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Rare Yeast Allergy

For the past few years I've noticed that I would have an allergic reaction to certain beers, wines and ciders i.e. itchy throat and ears, tightness or chest discomfort and fatigue if it was bad enough.

However certain brands of beer, wine and cider were absolutely fine and I had zero reactions. I eventually narrowed it down to yeast as it was the only common denominator.

So for the beers I could drink, I started asking brew masters what yeast they used. A common theme was that they used older strains of yeast and also lagers seemed fine.

One more strange reaction was sorghum. My wife is gluten free and when she gave me a bite of her carrot cake one day, I had one of the worst reactions! The only ingredient that I didn't normally encounter was the sorghum.

Lo and behold I just found this study on the NIH website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5371212/

It describes me down to a T, even the sorghum reaction. One huge difference is that I am of european descent and not chinese.

Anyone else dealing with this?
2 Responses
15695260 tn?1549596713
Thank you, thehaohmaru.  I appreciate your posting this and it is very interesting! Since sorghum is so often a substitute for gluten and found I gluten free products, you and your wife will have to be careful with how things are prepared!  In looking into this, you do indeed have all of the associated symptoms of this allergy.  It will be interesting if this allergy becomes less rare with the current trend of gluten free diets and the onslaught of gluten free products on the market.  I did not realize that this can be an ingredient in beer!  Perhaps a brewmaster friend of yours will come up with a special recipe that you will not react to and name it after you.  :-)  

Thanks again for sharing and I hope it helps someone else as well.
1 Comments
Fortunately I am not gluten intolerant too, so I don't typically encounter sorghum.  And yes, many gluten free beers do use sorghum in place of wheat, but I've never seen it in regular beer.  I did find a brand of (gluten) beer where I tolerate the yeast they use just fine.
207091 tn?1337713093
Ohhhh this is really interesting.

I recently concluded I was allergic to alcohol, though I knew it wasn't the actual alcohol, but something in it. Most beers cause major congestion, shortness of breath and fatigue. Every now and then, I find a wine that does, too, but I've never really known if it's wine or a food I'm eating that does it, so I haven't investigated that as thoroughly. Beer definitely does it. Mixed drinks don't. Pizza, breads, etc., don't cause problems.

I had wondered about yeast, but I don't drink enough to put any real effort into figuring out which brands I could drink. What brands can you drink? I'd be interested in trying that.
3 Comments
As far as wine goes, I've noticed whites give me the stonger reactions and I do better with reds like pinot noir, merlot and cabernet.  One brand I stick with is Bogle, they are pretty big so you should be able to find them.

For beer, the study links "craft/microbrewery" beer as causing more severe reactions, I haven't found this to be true.  My go to beer is a local microbrewery, Jack's Abby from Framingham, MA.  They mostly brew lagers and I haven't had any reactions from their lagers, stouts, porters etc.  I recently found out they have their own in house strain of yeast.

And like you, I have zero reactions to spirits.  I'm sure this is because the yeast is either totally distilled out or sanitized by the higher alcohol content.  Breads don't bother me at all either.

Certainly sounds you have what the study describes, I'm curious if you have the sorghum allergy too.
That makes sense about whites - I can't drink reds because they give me migraines, so I only drink whites, hence the reaction.

I don't think I have the sorghum allergy, but I haven't paid attention. I have a nephew who is gluten free, and gluten free foods don't cause any reaction. I am sure I have food allergies, though. I just haven't taken the time to go get tested recently (or well, in 30 years since my last testing lol). Sometimes I'm fine, sometimes I can't make it through a meal. It's worse when I eat out, though I haven't been able to pinpoint anything other than alcohol, as mentioned already.

I'll start paying attention, though.

Thanks for posting this. It's really interesting.
Did your symptoms start suddenly, or have you noticed them since you starting drinking?

Mine started suddenly. I'm older, and have been drinking for years, and this suddenly started a few years ago. I know allergies can develop at any age - and I've developed many as I've gotten older - but I was wondering what your experience was.
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