Why I Don’t Have Fermented Foods on My Blog – Part One

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Fermented Foods like kombucha, kerif, sauerkraut, and kimchi are supposed to be great for leaky gut, but they have been a problem for me. Come find out why. Think you have a yeast allergy? You'll be interested in this post too!

Seeing as Whole New Mom is a blog that mainly talks about health and related topics, you may be wondering why I’ve never done a post about fermented foods.

I’ve got posts about going sugar-free, about the dangers of gluten, and about heavy metal toxicity and the burden of toxins on our health.

But no posts about:

and all that cultured stuff.

Read on to find out why–and hang with me. This is one of those longish posts with lots of info.

Remember my series on Candida and Gut Health from a while ago? If you didn’t read it, hop on over there. You’ll get to see up close and personal the way that candida wreaked havoc on my body and my life.

Candida is essentially a term to describe an overgrowth of yeast that causes many problems in the affected person.

And I had it bad.

If you look around the internet, many people say that kombucha and fermented foods are one of the key ways to rid oneself of candida.

But they didn’t work for me.

Here’s what happened instead.

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The Candida Diet and Fermented Foods

About 4 years ago (I think that’s when this all started), I went on a pretty strict dietary regimen that excluded all sugary foods, and limited starches. The program included fermented foods in the “restricted” category, stating that often when folks were dealing with systemic candida, their bodies were sensitized to yeast products and fermented foods.  Instead of the body responding positively to the introduction of such “beneficial foods,” their bodies might react negatively instead.

So I followed that prescription.

No–

  • kombucha
  • kefir
  • vinegars
  • mustard
  • yeast
  • nutritional yeast

Etcetera.

The whole thing was pretty complex (more on the story later), but overall I was getting better. Sort of. Actually, there is a reason why the Candida Diet didn’t “do it” for me, but I will touch on that in a future post.  So make sure you join my newsletter if you haven’t already. You’ll for sure not want to miss that.

Anyway, I always wondered about the exclusion of fermented foods from the list of allowed foods, because there are many who tout cultured foods as being key to overcoming candidiasis (systemic candida).

Trial #1 – Super Fermented Drink

After a while of “doing the Candida Diet,” I was hitting a wall. So I talked with a man who had a lot of experience in candida, heavy metals, and the like, and he recommended my doing a “flush the bad guys out” protocol.

The Plan? Buy a boatload (about 5 2 liter bottles) of heavy-duty probiotic drink, and drink a bunch of it over the course of a few weeks.

It was expensive, but I was desperate to get better.

So I bought it and started to drink.

What followed was very unpleasant.

My symptoms worsened. A lot.

Itching everywhere. Intense and uncomfortable. And frightening.

I really didn’t think I could go on and see where this might lead. I felt like my body was rebelling against me and I was ready to surrender.

I packed up the unused portion of the boatload and paid to ship it back.

No more fermented foods for me for a long time.

Trial #2 – Kombucha

Fast forward a few years. I’d made a lot of changes–tightened up my diet and worked on adrenal healing, heavy metal toxicity, and more. It was a hard, hard time for me but I was starting to have more energy and wanted to start making kombucha for my family (and maybe for me—I hoped).

So I did. And I drank.

Not good.

More itching. Lots of it. Skin, scalp, ears, and the dreaded feminine itching thing. (Sorry if that’s TMI.)

I talked with my practitioner and she said that maybe I was reacting to the fermentation, or perhaps I should just go with fermented veggies since they have no sugar that can remain in them. She also said that I could try again sometime down the road.

Now, to be clear, I fermented my kombucha ’til it tasted like a strong vinegar, so I think there was little to no sugar in that stuff, but I still wasn’t tolerating it.

I ended up trying to ferment some carrots, but they didn’t work well. Sigh.

So since I couldn’t tolerate it, and I was still pretty low on energy, the SCOBY died and I left the dream of fermented foods alone for awhile.

Trial #3 – Fermented Superfood Probiotic

This next part is a little murky, but here’s basically what happened.

I started taking a new fermented superfood probiotic back in July of 2012.

I went right into a full serving, but I ended up having some ear itching again and thought I needed to back off. The symptoms went away immediately, so I thought I was having a reaction to fermentation. Again.

I decided to back off. But tried again around October.

Same thing.  Ear itching and sinus stuff.

I figured fermented foods and I just didn’t get along.

Trial #4 – Fermented Superfood Probiotic

In March of 2013, I decided to try one more time to see if I could handle the fermented food probiotic.

I really really wanted to add this stuff to my diet and felt like the probiotic was really great for my gut.

There are sooo many probiotics out there and I have tried A LOT of them. With most of them, you just know that they aren’t working, but with this one, I could tell for sure that it was.

So I tried.

I started with 1/8 of a teaspoon and progressed to 1/4 and was tolerating it pretty well.

March 22 – I upped my dose of the probiotic to 1/2 teaspoon and my eyes started itching again.  I backed off again.

Trial #5 – Lots of Fermented Foods

By mid-April, I was trying again. I was determined to get this stuff into my system.

I ramped my dosage up to 1 teaspoon per day and felt great (tons of energy and great digestion), but I ate some other foods with yeast in them on April 15 and woke up with INTENSE itching in my ears.  Like “I’m going to go nuts” itching.

Well, I know this is kind of gross, but my ears were peeling inside a little and I smelled some of the discharge / skin.

The discharge from one of my ears smelled like yeast.

Was this my body trying to get rid of it?

Or was this a reaction to the fermented foods?

Regardless, it seemed I was doomed. Big sigh.

Trial #6 –  The Big Guns

Just 3 days later, April 15, I was given the chance of a lifetime.

The chance to talk with someone who really knows his stuff about probiotics.

Not just a health food store employee, but an expert in the field of probiotics and superfoods.

I’ll fill you in in the next post about what he said and what happened.

Click here for part two of Why I Don’t Have Fermented Foods on My Blog.
Click here for part three–Why I WILL Have Fermented Foods on My Blog.

Sorry to keep you hanging, but I’ve got a lot to say on this topic :-).

Have you had reactions to fermented foods or been told you are sensitive to them?

By the way, the photo up there was taken by Michaela of Vicariously Vintage. Nice shot, eh?

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221 Comments

  1. I am a candida survivor. I have studied Candida deeply as a nutrionist and have helped many people with yeast overgrowth. I was pretty shocked recently when I learned that fermented veggies were giving me a yeast infection. I stopped eating them. This is not die off, it’s full on yeast. WTF? There is still much to be open to learning.

  2. yea i can’t do fermented foods, at all. I am glad I found this article. Its a fad and hype. If someones body rejects something, that is the first all-tell all sign that you shouldn’t force it. I believe that I and people that have gastrointestinal issues have damage and should avoid these foods. Once the body is damaged, if damaged bad enough, it may never return. I am just very, very skeptical and don’t believe that eating and drinking fermented foods are beneficial. I believe that we are made up of microorganisms and good bacteria, but i don’t believe just downing a bunch of them is going to fix issues or make someone better. I just don’t buy it, from my personal experiences and from what else I read about others dealing with similar things online.

  3. By far one of the most annoying things I have ever read. If it didn’t work the first two times why the hell would you try it again? You know what insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result… Why didn’t you just look up a vegan diet and something herbal? I don’t see how in six trials throughout like six years you could fail so hard and still not think to research something different. I’m sorry, but you’re quite stupid.

    1. Sorry to have annoyed you, Jay. Actually, it does make sense and now I tolerate fermented foods quite well — if you continue to the next post you can see how things turned out. Thanks.

  4. The key is to start small: ½ cup of cultured vegetables or 2 oz. of your favorite probiotic liquid is a good place to start.
    You may experience symptoms of “die off,” as the “bad guys” (candida, pathogenic bacteria and parasites) die and leave your body. These symptoms can include digestive pain like gas and bloating, headaches, flu-like symptoms and skin eruptions.

    As your body gets used to fermented foods and drinks, you can start to add 1 additional serving at a time. For example, you may add another ½ cup cultured vegetables or 2 oz. of probiotic liquids with 2 or more meals per day.
    Eventually, you can work up to having a serving of cultured vegetables and probiotic liquids at every meal or possibly, as a between-meal snack.
    I am loving the way they are enhancing my health and have had no side effects. However it is estimated that 15% of the population may not be able to tolerate them for several possible reasons.

    1. I am going to be working on it again. I am taking a fermented probiotic now and doing pretty well.

      1. Sorry if I have posted on your blog before this , but I really can’t remember 🙁 But I have never seen this topic that I know of .I’m truly amazed that someone has had the same reactions to fermented foods as I have through my life. When I seen that your son had broken out with eczema at 6 months old I knew there had to be a connection some how . For I too broke out at 6 months old , with a sever case of eczema after my Mom took me off store bought formula & put me on Raw cows milk. ( parents were farmers ) She said , my little body was so raw & irritated she was afraid to hold me , due to it being so painful. Anyways long story short Dr. placed me on Goats milk , but my eczema never went away & back then Dr’s just gave her salve to calm it. At age 5 I started with asthma & hives – pollen & grass allergies . More pills potions & I never felt any better . BTW my Mom had eczema too as a child , but sort of grew of of it . Oh I also have numerous animal allergies .

        Really trying make this short . Since I’ve been doing Lchf for a year & cutting out . Fruits , wheat , sugar then adding slowly different veg. All by myself – I figured out that Tree & grass pollens are associated with food allergies . Cruciferous & nightshades if not cooked or not can make me brake out more. Anything with vinegar too, Hives & itch so much I want to ripe my skin off. My stomach gets painful & bloated . Tomatoes sauce in any form makes me get stuffy – sneeze & cough . I did the same as you & took plant based organic -non Gmo Probiotics pills . Made me feel ill so I stopped . Yes my ears itch a lot , but I always assumed it was because of my allergies to foods . Which I was tested & have fructose & histamine intolerance . This is as far as my journey has taken me . Thought of going to a holistic Dr. but my insurance won’t cover most tests , unless it can be proved it’s of dire need . My Dr. just is writing it off as allergies can be controlled with diet & meds . But now that I have read what your going through it’s probably much deeper & my body maybe full of toxic substances. I’m a big mess with GERD & IBS . On the other hand -happy to have found some relief with Lchf , because I have lost weight & have more energy . That’s it don’t want to go into my whole life history WOW scary ! You’ve found a new reader & I can’t wait to hear more on your journey !! Best of luck to you & yours 🙂 Diana

        1. Wow- you have been through a lot. It is a lot of work- I’m trying new things too – homeopathy now. My ears got quite bad and I am using this balm on them and it really helps. https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/wholenewmom/area/shop-online/category/special-treatment/product/2362/wild-rose-beauty-balm-1-76oz/ (it’s quite pricey, but I only need a very small amount in my ears and I’ve had it since the end of Jan and there’s a whole lot left. I’ve tried all kinds of things but this is the best so far. Is your itching only down in the canal or does it go out farther than that?

          I hope that the homeopathy is successful and that I can share that down the road.

    2. Yep you are right. I went through this. It gets better. For people who are working, this could be a problem however. I am retired (RN nurse)

  5. The evidence showing benefit of fermented foods is becoming vast. All food traditions have fermented foods, as they were the rule for food preservation pre-canning and refrigeration. They have been in our diets for perhaps a hundred thousand years, since our genesis. Other animals also flock to fermented foods, as fermentation brings out odors that tell the natural world that dinner is served.

    I’m not bearing a burden of proof here for the benefits associated with consuming fermented foods, however running a Google search for “fermented food research” will bring up a great and growing body of research supporting consumption of fermented foods. As per candida, I would question seriously anyone suggesting that you limit your intake of whole-food sources of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are also where “fiber” exists. If you take away carbohydrates, you are in effect eliminating fiber from your diet, as well as prebiotics (indigestible carbohydrates that feed our gut flora). The key to a healthy gut is a high fiber, nutrient-dense, plant-based diet, a moderate intake of fermented foods, exclusion of processed foods, and limited consumption of overtly fatty or protein heavy foods.

  6. Who would have thought fermented sauerkraut could cause so much misery? I added fs to my diet about 2 months ago – 1/2c daily. Actually, I really liked it and in no time I was buying more. After 3 weeks of consuming fs, I got up one morning to find my face and neck broken out in red blotches. Visited my dermatologist, and he thought it was from my vitamin c serum, so gave me a steroid cream. Being the inquisitive type, I started my own research on the web, and after many hours of searching, I came across “histamine intolerance.” Well, it began to add up, fermented sauerkraut was the culprit, not my vitamin c serum! You really have to be careful with all foods high in histamine.

    1. Ugh – so sorry that happened to you!!!

      Are you on a low histamine diet how? I wonder why it took 3 weeks?

  7. Thanks for creating this great blog.
    A word of caution about die-off….it’s very individual:. some can eat kraut, some can’t, some can drink jucies, some can’t.. Die-off depends entirely on your personal toxic content. Note, among the toxins given off, is alcohol. Be sure you get your Kidneys and Liver an A.O.K. before drastic and prolonged probiotics. After all the previously mentioned symptoms and diagnoses…and even more…I am now end stage kidney failure and I queston…..I just question….

      1. Many of these posts sound so much of what I have experienced. I have been battling Candida for about 20 years. After having different doctors telling me they didn’t know why I was having recurring vaginal issues, along with dry skin, itchy scalp, hair falling out, brain fog, worriness, memory loss, grinding, palm eczema…to name a few, I decided to do my own homework. I came across Dr. Crook’s “Yeast Connection” and realized I was eating high levels of sugar. Over time, I read here and there and tried many things to change my diet. Saw some improvements but yeast not completely gone. I came across heavy metals as (lot of info of this on youtube/web) probably being the culprit. I had 10-11 mercury fillings in my teeth for about 25 years. Took only 5 on right side out 5 years ago but left the rest in there to do later. About 7 months ago, I was told I have fibroid size of a grapefruit in my uterus and few in my breasts. Starting seeing a holistic doctor who is detoxing my body. I have been eating sauerkraut 3 times a day for about 4 months but yeast came back though I ate more sugar than should have…..so my body is still not healthy. I have seen many improvements but I do feel I am very sensitive to fermented foods. Tried vinegar in water and made it worse!! I decided 2 weeks ago to rid my other mercury fillings.
        I think metal toxicity is culprit for my continuing issues. I’m so excited they are out and waiting to see how my body improves. I feel my body is very sensitive to certain foods, especially fermented ones. I sent a hair analysis to be done through Trace Elements. Will update what lab reports say.

        1. I hope things go well for you. I worked w/ those hair analyses for a long time but never felt it was getting my anywhere. I wish it had. I have mixed feelings about them. I don’t have any idea how they determine what the levels should be and how it really reflects what is going on in the body. Hope to hear that you have good news.

    1. a holistic doc told me that colloidal silver takes away the flu Herxheimer reaction.. Now I find out!

  8. Histamine intolerance! All the classic symptoms. Might wanna do a genetic test for common problems in methylation pathways as faulty methylation is often an issue in people with histamine intolerances.

    1. Thanks! I thought it was a problem but it doesn’t appear to be. I really think it was candida. Working on that too!

  9. You were having “die off”.. It’s normal… It happens to mostly everyone…that’s when people make the mistake and stop …. You should have continued and it would have resolved in a few days or so.

    1. Hi there. I think you are possibly right, but it continued to plague me. Some told me I couldn’t tolerate them and others that it was a histamine reaction. I did actually try some fermented foods for a long time and it didn’t resolve so it was odd indeed.

  10. May I suggest Pau D’arko medicinal tea? It kills Candida. It is a potent anti fungal. You also need to do a colon and liver detox to get rid of all the waste in your system from the Candida. After you use the Pay D’Arco tea the symptoms can worsen as you begin to have die off. Don’t give up. Candida support by Now Foods is also a good thing to take. I healed after a long battle with Candida and have lots of fermented foods in my diet. Kill the Candida first then add them in. I hope you can find healing.

  11. Your experience sounds much like mine. I have been eating no carbs and consistent with Body Ecology Diet for over a month because I have food allergies and can’t eat anything any more without getting a painfully red itchy rash all over my body. I can tolerate homemade chicken soup with just veggies and a few pieces of chicken and that’s it, I started taking probiotics and then added antifungals and I don’t know if it’s die off or an allergic reaction to the different things but I can’t take them. Same with coconut milk kefir and fermented cabbage. I am so sick of spending money on different pills and supplements only to feel worse not better. I’m tempted to take that liquid zeolite you mentioned to detox heavy metals but wait I’ve already done that with so many other pills and stuff that I’m done trying the latest magic bullet. I don’t think I will ever stabilize enough to know if I am having die off or an allergic reaction. Doctors are of no help and they claim that I don’t even have food allergies. What can I even do at this point? I really want t just die. There is nothing I can eat and my health problems have ruined my life.

    1. I am so so sorry to read this. I can handle fermented foods now, but perhaps this post will help you: https://wholenewmom.com/health-concerns/histamine-allergies-causes-histamine-intolerance/

      What kind of detox have you done? I wonder if your immune system is going wacky? I can’t medically advise, but just what I would be thinking. Have you looked at the AIP diet? Can you really only have chicken and veggies? I am dealing w/ a new practitioner and just finished w/ a good one so I could pass the info to you if you like.

  12. I am a male but went through 10 years of very bad health, nothing and I mean nothing would work helping me feel better. I had thrush so bad and was rushed to the hospital many times for very low o2 saturation. It felt like I was going to die but the doctors had nothing to direct them to help me other than calm down and take these pills. I’m not even going to go into what the pills were but none helped. I finally begged them to admit me and test me until they found out what was wrong. I received an eye roll from the doctor but he went a head and admitted me. They diagnosed me with a mycobacteria infection. This is so very rare for people without aids or advanced cancer. I was directed to an infectious disease specialist and he was absolutely no help what so ever. Said there was a rotation of 4 different antibiotics I could take for 18 months but he told me it probably would not work and would make me very sick. He also told me he could not tell me why I was dying from the inside out. Mycobacteria is what breaks down carbs and protein then turns them into soil. Anything that’s dying or dead attracts natures way of recycling and I was infected with it. This scared me to death and I was feeling just awful. I felt wired all the time with teeth grinding too. I guess the best way to explain it was I felt like I was being electrocuted day and night. I finally sent my blood work to a holistic MD and he took 5 minutes and told me I had some kind of poisoning, probably heavy metal. This was in 2011 and ordered some EDTA suppositories. I had HUGE reactions with boils on body and in mouth so I knew he was right. I did 6 months worth and felt better but not great and still had that bad infection. I then did 7 liver flushes and BOY did I have a butt load of gull and liver stones. I mean hundreds to maybe thousands. That made me feel so much better BUT I still did not feel right so I opened my mouth and said to myself, I have to get rid of these metal filings. I could even taste metal sometimes but I guess I got used to it. Well those suckers came out and that’s when the real healing and chelating started. I used DMSA and Zeolite powder to focus on the mercury. I still use zeolite everyday and will until I die. NOW on the subject of fermented foods. If your body is toxic especially with metals nothing will work so even doing the right thing was like a dog chasing it’s tail. Now that I have been chelating for 3 years I decided to attack this infection. I went with a very strict eating grasses and all raw alkaline diet. The first week was all blended to with NO SWEET stuff. NO FRUIT what so ever other than lemon. LET me tell ya,, If I would have guided or judged my healing for the way I felt, I would not be feeling so much better today. I literally felt like bugs were crawling all over my body and that was just one side affect. I had so much die off going on it was scary and I felt ten times worse than I did before I started. I also introduced Kefir and I can tell that bad bacteria does not like having a flood of the good stuff coming into my body. It makes me feel a little sick but I have learned that that’s actually a goo thing happening. Die off sucks but you have to power through it. There should no reason what so ever that your body should be having issues with fermented food other than it’s killing off the bad guys to quick. Summery,, Gotta make sure there is no toxic issues first by chelating and I don’t mean eating cilantro, I mean real chelation with DMSA, EDTA and zeolite. Then attack those bad boys with goo probiotic foods!!

      1. Sounds like your problem is quite a bit more serious than what can be dealt with simply. Test for Ulcerative Colitis, if positive try a two week regimen of Butyric Acid enemas, a diet high in soluable fibre and leafy greens (and generally veggies that cause flatulence) along with the probiotics. Butyric Acid is the closest thing you’ll find for miracle drug for you colon. Its normally produced by microbial action on soluable fiber in your colon (side effect is flatulence). Leafy greens have soluable fiber, plus there is additional benefit on innate lymphoid cells in your digestive tract.

        1. How are you suggesting one does a test for UC? I just looked at they symptoms on Mayo Clinic’s site and I don’t seem to have any of those. Thanks!

    1. Use food grade Diamtomaceous Earth every 4 hrs-3 Heaping Tablespoons in cold tea. It will settle to the bottom of the glass, so you need to stir before sipping. It’s tasteless. I even brush my teeth with it.

      1. What do you think about Diatomaceous Earth? I recommended it to a friend over Thanksgiving. She said she didn’t want to take it internally since it kills scorpions and nothing does that.

        I also, if one is going to take it internally, recommend starting out slowly. It can be overwhelming. Thanks!

        1. I am a retired nurse. A few of my facebook friends had cancer. They tried everything-chemo, radiation etc. Doc sent them home to die. I told them about the DE. They did the DE and totally in one month was cured. Doctors in SLC were amazed. They called me on a converence call. That cancer clinic did a research and was amazed with the results. The only cancer it did not cure was anything lung related and advanced liver cancer. It did curer beginning liver cancer however. All those doctor are now on it. They only use the chemo and radiation of lung patients. Advanced liver cancer-its to late for any cure. They called me up again and thanked me. They told me that my first dose should be on an empty stomach in the morning. It stays in the body only three hours. So every four hours it is save to take. What the body does not utilize it is eliminated in the stool. Everyone’s body is different. I was on it a year before discovering what the docs told me. The 3 Tablespoons each morning is as low of dose to try. It does give you loads of energy, it works well with all medications. You will first notice the amazing results in your skin-softer and lines disappear. I am 62 yrs old. People mistaken me for my daughters sister. They are in their mid 40’s. Many of my doctors here in Tx and the ER are now on it. Yes it even kills bugs. The DE is pure silica. When we are born we have the right amount of silica in our bodies. If we do not replace that on a daily basis, we get diseases, age etc. DE slows all the aging down, helps keep us younger. It does not work on arthritis (eliminating that) but does cut the pain down in half. I don’t do western medicine. I am Native American, like the more natural cures. If you watch the TV when a drug company has an add on for their product, then list side effects. Who would take that drug. At times I do understand they are necessary. But … Be your own judge. Try it or not, does not matter to me. I have gotten healthier on it. I have been on it 3 yrs. Husband refused to take it. He is now dead. Miss him dearly. But I am going to do everything in my power to stay healthy. DE helps me to achieve that goal. I have two daughters who were born legally blind and extremely hard of hearing. If you remember in 1983 two young children who went to Moscow Russia for treatment on their eyes-those are my daughters.

          1. Thanks for that. So why would it kill a scorpion but be OK for our internal use? I actually just started it again at a very low dose b/c I got very fatigued the first time that I tried it. So I scaled way back this time. I use it on our cat as well.

            I didn’t see that about Moscow – do you have information? I had a not so pleasant childhood so I wasn’t plugged into the news much back then. Totally agree on the pharma drugs :(.

          2. It kills bugs because they dont have human bodies like ours or the brain. They get it all over themselves and it gets into their lungs etc and kills them dead. An insect has an exoskeleton. When it gets diatomaceous earth on themselves, they die. It can kill any bug with an exoskeleton easily, but is safe for any mammal to eat. We are in that category of mammals. Its great for killing fleas on pets and put in their food, kills eternal parasites. All my pets get it. I even put it in the fish tanks. My dwarf frogs live only 5 yrs. When I started to put the DE in their water, they are now 10 yrs old! So imagine what it can do for us. The piece that all the news ran was on me. I am the mother of the two girls that went to Moscow. We live together, as they have mild retardation as well. Ben (my late husband) his whole company was sprayed with Agent Orange during the 1968 Viet Nam Tet Offensive. We went over to Moscow in 1983 and again in 1985. I have no living family. So if something happens to me, I do not know what would happen to the girls. They would be unable to live alone.

            1. Yeah, I think that is my line of thoughts about the DE too. I guess I must be loaded w/ toxins b/c I felt cruddy on 1/2 tsp today. Boo. I’ll go slowly/

              I’m sorry about your husband and your girls. I know what you mean. We have no family really to help us. How old are your girls? Maybe at this rate you will live to 160!

  13. I have been working on my diet for years. After being gluten free for a couple of years finding offending foods has become so much easier as I am not just an autoimmune mess anymore. I get terrible histamine reactions from fermented foods. I thought it was a yeast problem for so long but after researching I am pretty sure it is a mast cell/histamine reaction. I was pretty focused on leaky gut/yeast etc. that I didn’t look beyond that. Looking into high histamine foods has helped me a lot. I think I tried everything – elimination diet, candida, fructose malabsorption, paleo, etc. Itchy skin is indicative of a some sort of histamine reaction. I finally gave up on fermented foods – just not my friend and I doubt they ever will be.

    1. I know–I wonder abt that as well. We’ll see how things go moving forward for me. I was doing great on them for awhile and now not again so I am doing more gut work.

    2. I’m in the same boat, am very sensitive to histamines and have been gluten free for about a year and a half. I’ve had much improvement since going GF but still had pain in the joints, major pains. I made a batch of sauerkraut in a Pickle it jar and let it go for 2 1/2 months which is supposed to bring down the histamine levels. The recipe I used mixed in caraway seeds and thin slices of apple along with a few juniper berries. This morning when I opened it and tried a bit (gotta start slow, just a little a day to start) I could barely open the jar the stabbing knife pains in my hands were so intense.

      Now, this afternoon the pains in my joints are completely gone. My knuckles aren’t even red? Wow, but I gotta say I’ve been taking Benedryl liquid gel caps due to all the stuff in the air in Austin. I’m sure this helped me overcome the histamine reaction but also allowed me the benefits of the ferment. At least I hope so. Its only day one but my knuckles are not red and my ankle has absolutely no pain, ditto for shoulders, elbows..etc. I’m hopeful…

  14. I just started drinking Kombucha and my ear itching has come back. I never even made the connection. I used to have the horrible ear itching to the point where I itched so bad, I developed an infection and couldn’t hear properly. I have Kefir and Kimchi in the fridge and I’ll have to try those separately to see how my ears react.

    1. I’d love to hear. Did you read part 2? I am still working through this but it got pretty interesting.

    2. The article this person wrote is so ignorant it is embarrassing. Kombucha is not to be drank for people with Candida because it has YEAST in it. Fermented veggies are an entirely different story. ALSO, obviously this person does not realize that when you feel “worse” after trying things that may kill of the overgrowth of yeast it is because you are releasing them from your body and are experiencing the release of toxins – LOTS of toxins. It is called the Herxheimer Reaction. The Herxheimer Reaction is an immune system reaction to the toxins (endotoxins) that are released when large amounts of pathogens are being killed off, and the body does not eliminate the toxins quickly enough. Simply stated, it is a reaction that occurs when the body is detoxifying and the released toxins either exacerbate the symptoms being treated or create their own symptoms. The important thing to note is that worsening symptoms do not indicate failure of the treatment in question; in fact, usually just the opposite.

      Really….people like this should get off the internet and stop advising others when they have no clue what they are talking about!!!!!!!!!! I mean it!

      1. Thank you John! Exactly what you said. These “bad reactions” are actually showing you that it’s working and doing it’s job. People need to seriously educate themselves before creating a blog post.

          1. Yes, but what you need to realize is that people who have histamine intolerance are lacking certain enzymes in their gut that break down the histamine. So what these people need is a change in diet. A diet high in fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B6. A persons diet has everything to do with enzyme production. If you are eating the right foods high in soluble fiber your body will boost the levels of enzymes in your gut. And this is when you can and should start back on fermented foods. People with this histamine intolerance are the ones who really need the benefits of this food. They really need to clean out the gut, but first they must get healthy. So a histamine intolerance means you need to switch up your diet first and help the enzymes to flourish and do their job. Then you can enjoy the benefits of fermented foods.

            1. I always say that working on gut health is crucial, but I think it is more complicated than that.

          2. Not really. Its actually as simple as that. You do realize that histamine intolerance effects nearly 1% of the population, right? I’m done with this conversation, but all I can say is please please please educate yourself further.

          3. What he is saying is exactly what I was telling you above. It’s one of the enzymes needed to break down histamine. And yes, methylation can be helped through diet. As mentioned above B12 is essential to improving methylation, along with leafy green vegetables, folate, magnesium, zinc…. also, probiotics help the body absorb these nutrients.

            1. Hi again, Kelly.

              In fact, what you said and what Dr. Kresser said (and to be fair, I don’t always agree with him) are different. You stated that by making a change in diet that you can then heal the gut and then tolerate the fermented foods. Kresser said that you need to do more than just diet, and mentions supplements, and then said even with that that you “may always need to be careful, for example, with fermented foods, and some of the foods that we’re going to talk about that are high in histidine, and therefore, histamine. And/or they may need to use some natural antihistamine support or take some diamine oxidase as a treatment.” Methylation issues are very complicated. If it was just as simple as fixing the gut then many dear to me would be completely healed.

              I do think that your health building points are correct, however I would appreciate your being a little more charitable to me in your comments should you choose to come back. Thank you.

          4. What we are saying is not different Adrienne. When I mention diet and vitamins, that’s what I mean- the food you eat and supplementation. I’m not saying it’s easy and it happens over night. It’s not easy because to begin with most people don’t realize how disciplined you have to be to actually make a diet change work. It’s not just throwing in some vegetables here and there. You have to completely shift to only consume these specific foods and vitamin supplements. And consistently stay on top of it. And this has to be done over a good amount of time-then you slowly can add in fermented foods to your diet once your enzymes have been super charged and are ready to defend. And yes he’s correct some people still have to be careful, but that’s less the 1% of the population who have this extreme intolerance. So the point being to write an article that makes fermented foods out to be something less that what they actually are and to perhaps even scare some readers away from something that’s exceedingly beneficial for 99% of the people is a little misleading. I know you mean well. Best of luck!

            1. I think the issue is the you wrote “a diet high in fiber, vitamin C, and B6” and I took that to mean that you meant a diet high in those vitamins…not taking those vitamins. I didn’t mean to scare anyone away and if you read part 2 you can see that. Thanks again. I’m eating the fermented foods and I’m doing well w/ them. But it was a hard thing to get through and wasn’t related to histamine issues.

          5. Hi Adrienne- Just to add one more thing. Vitamin C is so important in super charging these enzymes and finding a good Vit C supplement is hard. I’ve found that Camu powder is one of the best ways to supplement vitamin C. It can be added to smoothies, protein shakes, or just juice/water. Also juicing a pineapple is a great way to get a wonderful amount of soluble fiber and vitamin C as well. Again best of luck to you and be well!

            1. I have been using vitamin C. Haven’t heard about camu powder – that is interesting. I have just been trying something new out that is heavy on vitamin C – not much to report yet. Pineapple is lovely but too high in carbs for our family. Thanks.

          6. Camu powder is a little pricey, but you can find it for half the price at thrive market online. A lot of supplements are half the price there. But yes, the vitamin C works wonders. We do kefir cleanses at our house and it always makes all of us sick at first. All of us but our 4 year old who takes over a 1000 mg vitamin C a day. He’s a monster! And he loves kefir. I catch him stealing it from the fridge. But it never affects him like it does the rest of us and he takes so much vitamin C every single day. I really believe that’s why he handles the kefir so well.

            1. I will check it out. So he is taking only the camu? I hear you can only absorb so much vitamin C at one time.

          7. Have you researched bone broth? It’s suppose to be very nutritional and very good for candida. I can’t bring myself to make it or drink it. I don’t do bones, but it’s intriguing!

          8. Yes the body only absorbs so much at one time. Then it either expels or reabsorbs what is left. So if you take high amounts of it you’re likely reabsorbing a lot of the vitamin C. And the awesome thing about that is the kefir or probiotics greatly help the absorption of vitamin C. It’s a win win situation. But I have vitamin C tablet chews sitting around our house and the boys can eat them as they like. The camu powder is really what we use, but the kids get some at different times as well.

  15. I’m glad that I found this post and your blog. I realized I also react badly to fermented foods. I love almost all the fermented foods so it’s very sad, but I’m staying away from them for now. Have you tried Bragg Liquid Aminos? I wonder if I should try it since I don’t want to use soy sauce.

  16. Hi, I have been a vegetarian for 20 + years, please study some of the literature on the web site above. We (the Adventists) have been health conscious for over 100 years. If anything, this site is very informative about health. Please take a look on this site, it may help you. God Bless and good health for you and your family.

    Norman Terrell
    Vegan Vegetarian.

    1. Thank you for caring. I used to be vegan but felt I needed to add animal proteins to my diet. I am still open, but not sure. I am in contact w/ an adventist group locally. You might know them. Country Life Natural Foods. Blessings to you as well.