Monday, 9 May 2011

Yeast Intolerance

The Basics of a Yeast Intolerance: 
Having a yeast intolerance can be one of the most inconvenient out of all the intolerance's due to it's prevalence in a vast majority of foods and food manufacturing processes. These include it's uses as a rising agent in breads, preservatives in many types of food and for the fermenting process for alcohol & vinegar. We will discuss foods containing yeast and how to cut down on yeast content in another post.

Yeast is from the fungus species of a and is present in our bodies as well as the fact the our body also requires a small quantity of yeast too. Excessive yeast intake can cause problems such as an intolerance or possibly even allergies coupled with the fact that yeast is so commonly used in the food industry meaning it can be a real inconvenience of an intolerance!

Our body also contains "friendly" bacteria in our gut which perform a vital function for our digestive system, one of which is to control the natural yeast production. This is why certain bacteria killing activities such as using antibiotics can aggravate a yeast intolerance by eliminating the good and the bad bacteria! Certain store bought probiotic drinks such as Yakult and Actimel can help increase the friendly bacteria and therefore assist in management of your intolerance.

How do I know if I definitely have a Yeast Intolerance?

As mentioned previously, a yeast intolerance is probably one of, if not THE, most inconvenient of all the intolerance to foods not only by the fact that it's found or used in such a wide variety of different foods but also for that reason, it makes it the hardest to diagnose through traditional means (i.e. cutting out foods and reintroducing them)

In these instances you can try doing the "spit" test. Fill up a glass with water and spit in it (urghh!). If your spit drops to the bottoms forming a white "fluffy" trail behind it then it's possible you have a yeast intolerance but it's essential that you recognise that this is NOT a reliable test and a proper laboratory or home medical test should be done.

Home Test - In the UK only we are fortunate to have a complete home test know as the Food Detective. This Food Intolerance Test is available in the UK from Prevucare for £48.99. It detects IgG antibodies specific to individual food protein extracts (we'll talk more about IgG later). The test itself can detect an intolerance to over 40 different food types. You may be wondering what's the point if you just want to test for yeast? The point is that you could have a few other foods that you are intolerant to. One of our authors has recently discovered (using the home test!) that she has an intolerance to yeast & cow's milk (lactose) as well as a very mild intolerance to wheat, oat & rice.

Laboratory based tests. There are plenty of lab based tests out there but the industry leader is Yorktest. It is a more expensive option but get tested for 113 different foods and it also more likely to be accurate as there is less chance of mistakes being made.What's also included is 2 phone calls with a qualified nutritionist to help you with managing your diet after you find out what your intolerance is to. They also have other tests to help you discover whether you have IBS, allergies, liver function and more, you can find out about all there tests by visiting the YORKTEST website.

Next Steps after you discover your yeast intolerance is to learn how to manage your diet. Visit our post on achieving a Yeast Free Diet which will include recipes and suitable books you can purchase to help.

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