Intolerance of some fermented foods

  • posted by dohboy

    Hi all. Just wondering if anybody has any experience with a sensitivity to certain fermented foods?

    I used to drink quite a bit, over the past 7 or 8 years or so I noticed my hangovers getting worse and taking longer to recover from, at first I just figured it was an inevitability of getting older and I should either suck it up or cut back (or both!). I paired down my consumption over time with no improvement, even a single drink could make me feel lousy the following day.

    Once I stopped drinking altogether I realised other foods also make me feel lousy, notably white wine vinegar (even in very small amounts in cooking and on salads). I seem to be able to eat pickles/sauerkraut, kefir, cheese etc without issue, but recently fell foul of kvas (ever so slightly fermented bread crusts/raisins but barely alcoholic) and bread made with sourdough starter that had developed an alcoholic/acetone funk.

    Symptoms are headache/sinus pressure, fatigue, tickly cough, upset stomach – usually takes several hours for symptoms to come on, at their worst 24-36 hours later and can linger for days). GPs have no idea (stop drinking was about the most helpful advice I got!), Dr Google comes up with very little (although ‘leaky gut’ sounds like a potential culprit), most people chuckle and make a joke about hangovers when I mention it!

    It would be interesting to know if anyone has heard of this kind of sensitivity, but I’ve just read the Clever Guts book so will I will see if the change in diet to helps (omitting the stuff I know I can’t have). We’ll see!

  • posted by Firefox7275

    Have you completed the detailed food and symptom diary (p.187 + 266-267)? Ideally for two to four weeks since you have identified multiple possible culprits. Everything you eat or drink, with measured quantities and full product name/ brand such that the ingredients list can easily be checked. Analyse this yourself, or use to request a GP referral to a registered dietician or blood/ urine/ stool tests.

    Whilst it certainly is possible you have developed a sensitivity to one or more components of your diet – for example certain fungi/ yeasts or gluten – do keep an open mind. There are other ways alcohol intake above recommended daily or weekly limits affects our health even after we stop. Liver function (get tested), overweight/ obesity (inflammatory), poor diet choices (sugary or fatty or processed), undernutrition/ nutrient insufficiencies and so on. The alcohol itself and/ or the regular upset stomachs and/ or any medication taken for gastritis can affect the gut lining and gut microbiome.

    Things to consider in the analysis …

    Is your current diet properly balanced and very varied/ do you consistently meet or exceed *all* your country’s diet and lifestyle recommendations?

    Do you react to components of suspect foods (eg. raisins, bread flour, commercial yeast)? All alcoholic drinks or only ones made from grains or grapes?

    Do you react only to DIY or live/ unfiltered fermented foods OR to heat treated/ filtered mass/ pasteurised mass-produced fermented foods?

    If you are past the diary stage do note Dr Mosley and co “don’t recommend removing too many foods at one time, so it might be helpful to do R&R in several stages (p.190).


  • posted by brud

    I have exactly the same thing… any thing fermented, aged or cured and foods with high histamine levels. I’ve spoken to a doctor and done some research , apparently it is a high level of histamine in the body. But I can’t figure out how to help my body and not have to take a anti histamine everyday without eliminating a large amount of foods. Also I have digestive issues but a lot of things suggested to improve this are fermented!
    Looking for solutions…

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