Yeast Allergy

You May Have a Yeast Sensitivity (and Not Even Know It)

Abdominal pain. Bloating. Flatulence. A common occurrence? It’s not supposed to be! While occasional food-related symptoms happen to everyone, frequent food-related discomfort may indicate a food sensitivity. What do you do about it?
Cutting out trigger foods should allow your symptoms to subside in most cases. You may have heard of dairy, soy or gluten sensitivities, but maybe you have a feeling that something else is causing your issues. Keep reading this article to determine if you suffer from a yeast sensitivity.

What foods contain yeast?

Yeast is a friendly fungus that humans use all the time in food and beverage processing. However, some people suffer from yeast sensitivities or yeast allergies. Let’s first take a look at what foods typically contain yeast products:
• Baked goods like sourdough bread and croissants (dough that uses yeast to rise)
• Dessert items that require yeast during baking (i.e. cinnamon rolls, coffee cake)
• Alcoholic beverages (often beer, hard cider and wine)
• Vegemite
• Cooking stocks, bouillon cubes, gravies and sauces
• Some fermented foods (i.e. sauerkraut, cheeses)
• Soy sauce
• Dried fruits
• Nutritional yeast and other yeast supplement products
• Vinegar
• Condiments (i.e. relish, pickled foods, mustard)

Yeast is not one of the top 8 allergens, so it is up to you to read all food labels to determine if yeast is in various foods. However, there are some keywords you can look for to help you better determine if yeast is present:
• Leavening agents
• Hydrolyzed protein
• Autolyzed yeast extract
• Calcium sulfate
• Ammonium phosphate

How can I find out if I have a yeast sensitivity?

Since yeast is used in many different products, especially those that have other top allergens like wheat, gluten, milk and eggs, it may be hard to pinpoint yeast as the primary food sensitivity. If you suspect yeast is the culprit, then talk to your doctor about testing for a yeast sensitivity. Ask your doctor about a food sensitivity test.

Food sensitivities can trigger things like nausea, diarrhea, runny nose, wheezing, fatigue and other ambiguous symptoms. Do you have a food sensitivity? You may feel symptoms of a yeast sensitivity over the course of several days. A severe yeast allergy can create an immediate allergic response.

What should I do if I have a yeast sensitivity?

Above all, the best way to treat a yeast sensitivity is to avoid foods that contain yeast. Also, make sure you understand how your food is prepared. When you’re cooking at home, choose yeast-free ingredients (and make sure your family does too).
If you can’t imagine life without yeast-containing foods, then know that you may be able to reintroduce them back into your diet. If you have a yeast sensitivity, then read our tips about how you can eliminate and reintroduce yeast-containing foods. Remember: Those with a yeast allergy, should not consume yeast-containing foods.

Tips on Reintroducing Yeast into Your Diet

1. Eliminate all foods that contain yeast. Use the list above as a guide. Don’t forget to look for “hidden yeast” keywords on the food labels!
2. Make notes on how your symptoms change after eliminating yeast products.
3. Slowly reintroduce one yeast product into the diet and assess if your symptoms improve, worsen or stay the same. If that product gives you symptoms, then cut it out of the diet.
4. Continue adding one yeast product every few weeks. You may find that some products are better-tolerated than others.

By using the yeast reference list above and following the reintroduction steps, you may be able to manage your yeast sensitivity via diet alone. However, always consult your doctor or Registered Dietitian for more personalized nutrition care.