The Yeast Allergy Diet: A New Approach To Treating Yeast Infection?
“I have been diagnosed with a yeast infection. I am taking antibiotics and antihistamines. My doctor says it will probably go away on its own.”
You are reading a newspaper article about yeast allergy which describes how doctors have found that people suffering from this condition eat bread made with flour from wheat grown near their home. The news report mentions that these patients are usually allergic to wheat, but not necessarily to other grains like rye or barley.
What do you think? Do you believe that eating bread made with flour from wheat grown near your house could cause you to develop a yeast infection? Or would it be better if the doctors recommended that you avoid all foods containing gluten (the protein in wheat) at least until the symptoms disappear completely?
If you answered “no,” then you might be experiencing a yeast infection. If you answered “yes,” then perhaps you need to take some action before the problem gets worse.
There is no doubt that food allergies are becoming increasingly common today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 1 million new cases of food allergies reported in the United States between 2000 and 2008.
The data indicates that the number of teenagers and children with food allergies also increased during this period.
While most people with a food allergy develop an immediate rash (hives), itchy eyes or throat or have trouble breathing, some only experience a range of symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea or vomiting after eating a particular food.
What are some of these common symptoms?
Well, rashes or a skin bump might develop on the skin. You may experience a stuffy nose, sneezing, wheezing or a scratchy throat. These symptoms may develop within minutes or hours after eating a particular food.
The good news is that in most cases the body’s immune system may eventually become tolerant to the allergen over time, and the patient may be able to eat small quantities of the food without any problems. However, in some severe or persistent cases, the symptoms may not disappear even after years of avoiding the particular food.
What are the most common types of food allergies?
The most common food allergies include:
2. Tree Nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or cashews)
3. Fish (such as bass, cod or salmon)
4. Shellfish (such as shrimp, crab or lobster)
9. Cow’s milk
What are some of the less common types of food allergies?
Some of the less common types of food allergies include:
3. Medications (such as antibiotics and anti-seizure drugs)
4. Food colorings
5. Food Additives
Two popular food ingredients, called glutamic acid and monosodium glutamate (MSG), may also cause allergic reactions in some people.
What are the symptoms of a food allergy?
The common symptoms of a food allergy include:
1. Hives, rashes or eczema (skin irritation)
2. Stuffy nose and sneezing
3. Itchy, red and watery eyes
4. Sore and scratchy throat
5. Wheezing or difficulty breathing
6. Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
7. Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat
What is the Treatment for a Food Allergy?
Once you have found out what food you are allergic to, you will need to avoid it entirely for the rest of your life. This means you will need to read food labels carefully before you purchase anything.
If you are not sure about a particular food, you can take an allergy test and visit your doctor or allergist. There are also online resources that can help you find out if a particular food contains any of the ingredients to which you are allergic.
What is the Best Way to Avoid a Reaction?
You can take certain steps to minimize your risk of experiencing a severe reaction related to your food allergy. Some of these include:
1. Always carry an emergency medical kit that contains epinephrine, should you experience anaphylaxis.
Epinephrine works by opening up your airways and allowing you to breathe freely. Without it you may die within minutes.
2. Always inform the people you are with about your allergy and make sure they are aware of how to use the epinephrine injection.
3. Do not touch any food items that have touched the allergen.
For instance, if you are allergic to peanuts, do not touch anything that has been handled by a person who has eaten peanuts.
4. Learn how to use your epinephrine injection and practice with a trainer.
5. Always carry your epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times, and always have a spare one handy.
It is also a good idea to wear a medical alert bracelet.
6. Always check ingredients on food labels even if you have checked them many times in the past.
Ingredients in food products may change without notice.
7. Always check food labels on items that you order.
This is especially important when eating out at a restaurant. Sometimes restaurant employees may mistakenly bring out the wrong food, so always check the label even if it doesn’t look like what you ordered.
8. Always use extreme caution when sharing food with others, even if they don’t have an allergy.
How Can I Cope With My Food Allergy?
1. Stay calm and seek immediate medical attention if you think you are having a reaction.
2. Realize that it is not your fault if your epinephrine auto-injector fails to work or you have a reaction anyway.
Epinephrine does save many lives, but its effectiveness can vary from person to person.
3. Check the ingredients in medications that you take.
Some over-the-counter drugs may contain ingredients to which you are allergic.
4. If your school has a nurse, make sure they are aware of your condition and what to do in case of an emergency.
5. Realize that you can still lead a full and active life.
There are many substitute foods that can replace the ones you cannot eat. There are also many other enjoyable activities that you can participate in such as swimming, cycling and running.
6. If you are having a bad day, talk to a therapist or friend about your concerns.
7. Be proud that you have the courage to live with your allergy.
The more knowledge and awareness you have about your condition and the risks involved, the better equipped you are to live a happy and productive life.
Anaphylaxis: A severe systemic reaction that can be life-threatening if untreated. Symptoms may include: a drop in blood pressure and pulse; hives; itching; swelling of the throat, face, lips or tongue; difficulty breathing; dizziness; vomiting; and/or a low heart rate.
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment with an injection of epinephrine.
Antigen:A substance that causes the body to produce disease-fighting antibodies to defend itself. Also called an allergen.
Atopy: A type of allergy that involves the production of IgE antibodies in response to an allergen. Atopy is often hereditary.
Intradermal Test: A method of skin testing in which a small amount of allergen is injected just under the top layer of skin.
Peanut Oil: Oil extracted from peanuts. Some people are allergic to this ingredient, especially those with a peanut or tree nut allergy.
Serum: The clear liquid portion of the blood that remains after the clotted blood cells have been removed.
Tongue Patch Test: A type of skin test in which a drop of liquid containing potential allergens is applied to a small cut made on the tongue.
*When possible, be sure to carry your prescription for epinephrine (EPI) with you at all times. If you are unsure about the severity of your food allergy or which medication to take, remember the “Ten P’s”:
Pretreatment: Take your epinephrine (EPI) pretreatment if you feel a reaction coming on. Allergy Medication: Take your regular allergy medication, if prescribed.
Patient: Stay calm and reassess the situation. Prevent: Try to prevent exposure to whatever you believe is causing the reaction (if possible). Pollens: Note which pollens and grasses are blowing around and consider your location. Peanut: Consider if you recently had peanut or a product that contains peanut. Pollen Counts: Check the daily pollen counts for your area. Parents: Call your parents to let them know what is going on and that you might need a pick-up. Skin: Check for rashes, hives or anything else that seems out of place. Patch: Consider placing a temporary skin patch on the area to keep a closer eye on this spot. Prescription: Take your prescription medication, if prescribed (e.g. antihistamine).
Important Facts About Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is a severe systemic reaction that can be life-threatening if untreated.
The condition causes the body’s blood vessels to dilate and its blood pressure to drop.
Common symptoms of anaphylaxis include: respiratory distress, low blood pressure, chest pain, itching, rashes, lightheadedness, fainting and/or a sudden and uncontrollable urge to eat peanut butter.
If you suffer from anaphylaxis, you are also likely to have other allergies.
The only way to prevent anaphylaxis is to avoid the allergen(s) that cause it.
Without prompt treatment, anaphylaxis can lead to death.
Once anaphylaxis has begun, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Depending upon the allergen and severity of the reaction, you may need to be treated with epinephrine (adrenaline), steroid medication, oxygen or even a trip to the intensive care unit.
Some people do outgrow certain food allergies, particularly those caused by latex, milk, eggs and fish.
Allergies are more common in women than in men.
The condition can also occur in patients who have had organ transplants.
In most cases, the cause of anaphylaxis is not known. However, it can be caused by the ingestion or injection of substances such as food, drugs or insects.
Anaphylaxis is a serious medical condition and requires immediate medical attention. Do not hesitate to seek treatment if you believe you are having a reaction to something.
Anaphylactic shock is an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. If you believe an individual is suffering from anaphylactic shock, call 911 immediately.
Next Page: Anaphylaxis Emergency
If you believe that you or someone else is experiencing anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction), it is important to remain calm. Remember, this is a medical emergency and requires immediate attention.
It is also important that you carefully managed the physical stress of reacting to the allergen. This means finding a place to sit or lie down, avoiding any unnecessary exertion and taking deep breaths.
If you have been prescribed an auto-injector (e.g.
epinephrine), it is important that this is within easy reach and that you are familiar with how to use it. This means practicing at least once before you find yourself in a situation where anaphylaxis is induced. The injector needs to be replaced every 12 months and the expiry date should be clearly marked on the packaging.
If you do not have an auto-injector, it is important to note that most reactions need to be treated within 5-15 minutes to avoid death.
What To Do If You Suspect Anaphylaxis:
Seek immediate medical attention by dialing 911 or finding the nearest hospital. Remain as calm as possible and explain to the operator what is happening.
Avoid any unnecessary physical exertion and keep the individual still to prevent them from hurting themselves. Try to remember what they came into contact with (especially if it is known to cause an allergic reaction) and inform the medical professionals when you arrive at the hospital.
What To Do While You Are Waiting For Help To Arrive:
The most important thing is to remain calm and avoid any physical exertion. If you are not administering the epinephrine and they has collapsed, try to keep them lying on their back.
Placing them in the recovery position (on their side) is not recommended due to the risk of choking if they have aspirated.
If you do not have an auto-injector, it is important that the individual does not exercise or move around too much as this will worsen the symptoms and make them more likely to lose their breath and choke on their own blood.
If you do have an epinephrine auto-injector then it is important that you remain calm and assess the situation. If the person is not in any immediate danger then it is best to wait for help to arrive.
Epinephrine should not be given if there is no signs of anaphylaxis or if the symptoms have disappeared (as this could make things worse).
What Is It: An auto-injector is a pre-filled syringe that automatically injects a specified (and safe) dose of epinephrine when it is released. There are different types of epinephrine depending on the brand of the auto-injector and it is important to seek advice from your doctor or local pharmacist on which one is most suitable for you.
Where To Get It: Most likely, your doctor or local hospital will be able to provide you with an auto-injector. Depending on the circumstances, you may also be able to acquire one through a pharmacist without requiring a prescription (depending on your country’s laws).
Training: It is important that you are familiar with how to use your epinephrine injector before you try to use it for the first time. This means practicing with a trainer at least once (and ideally a few times) before you find yourself in a situation where anaphylaxis is induced.
The trainer will be able to show you the correct technique and answer any questions that you may have. It is also a good idea to practice using the trainer with clothing similar to what you would be wearing when the need arises (e.g.
if you have a wool coat now, practice with a wool coat).
You should try to do this as soon as possible after receiving the trainer and it is important to keep your trainer with you at all times from this point onwards. This is because epinephrine is a time-release drug and once the injection is made, its effects last for 1-2 months before another injection is required.
If this time period is exceeded, then the effectiveness of the drug will be severely decreased.
For this reason it is best to get the trainer as soon as you get your epinephrine injector so that you can become familiar with the process without having to worry about experiencing anaphylaxis.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the epinephrine will only work effectively if it is injected into the middle layer of muscles (i.e.
the tissue that “pops” when you flex and extend your arm).
For example, in the case of anaphylaxis, the epinephrine should be injected into the arm that is least affected by the anaphylactic shock. This means that you should “pop” the arm muscle repeatedly several times before administering the actual injection.
The elasticity of skin and fat can cause a superficial injection to be ineffective so it is important to ensure that you are injecting into a deep part of the muscle. If you are injecting into the thigh, for example, you should be aiming for the middle of your leg muscles (e.g.
where your leg bends at the knee).
After you have received training on how to use your epinephrine auto injector, it should become second nature. However, if you are in an emergency situation and have not had time to practice, it is still important to take a moment to calm yourself before proceeding.
The last thing you want to do is panic while trying to work out where to inject!
What To Expect: When epinephrine is injected, you will most likely feel a stinging or sharp pain at the injection site. This will be followed by some swelling and perhaps a dull ache (which may subside in 1-3 hours).
You may also experience some local heat (i.e.
redness) at the injection site but this is not common.
If you are not experiencing any of the above, then it means that you have not injected epinephrine correctly and you should seek immediate medical assistance (without removing the injector – leaving it in situ).
You will need to go to a hospital if you experience any of the following:
Severe pain at the injection site (which does not subside in 10 minutes).
Swelling that extends beyond the area of the injection into your arm or down towards your hand.
Difficulty breathing, or wheezing.
Feeling faint, weak or dizzy.
Having a rapid or irregular heartbeat or palpitations.
Experiencing chest pain or tightness.
Feeling very agitated (restlessness).
These are all signs of a severe allergic reaction and require you to seek urgent medical attention. Anaphylaxis can kill so it is important that you get to hospital immediately.
Once you are at hospital, they will keep you under observation for a few hours and will assess your condition before releasing you home.
However, you will most likely be given a prescription for an epinephrine auto injector so that you are better prepared for any future reactions.
It is common to experience some anxiety after an anaphylactic reaction, even if there are no major complications (but this is perfectly normal and should begin to improve over the following weeks or months with the help of a psychologist or stress management program).
In general, you should contact your doctor if you experience any of the following after an anaphylactic reaction:
Frequent headaches or migraines.
Nausea or vomiting.
Diarrhea or constipation.
Shortness of breath or experiencing any respiratory difficulties.
Dizziness, light-headedness or feeling faint.
Muscle pain, aching joints or back pain.
All of the above should begin to improve over the following weeks or months with the help of a psychologist or stress management program.
Managing the Psychological Impact of Anaphylaxis
It is common for people to experience some anxiety immediately after a severe allergic reaction (even if they received prompt treatment and made a full recovery).
Some people experience an overwhelming sense of fear and panic (acute stress disorder), while others may experience longer-term anxiety due to the shock and trauma of what they experienced (post traumatic stress disorder).
If you feel like this, it is important that you seek psychological treatment in order to deal with the emotional impact of your experience.
This can be in the form of a psychologist, psychiatrist or counselor – depending on the severity of your condition. Most health insurance plans should cover the cost of these visits.
You should begin to feel better within a few weeks or months with the help of your psychologist. It is very important that you keep your scheduled appointments so that they can monitor your condition and adjust your treatment as necessary.
Never try to tough it out or “get over it” without any outside support. This is a common mistake that some people make but it can have serious long-term repercussions on your mental health.
Take it from someone who has been there.
Continue Reading About Anaphylaxis
You may find these resources useful as you pursue more information about anaphylaxis and related disorders:
Anaphylaxis & Related Disorders (Home Page)
Anaphylaxis Fact Sheet
Atopic Dermatitis Fact Sheet
Asthma Fact Sheet
Food Allergy Fact Sheet
Sinusitis Fact Sheet
Urticaria (Hives) Fact Sheet
Contact your doctor if you have any questions or if you would like more information about anaphylaxis and related disorders.
Sources & references used in this article:
Systemic ketoconazole for yeast allergic patients with atopic dermatitis by O Bäck, J Bartosik – Journal of the European Academy of …, 2001 – Wiley Online Library
Vaccination of yeast sensitive individuals: review of safety data in the US vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) by L DiMiceli, V Pool, JM Kelso, SV Shadomy, J Iskander… – Vaccine, 2006 – Elsevier
Skin prick test reactions to brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in adult atopic dermatitis patients by O Kortekangas‐Savolainen, K Lammintausta… – Allergy, 1993 – Wiley Online Library