugh.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:03 AM

And, fwiw, I DO associate some presumably candida/yeast recurring issues with my yeast intolerance/allergy. it's super difficult to parse.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:00 AM

But, i am still wondering whether people with ONE OR BOTH of these problems have reactions to these fermented foods - and how the reaction manifests. [anybody?] thanks again Ed! (so very sad to say good-bye to kimchi)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:00 AM

yes, i am aware that yeast 'issues' and yeast allergies are two separate problems, one of which is widely dismissed. there may be overlap (i.e. not all ppl with candida are allergic, some ppl who are allergic also have candida). I am certain that i AM allergic or, 'intolerant' to yeast, and yeast-containing foods & drinks e.g. kombucha, and beer, and many (all?) cheeses, and even some vitamin B suplmts. Thank you for your further elucidation, i feel validated in my suspicion of kimchi as a food-to-avoid by your well-cited claim that kimchi contains yeast. (continued below..)

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10 Answers

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb
7
19220 · April 18, 2011 at 9:08 AM

Histamine intolerance is a possible cause you could consider based on the limited details you provide.

Fermented foods contain histamine.

We have an enzyme that breaks down histaime in foods that we eat and the vast majority eat these foods with no effects. However a small number of people do not produce enough of this enzyme to break down the histamine fast enough. These people can suffer allergy like symptoms after consuming histamine containing foods.

Jamine Scott of That Paleo Guy blog has a recent extensive post on the subject of Histamine Intolerance. There are far more details there than could be included in an answer here.

This is just something you might want to think about.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 4:47 PM

thanks, i'm off to check it out!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM

i've long suspected a histamine-component in the puzzle, even to the point of experimenting recently with occasional 5-10 mgs liquid children's allegra (less additives, controlled dosing) for improvement of atypical symptoms! (such as the symptom i call 'black cloud' = brain-fog+negativity, ugh. it's real.) (i am loathe to take meds for anything, but desperate times etc.) Now I'll def be more vigilant about histamine foods; tho i must say fish, sausage, wine and chocolate don't even come close to beer, kombucha, and aged cheeses, reaction-wise.. back to yeasts.. sigh. it's all too much..

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · May 12, 2011 at 9:50 PM

thanks, fascinating!! who diagnosed you, and what did they tell you to do? can something be done to raise DAO?

3c49f67b3c8c0b580e89fdba0b95a8e8
211 · May 13, 2011 at 7:30 AM

There is a group of doctors (which includes allergists, digestive specialists and biochemists) here (in Spain) that diagnose and treat it. I just got my test results back last week and had my appt last night. It's a long story but my symptoms IBS, eczema, congestion/runny nose, bloating went away initially went away eating paleo but then after a while I began having symptoms intermittently (despite not eating dairy and wheat) and couldn't figure out why. Personally, I think it all goes back to an uncured leaky gut but I still have a lot of experimenting and researching to do. Good luck!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · May 13, 2011 at 3:53 PM

thank you - good luck to you, too!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · May 12, 2011 at 9:52 PM

googling is giving me no instant gratification! lol

3c49f67b3c8c0b580e89fdba0b95a8e8
211 · May 12, 2011 at 8:47 PM

I was just diagnosed with food-induced histaminosis. It definitely could be a histamine issue. I wouldn't use meds to deal with it though. I was told that taking antihistamines may only acerbate the issue, as certain medications (including certain antihistamines) can affect the production of the DAO enzyme which is responsible for "dealing" with the histamine.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64
7
11478 · April 18, 2011 at 4:22 AM

When you talk about "yeast issues" and fermented foods you're talking apples vs. oranges.

Pathogenic yeast are most commonly candida albicans, which are not common food fermentation organisms.

Brewer's yeast is usually saccharomyces, not candida.

Sauerkraut is mainly a product of fermentation by bacteria rather than yeast.

Kombucha is fermented by SCOBY, or symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast.

Kimchi also contains a variety of species of bacteria and yeast, and candida species are among them. However, since kimchi juice is sometimes used to treat candida, I'll wager that candida albicans is not predominant in kimchi.

In summary, if you're sensitive to beer, kombucha and kimchi, you may be allergic to saccharomyces yeast, or it may not be an allergy at all. This is probably unrelated to "yeast issues", which are allegedly an intestinal yeast infection caused by candida species.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:00 AM

yes, i am aware that yeast 'issues' and yeast allergies are two separate problems, one of which is widely dismissed. there may be overlap (i.e. not all ppl with candida are allergic, some ppl who are allergic also have candida). I am certain that i AM allergic or, 'intolerant' to yeast, and yeast-containing foods & drinks e.g. kombucha, and beer, and many (all?) cheeses, and even some vitamin B suplmts. Thank you for your further elucidation, i feel validated in my suspicion of kimchi as a food-to-avoid by your well-cited claim that kimchi contains yeast. (continued below..)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:00 AM

But, i am still wondering whether people with ONE OR BOTH of these problems have reactions to these fermented foods - and how the reaction manifests. [anybody?] thanks again Ed! (so very sad to say good-bye to kimchi)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:05 AM

i guess the theory is that a person can be allergic to their own candida/yeast. ugh.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:03 AM

And, fwiw, I DO associate some presumably candida/yeast recurring issues with my yeast intolerance/allergy. it's super difficult to parse.

4c10e254b4fd6a29f751bde27a2837d8
6
318 · April 18, 2011 at 8:07 AM

I struggle with fermented foods, and a get a pretty consistent reaction of extreme brain fog, increased salivating and cravings somewhat, anxiety and insomnia.

Despite these foods being powerhouses of nutrition I suspect for the unlucky some with gut dysbiosis, you can end up with an 'over fermentation' situation, so fermented foods can be akin to putting petrol on the fire.

Then there are certain compounds in fermented foods that are super high, such as histamine and amines.

I'm still trying to work out how to negotiate this problem to achieve some gut healing. I guess one might have to rely on a high quality hypoallergenic capsulated probiotic and anything else that can help address the balance.

The good news is, once you've done some healing is that many or most can then re-introduce and benefit from fermented foods. But in the meantime for myself, it is kind of a circular problem - the gut dysbiosis is causing an allergic reaction to the very things needed to heal.

Good luck!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 4:46 PM

thank you! i'm figuring this all out on my own, and had never heard of ppl having trouble with fermented foods -- b/c as you said they're so often encouraged for the pro-biotics -- so it took me forever to even suspect them. i always took for granted that they were healthful for me! i kept thinking i was getting "glutened" somehow. While i can't say I'm HAPPY that you have some of the same symptoms as i do, i am glad to know it's not "all in my head", and i'm not alone!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 5:10 PM

thank you! i'm figuring this all out on my own, and had never heard of ppl having trouble with fermented stuff -- b/c as you said it's so often encouraged, for the pro-biotics -- so it took me forever to even suspect it. i always took for granted that it was healthful for me. i was guzzling home-brewed kombucha and kept thinking i was getting "glutened" from some mystery source! :/ While i can't say I'm HAPPY that you have some of the same symptoms as i do, i am glad to know it's not "all in my head", and i'm not alone!

3c49f67b3c8c0b580e89fdba0b95a8e8
4
211 · April 18, 2011 at 7:19 AM

A nutritionist friend had a strong suspicion that I had candida but testing came back negative for candida and positive for leaky gut. Intestinal permeability could be the reason why you are reacting to these foods. A lot of the symptoms for candida and leaky guy are quite similar.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 4:28 PM

thanks! yes, i strongly suspect i have a leaky gut, (hence extreme gluten intolerance). working on it. also it's my understanding that (if you buy the candida thing), it can be a factor in causing leaky gut. i'm curious what kind of test was done for candida. are you following any protocol to decrease permeability? (aside from presumable eating paleo..)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 18, 2011 at 4:54 PM

thanks! yes, i strongly suspect i have a leaky gut, (hence extreme gluten intolerance). working on it. also it's my understanding that if you buy into the candida thing, it can be a factor in causing leaky gut. i'm curious what kind of test was done for candida. are you following any protocol to decrease permeability? (aside from presumably eating paleo..)

3c49f67b3c8c0b580e89fdba0b95a8e8
211 · April 24, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Besides from Paleo I'm not following any specific protocol but I'm looking into things as paleo alone hasn't been enough it seems-I think there may be a histamine component....

04e8d39654d04271f95478a20fa061aa
3
30 · July 31, 2011 at 11:34 PM

I am allergic to both baker's yeast and brewer's yeast. Recently I tried a supplement of the probiotic saccharomyces boulardii on a physician's recommendation (to treat a chronic digestive problem). It made me itch like crazy!

Just now I found this page because I had a similar reaction to kimchee. Here I read that kimchee has saccharomyces, so that explains the itching.

So I thank the writer who explained this. By the way, both my yeast allergies have been confirmed by skin testing at least twice over the years.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · August 01, 2011 at 3:08 AM

interesting, thanks for sharing!

21becb9d2f0251461f74bec0ed658f0d
1
10 · April 09, 2013 at 8:00 PM

I am new to this forum, as well. I have a problem consuming anything fermented. I get terribly itchy, like having a yeast infection. Probiotics help some, but not completely. I can't have kombucha, kefir, alcohol, anything fermented really. I'm trying to figure out what is going on and what I can do about it. I don't have any other reaction that I'm aware of. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628
3631 · April 12, 2013 at 9:51 PM

It's been 2 years since my post, and I don't really have answers. I strictly avoid beer, kombucha, most vinegar, kefir, (yogurt is ok) kimchi, aged cheeses, and any food that has yeast as a flavoring agent. Some wine seems better than others.. if i start feeling weird after half a glass, I stop. I don't seem to have a problem with clear liquor (mixed with club soda or something) for social occasions. I wish there was a solution besides avoidance, but I'm just so grateful to have figured some of the major offenders for me. I was really unwell for years; I feel so much better now.

1e313541c7b1d249523277f3bf28b6c9
1
10 · March 05, 2013 at 12:51 AM

Hi, I'm totally new to this forum and came across it by looking for folks' reactions to fermented foods. I have some clients that cannot tolerate them, and I'm looking for more info as to why. I am a GAPS Practitioner, and love love love the protocol, but every body is different. Thanks!

30a852e89bf1d6340d18670e6629fef7
1
10 · February 18, 2013 at 1:32 PM

http://www.drlwilson.com/ARTICLES/FERMENTS.htm

Was looking for information on fermenting and came across your page and the link above. Be sure to click and read the article he linked called "Aldehyde Toxicity From Fermented Foods", as it describes some of the symptoms I've seen others describe.

2564c814ad9931c834ae092e1ef069fb
221 · August 07, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I stopped reading when I saw the phrase "too yin."

1f44266dfd604b881b35a04254e85e8a
0
5 · December 17, 2013 at 2:01 AM

When I eat anything fermented, I experience a stress reaction with this bloated-gurgling of my gut which last for days and compromises my sleep. Can anyone else relate?

87663f135619697faa57559524df5108
0
0 · January 24, 2013 at 5:03 AM

urethane... that might be your and my problem from fermented food (cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, wine, soy sauce, etc) http://www.live-in-green.com/health_info/problematic_food/carcinogenic/fermented.html

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