Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Intolerance to bakers' yeast as well as gluten?

I went on a gluten challenge and then had biopsies three and a half weeks ago.

I'm back on the GF diet now. But after eating GF bread on Friday evening, I had that middle of the night waking "rush" followed by an unhappy tum for a couple of days. Basically, I think that I had the same reaction to GF bread as I did to eating normal bread. It was the Warburtons/Newburn bakehouse bread, which is both wheat and gluten free.

Then it occured to me that my GF diet was almost completely yeast free too... I had a bad experience with some GF bread in the early days, where it chemically decomposed on me - 24 hours after opening it smelled like a ammonia factory. This put me off GF bread in all its forms - and given that I didn't much like the taste of it anyway and it's expensive, I just stopped eating it. I also make my own chicken and vegetable stocks now, rather than using stock cubes, and I never liked beer, so the sources of yeast in my diet were almost non-existent.

My GF diet seemed to be working less well in Oct/Nov last year. I had started eating GF bread again at that time because I was trying to have a more "normal" diet. I'd been losing weight slowly but continuously, and wondered if the lack of carbs was to blame.

Now it occurs to me that I didn't eat any bread in the first five days of my gluten challenge either. It was Christmas so I merely added mince pies and christmas cake to my usual fare. The gluten still had a negative effect on my digestion, but only after I started to eat bread on a daily basis did I begin to feel properly unwell.

I think I could be reacting to bakers' yeast as well as gluten. I can't be absolutely sure that I've remembered all the timings correctly, but it seems to be quite a coincidence.

Has anyone else got an intolerance to bakers' yeast? Is this something that can be officially tested and/or diagnosed? I'm utterly fed up of trying to convince doctors to take me seriously. The nice GP that did take me seriously (and sent me to the gastro) is on maternity leave.

3 Replies

I think that yeast gives me gut ache but not the symptoms of gluten. Eating Warburtons bread does cause me similar gut problems but not the week plus of other symptoms. Have you tried yeasted bread made without gums as the xanthan/xanthum gum gives me the runs and I can't leave the house for a day. I find M&S bread just about tolerable...that might allow you to test the yeast/gums issue.


I've used xanthan gum in home baking a couple of times, so I can try that out... I'd rather do that than try different types of bread - they have very similar ingredients and my expectation of a bad reaction will probably have an impact. Whereas with the gum, I don't think it's that and am happy to try it. If I'm wrong and it does turn out to be the gums it will be more convincing. Thanks for the idea!

I also read somewhere that yeast mannan and beta glucans have conditioning effects on the immune system, whatever that means... could this mean they exaggerate my immune response to gluten?


that's sensible - test each thing at a time. I do know that many people have trouble with yeasts


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