Yeast Intolerance: All About This Digestive Affliction

shutterstock_145557157Yeast is a fungus that’s used in many of the foods and beverages that billions of people enjoy every day, and is a vital part of many of the staple foods consumed across the globe. It’s two major culinary roles, making bread rise and giving beer its alcohol, are enough to earn it a spot in the food hall of fame, as well as a sentimental place in most food and beer lovers’ hearts. But for all the goodwill that yeast may have earned with most people the world over and throughout history, there are a few that are physically unable to enjoy this famous fungus, and are afflicted with physical manifestations of their intolerance that are not only uncomfortable for them, but also sometimes for those around them.

If you’re afraid of contracting this ailment, or if you or someone you know already has it, then this article will tell you all about yeast intolerance, including its causes, symptoms, and the foods to avoid if you have it. Luckily, it’s not a deadly, or even particularly dangerous, malady, but simply a cause of discomfort for the afflicted. If you’re one of the lucky people who are able to tolerate yeast, then check out this article on how to bake, and this course on how to bake artisan bread to learn how to utilize yeast with delicious results.

Before Yeast Intolerance

For those of you without a yeast intolerance, we’ll begin our discussion about what it is and how it affects the body. The term “yeast intolerance” is a bit unusual in that it doesn’t refer to any one type of reaction, or necessarily to an allergy, but is rather a catch-all term for any kind of abnormal response to yeast. A very small portion of the cases of yeast intolerance may, in fact, involve the immune system, which would qualify as an allergy, but a vast majority of them simply result in some type of bodily discomfort.

Due to the fact that the symptoms of yeast intolerance are so varied and vague, in addition to resembling the symptoms of conditions such as dysthymia (mild depression), and chronic fatigue syndrome, there is still research being conducted to figure out whether or not yeast intolerance even exists. If you’re a big believer in eradicating sickness with Eastern methods, this course on acupressure can help you alleviate this and other illnesses.

  • Causes

There are a few thoughts as to what may bring about a yeast intolerance, and one of them involves the troublesome type of fungus called Candida. This fungus is naturally found in the stomach, but too much of it, or growth in different parts of the digestive tract, may result in a yeast intolerance. Also, eating too much yeast and carbohydrates has been known to trigger this problem. Another major cause of intolerance is from taking antibiotics, or even birth control. While yeast intolerance may be caused by one of these factors, it’s more likely that a combination of them are the culprit. If you think you could be living healthier, but things are a bit too hectic, this course on healthier living for a busy life might be helpful.

  • Do I Have a Yeast Intolerance? 

If you’ve never previously had issues with yeast, but think you or someone you know may be having problems with it, there’s a few things you can do to be ready for it. First, if you start feeling some of the symptoms of yeast intolerance, which we will further discuss below, start a food diary, in which you write down the foods that trigger the symptoms, and how they make you feel. This will be a big help for your doctor. Perhaps the most effective way to tell if you’re yeast intolerant is to go on a yeast-free diet for a few weeks to see if the symptoms disappear. Be wary of any food tests that you may find online, as these are not definitive methods of diagnosing a yeast intolerance. Finally, to be sure of any yeast issues, go see your doctor as soon as you can.

After Yeast Intolerance

Here, we will discuss what happens after a yeast intolerance has been established, such as the various types of symptoms one can expect, what some of the troublesome foods are that may exacerbate it, and some of the ways to ease the discomfort. Any time stress is introduced to your life, such as a yeast intolerance, everything else suffers as a result, and this article on guided meditation, along with this course on meditation techniques for stress should be able to bring a little peace to your life.

  • Symptoms of Yeast Intolerance

Like we said before, yeast intolerance is not life-threatening, but does provide discomfort for those suffering from it. People with this affliction may not experience every one of these symptoms, and some are more extreme and rare than others, but these are some of the more commonly experienced.

      • flatulence
      • bad breath
      • fatigue
      • irritability and mood swings
      • indigestion and acidity
      • bad skin (acne, psoriasis, eczema)
      • bloated feeling
      • stomach cramps
      • craving of very sugary foods
      • ulcers in the mouth
      • coating of the tongue
      • feelings of lightheadedness when hungry
  • Symptoms of Yeast Allergy

Those that suffer from a yeast allergy make up a tiny fraction of the people that fall under the “yeast intolerant” banner, but it’s important to know the difference between the two. These symptoms are much more serious than the others, and as a result, must be taken more seriously, and treated more quickly.

      • aching body (joint or muscle pain, generalized or localized pain)
      • abdominal pain (extreme bloating, constipation/diarrhea)
      • nausea and vomiting
      • respiratory issues (wheezing, shortness of breath, runny nose, sneezing, coughing)
      • rashes, hives, itchy skin
  • Troublesome Foods

Now that you know the various manifestations that yeast intolerance might take on the human body, you should have a pretty good idea whether or not you or someone else has this problem. If it turns out that these symptoms are being experienced, first and foremost, go and see a doctor immediately. The next best thing to do is to avoid foods with yeast, so as to minimize any symptoms. Yeast may be in more foods than you previously thought, and the following foods and drinks contain this problematic fungus and should be avoided if you find you’re yeast intolerant. While it may seem tough to avoid all of these very popular foods, there’s sometimes a yeast-free alternative available, just make sure to check the ingredients. Many vegan recipes don’t contain yeast, so a vegan diet may be your best bet if you’re yeast intolerant, and this course on vegan cooking has some great tips and recipes.

      • baked goods containing baker’s yeast (bread, rolls, buns, pizza dough, bagels, English muffins, etc.)
      • vinegar and foods containing vinegar
      • beer and wine and any other product that has undergone fermentation
      • certain fruits (dried fruits, processed fruit juices, canned tomatoes, dates, figs, grapes, prunes, raisins)
      • cereals and grains (cane sugar, malt)
      • cheese
      • ice cream
      • fried meats, including hot dogs
      • nuts and seeds
      • condiments (black pepper, ketchup, mayonnaise, pickles, relish, salad dressings, vanilla)
      • snack foods such as crackers and pretzels
      • stocks and gravies
      • also avoid medications made from yeasts or molds, such as penicillin and vitamin B tablets

Treatments 

While there may not be a cure for yeast intolerance, there are certainly steps that can be taken to minimize these uncomfortable symptoms. Again, go see a doctor if you have any symptoms of yeast intolerance, and they can give help guide you back to a healthy and normal life.

  1. First and foremost, eat a yeast-free diet. This one seems obvious, but if yeast if giving your dietary issues, then cut out the yeast. It will be a difficult transition, seeing that so many foods have yeast, but if that’s what helps you feel better, then that’s what needs to be done.
  2. Stay away from anti-fungal medications. 
  3. Eat healthier. The problematic yeast that lives in your gut that we mentioned earlier, Candida, thrives on sugars and carbohydrates, so cutting out these foods might have a positive effect on your yeast intolerance.

Hopefully you and your loved ones can avoid this dietary issue and eat whatever you’d like, but if it does befall someone, make sure not to get too upset, because not only is it not terribly serious, but you also now know a little bit about it to be able to handle it in a timely and effective manner. While yeast is found in quite a bit of delicious foods and drinks, just like anything else, it’s meant to be consumed in moderation, and remember to GO SEE A DOCTOR! To learn how to infuse more healthy herbs and spices into your cooking, check out this course on healing foods.