Signs & symptoms of allergy to baker's yeast

Written by lenna allen
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Signs & symptoms of allergy to baker's yeast
Some people are allergic to yeast, like that found in most bread. (pain image by Maryna Girard from

The signs and symptoms of an allergy to baker's yeast can vary greatly between sufferers. Some may get sleepy, while others may feel sick in the stomach or get a headache. Yeast allergy should not be confused with a yeast infection, the latter of which is an overgrowth of naturally occurring bacterial flora in the gut.

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A very common reaction to ingesting yeast is tiredness and lethargy. Similar to the way coeliac sufferers react to gluten, an allergy to baker's yeast can induce intense feelings of tiredness and a heaviness of limb. This symptom mostly subsides within a number of hours. A way for sufferers to test whether they are allergic to the yeast or gluten in a particular food product is to test whether they get tired after eating bread (yeast) or if they get tired after eating something yeast-free as well, such as pasta. Cut out all wheat- and yeast-containing foods from the diet for a week to see if your lethargy dissipates. Reintroduce yeasty foods to see if the symptoms return. The best management for an allergy to baker's yeast is avoidance.


A rash is an allergic reaction common to many allergies. Allergies to baker's yeast often have this symptom in the form of hives and blotches around the throat and face, but often on other parts of the body, too. Skin-prick allergy testing can help determine if the rashes experienced are from yeast allergy. A tiny nick is made in the forearm and allergen samples are applied; the allergens that are reacting with the body will come up in a red lump where the skin prick was made. Again, the best management is avoidance.

Breathing Difficulty

Sometimes sufferers of baker's yeast allergy develop difficulty breathing and mostly mild asthmatic symptoms. This is usually more prevalent in fresh-baked products containing yeast such as pizza, yeasted cakes and bread straight from the oven. Although it is not understood why, some allergy sufferers can eat these products a number of hours after without suffering the same reaction.

Upset Stomach

An allergy to baker's yeast can also induce mild to severe stomach cramping, and even vomiting. Stomach upsets when eating yeasted foods can also be a sign of an accompanying yeast infection in the gut. Reactions from yeasted foods because of a yeast infection are often mistaken as an allergy to yeast---a yeast infection is a whole other health problem, and is merely exacerbated by consuming yeast. The best remedy for both yeast infections and yeast allergies is avoidance of products containing yeast.

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