Fermented foods can cause dizziness | rest-home (2023)

Fermented foods have become popular in recent years for their health benefits. However, some people have reported feeling dizzy after consuming fermented foods. This has raised the question of whether fermented foods can cause vertigo. In this article, we'll look at the science behind fermented foods and vertigo to determine if there's a connection between them.

Understanding fermented foods: what it is and how it works

Fermentation is a natural process that has been used to preserve food for thousands of years. During fermentation, bacteria, yeasts, or molds break down the carbohydrates and proteins in the food, producing acids, alcohol, and gases. This process changes the texture, flavor and nutritional value of the food. Examples of fermented foods include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and kombucha.

Fermented foods have become popular in recent years for their potential health benefits. The fermentation process can increase the bioavailability of nutrients in food, facilitating their absorption and use by our body. In addition, fermented foods contain probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health and boost the immune system. However, keep in mind that not all fermented foods are created equal, and some may contain high amounts of salt, sugar, or additives. It is best to choose fermented foods made from simple, whole ingredients and consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Good and bad bacteria in fermented foods

Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria known as probiotics, which can improve digestion and boost the immune system. However, not all bacteria in fermented foods are beneficial. Certain types of bacteria, such as listeria and salmonella, can cause food poisoning. Also, some people may be sensitive to certain types of bacteria, which can cause side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms.

It should be noted that the type and amount of bacteria in fermented foods can vary depending on how they are prepared and stored. For example, home-made fermented foods can be more likely to harbor harmful bacteria if not properly prepared and stored. It is recommended that you buy fermented foods from reputable sources and always follow proper food safety guidelines when preparing and storing them at home.

The link between fermented foods and vertigo

Vertigo can be caused by many factors, including dehydration, low blood sugar, and nervous system disorders. However, some people have reported feeling dizzy after consuming fermented foods. The exact cause of these dizziness is not entirely clear, but some experts believe it may be related to the levels of histamine or tyramine in fermented foods.

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Histamine is a chemical naturally produced by the body and also found in some foods, including fermented foods. It plays a role in the immune system and helps regulate various bodily functions. However, some people are sensitive to histamine and may experience symptoms such as dizziness, headache, and rash after eating histamine-rich foods.

Tyramine is another chemical found in fermented foods, as well as in mature cheeses, meats, and some fruits and vegetables. Like histamine, tyramine can cause dizziness and other symptoms in some people. This is because tyramine can cause blood vessels to constrict, which can lead to changes in blood pressure and circulation.

Common symptoms of vertigo caused by fermented foods

People who experience dizziness after consuming fermented foods may also experience other symptoms, including headache, hot flashes, sweating, and a rapid heartbeat. These symptoms are similar to those caused by histamine intolerance and tyramine sensitivity.

It's important to note that not all fermented foods make you dizzy. Some people may be more sensitive to certain types of fermented foods, such as aged cheeses or deli meats, which contain higher levels of histamine and tyramine. However, fermented foods like yogurt and kefir may not cause the same symptoms.

If you experience dizziness after consuming fermented foods, it is recommended that you keep a food diary to keep track of which foods trigger your symptoms. You can also speak with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be causing your symptoms.

Who is more prone to vertigo after fermented foods?

People who are more sensitive to histamine or tyramine may be more prone to dizziness and other symptoms after consuming fermented foods. In addition, people with pre-existing medical conditions such as migraines, allergies, and autoimmune disorders may be more susceptible to the side effects of fermented foods.

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It should be noted that not all fermented foods are created equal. Some fermented foods, such as yogurt and kefir, contain lower levels of histamine and tyramine compared to other fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi. Therefore, those more prone to fermented food vertigo may consider eating fermented foods with lower levels of histamine and tyramine, or limiting their intake of fermented foods altogether.

How does fermentation affect the nutritional value of food?

Fermentation can increase the bioavailability of certain nutrients in foods, such as vitamins B and K. However, some nutrients may be lost during the fermentation process. Therefore, it is important to consume fermented foods in moderation and to balance them with other nutrient-rich foods to ensure a complete diet.

In addition to increasing the bioavailability of certain nutrients, fermentation can also improve the flavor and texture of food. For example, fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and kimchi have a tangy, slightly sour flavor that can add depth to dishes. Fermentation can also provide a smooth, creamy texture in foods such as yogurt and kefir.

In addition, consuming fermented foods can have a positive effect on gut health. The live bacteria present in fermented foods can help improve the balance of your gut microbiota, which can lead to better digestion and a stronger immune system. Some studies even suggest that regular consumption of fermented foods may reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Are there any health benefits of eating fermented foods?

Some research suggests that consuming fermented foods may have health benefits such as improving gut health, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system. However, more research is needed to fully understand the health effects of fermented foods.

How to safely include fermented foods in your diet

If you want to include fermented foods in your diet, it's important to do it gradually and pay attention to your body's reaction. Start with small amounts of fermented foods and gradually increase over time. It may also help to choose fermented foods with lower levels of histamine and tyramine, such as fresh sauerkraut, kefir and yogurt. Cooked and canned fermented foods may also be better tolerated.

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Another important consideration when incorporating fermented foods into your diet is choosing high-quality organic produce. This can ensure that the fermentation process is proceeding properly and that the food is free of harmful additives or chemicals. In addition, it is important to properly store fermented foods to preserve their beneficial bacteria. Store them in airtight containers in the refrigerator and consume before the expiration date.

Finally, it should be noted that fermented foods may not be for everyone. If you have a weakened immune system or have had digestive problems in the past, it is best to consult your doctor before adding fermented foods to your diet. They can help you determine if fermented foods are safe for you and give you advice on how to use them safely.

Tips for identifying and avoiding trigger foods that make you dizzy

If you suspect fermented foods are causing your vertigo, it may be helpful to keep a food diary to identify which foods trigger your symptoms. Some common trigger foods include mature cheese, cold cuts, beer, wine, and vinegar. Once you identify trigger foods, you can try to avoid them or find alternatives that are better tolerated.

Another way to identify trigger foods is to follow an elimination diet. This includes eliminating certain foods from your diet for a period of time and reintroducing them one at a time to see if they trigger your symptoms. This can be a useful way to identify specific trigger foods that may not be obvious in your food diary.

Keep in mind that dizziness can also be caused by other factors, such as dehydration, low blood sugar, or certain medications. If you experience frequent or severe vertigo, it's important to talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Effective remedies for vertigo caused by fermented foods

If you experience dizziness after consuming fermented foods, there are several remedies that can ease your symptoms. Drinking plenty of water, resting, and avoiding trigger foods can help reduce vertigo. Also, some people get relief by taking antihistamines or probiotics. However, it's important to check with your healthcare professional before taking any new supplements or medications.

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Controversy over health claims for fermented foods

While many people rave about the health benefits of fermented foods, some experts are skeptical of these claims. Some studies have shown that the probiotics in fermented foods may not survive the digestive process or have a significant impact on gut health. Also, some fermented foods can be high in sodium, sugar, or other additives that can have negative health effects.

The role of probiotics in reducing vertigo caused by fermented foods

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods that can improve gut health and boost the immune system. Some research suggests that probiotics may also play a role in reducing dizziness and other symptoms caused by fermented foods. However, more research is needed to fully understand the link between probiotics and vertigo.

Common Types of Fermented Foods That Can Make You Dizzy

Some common fermented foods that can make you dizzy include aged cheese, cold cuts, beer, wine, vinegar, soy sauce, and sourdough bread. These foods are high in histamine and tyramine, which can cause side effects in some people.

How to determine if vertigo is caused by a food allergy or intolerance

If you suspect you have an allergy or intolerance to fermented foods, be sure to see your doctor. A healthcare professional can run tests to diagnose allergies or intolerances and give advice on how to manage your symptoms.

In conclusion, while fermented foods may have health benefits, some people may experience dizziness and other side effects after consuming them. It's important to consume fermented foods in moderation and pay attention to your body's responses. If you experience dizziness or other symptoms, it may be helpful to identify trigger foods and avoid them, or find alternatives that are better tolerated.


Can fermented food cause dizziness? ›

Seek medical attention immediately if you develop abdominal pain, vomiting, fatigue, or dizziness after eating fermented foods.

What are the symptoms of fermented food intolerance? ›

5 telltale signs that your body can't handle fermented foods, or that you have a fermented foods sensitivity
  • Gas and bloating. Dr. ...
  • Stomach pain and cramping. ...
  • Diarrhea. ...
  • Inflammatory skin conditions. ...
  • Anxiety.
Mar 20, 2023

What happens if you eat too much fermented food? ›

Experts warn too many fermented foods in your diet could cause gas, bloating, and other gastrointestinal issues.

What foods trigger vertigo? ›

Foods that are rich in amino acid tyramine include red wine, smoked meats, chicken liver, chocolate, yogurt, citrus fruits, bananas, figs, nuts and ripened cheeses. All these foods can trigger vertigo. Tyramine results in blood vessel dilatation that triggers migraine, which can lead to vertigo.

Can too much probiotics cause dizziness? ›

In some people, probiotic supplements could cause brain fog, dizziness or headaches.

Who Cannot eat fermented foods? ›

Here are 3 types of people who should avoid or reduce their fermented food intake:
  • People who are already bloated. Fermented foods are probiotics (ie. ...
  • People who are intolerant to histamines. Histamine is a compound that is produced by the body and found in fermented foods. ...
  • People who have a compromised immune system.
Sep 9, 2021

When should you not eat fermented food? ›

If you struggle with digestion issues, histamine intolerances, food sensitivities, or food allergies you may want to avoid eating too many fermented foods and should consult with your primary care physician or a registered dietitian before making any big changes to your diet.

Can kombucha make you dizzy? ›

Drinking kombucha can sometimes lead to headaches and dizziness. This is most likely due to the fact that it contains caffeine. If you are sensitive to caffeine, it is best to avoid kombucha or consume it in moderation.

Can you be sensitive to fermented foods? ›

Some people may be allergic to certain fermented foods, particularly those made with grains or dairy. Allergic reactions may include hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing. Just pay attention to what goes inside your favorite fermented food and see if you're allergic to it before consuming it.

Can fermented foods cause problems? ›

Biological hazards — bacteria, viruses and parasites that can cause foodborne illnesses — are the biggest concerns. Botulism, E. coli and salmonella are the main hazards for fermented foods. Botulism can form in oxygen-free conditions if a fermentation is not successful and acid levels are too low.

What happens when you first start eating fermented foods? ›

Due to the high probiotic content of fermented foods, the most common side effect is an initial and temporary increase in gas and bloating ( 32 ). These symptoms may be worse after consuming fiber-rich fermented foods, such as kimchi and sauerkraut.

Why do I feel nauseous after eating fermented foods? ›

She said: “Histamine is plentiful in fermented foods. “This can cause a range of histamine intolerance symptoms. The most common are itching, headaches or migraines, runny nose, eye redness, fatigue, hives and digestive symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.”

Are fermented foods bad for blood pressure? ›

Help for High Blood Pressure

You can lower your chances of high blood pressure by eating fermented foods. Top choices are soy foods, like miso and natto. Fermented dairy with multiple strains of helpful bacteria and yeast is also good. They help block an enzyme that has a connection to raising blood pressure.

What happens when you eat fermented foods everyday? ›

4) Improves digestion and gut health: Fermented foods improve gut health by balancing the composition of your gut flora to help you better digest and absorb the food you eat. Foods fermented are also full of digestive enzymes that can help you more easily break down and absorb what you put into your body.

What gets rid of dizziness fast? ›

Sit or lie down immediately when you feel dizzy. Lie still with your eyes closed in a darkened room if you're experiencing a severe episode of vertigo. Avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery if you experience frequent dizziness without warning. Avoid using caffeine, alcohol, salt and tobacco.

How do I stop feeling dizzy light headed? ›

If you feel lightheaded try these self-help :
  1. drink some water.
  2. eat or drink something sweet.
  3. sit or lie down - you may also find it helpful to raise your legs.
  4. don't drive a car or operate heavy machinery until you feel better.

What helps vertigo and dizziness go away? ›

Treating vertigo

During a vertigo attack, lying still in a quiet, darkened room may help to ease any symptoms of nausea and reduce the sensation of spinning. You may be advised to take medication. You should also try to avoid stressful situations, as anxiety can make the symptoms of vertigo worse.

Can bad gut bacteria cause dizziness? ›

Vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration, which leads to dizziness and lightheadedness. Eating contaminated food may also lead to food poisoning, which causes very similar symptoms. Norovirus typically improves within 1–3 days . Staying hydrated can prevent dehydration.

What are symptoms of too much probiotics? ›

Signs You May be Taking Too Many Probiotics
  • Diarrhea, Gas, Bloating, and other Digestive Symptoms. ...
  • Headaches from Amines in Probiotic Foods. ...
  • Certain Strains May Increase Histamine Levels. ...
  • Certain Ingredients Can Cause Adverse Reactions. ...
  • Probiotics May Increase the Risk of Infection for Some People.

What are the side effects of fermented probiotics? ›

They may trigger allergic reactions, and may also cause mild stomach upset, diarrhea, or flatulence (passing gas) and bloating for the first few days after starting to take them. There are certain people who need to use caution when using probiotic supplements. There is a risk of infection in some people.

Who shouldn't eat sauerkraut? ›

If you're pregnant or immunocompromised, you should avoid eating unpasteurized sauerkraut. If you take MAOIs, have blood pressure concerns, or have food intolerances or allergies, speak to your doctor before eating sauerkraut. Otherwise, sauerkraut is likely to be a nutritious and healthy addition to your diet.

Can fermented foods cause inflammation? ›

A 2021 study from Stanford University, published in the journal Cell, reveals that eating a variety of fermented foods reduces inflammation in the body, while eating a high-fiber diet of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts does not.

Why can't I tolerate fermented foods? ›

Histamine intolerance is possible, since fermented foods are generally high in histamine (a compound important for the immune response). “Histamine intolerance can be caused by a genetic mutation or by an imbalance in a person's gut flora,” says Presicci.

Are pickles considered fermented food? ›

Are Pickles Fermented? Quick pickles are not fermented, but lacto-fermented pickles are fermented. Quick pickles, the most common type of pickle found in grocery stores, are not fermented because they use an acid, such as vinegar, in their pickling brine.

What fermented foods are high in histamine? ›

Fermented foods such as wine, dry sausage, sauerkraut, miso, and soy sauce can also contain histamine along with other biogenic amines. Microorganisms possessing the enzyme histidine decarboxylase, which converts histidine to histamine, are responsible for the formation of histamine in foods.

Can kombucha help with dizziness? ›

Diabetes - research dating back to 1929 found kombucha can decrease blood sugar levels. Kidney and liver toxicity - may help eliminate kidney and liver damage. Hypertension - kombucha has been used to prevent headaches and dizziness caused by hypertension and is recommended for treating high blood pressure.

Why do I feel funny after drinking kombucha? ›

Digestive upset

Symptoms such as gas, nausea, and vomiting may occur. These side effects may be more likely in people who drink too much kombucha. Additionally, some people may not tolerate kombucha well, or have a poor digestive reaction when drinking it.

Can kombucha cause brain fog? ›

Your Kombucha is a heartbreaker. A team of gastroenterologists from Augusta University in Georgia think so. They recently did a study suggesting many people who supplement with probiotics daily might show symptoms like gas, diarrhea, and “brain fog”.

What are the symptoms of high histamine levels? ›

For these people, histamine builds up in the body and is not broken down correctly. This can trigger an immune system response resulting in symptoms such as diarrhea, shortness of breath, headaches, or skin irritation.

What are the symptoms of histamine? ›

Symptoms of histamine intolerance
  • headaches or migraine.
  • nasal congestion or sinus issues.
  • fatigue.
  • hives.
  • digestive issues.
  • irregular menstrual cycle.
  • nausea.
  • vomiting.

What are the signs of botulism in fermented foods? ›

The symptoms of food-born botulism include weakened facial muscles, drooping eyes, drooling, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. It is critical to seek medical attention immediately if you experience these symptoms.

What vegetables should not be fermented? ›

He listed cabbage, daikon radishes, turnips, parsnips, cucumbers, okra, string beans and green tomatoes as good candidates for fermentation. “There's no vegetable you can't ferment,” he said, but added that leafy greens such as kale — because of their chlorophyll content — aren't to most people's liking.

When is the best time to eat fermented foods? ›

It's most optimal to eat enzyme rich fermented food at the beginning of the meal, so they can begin the work of helping digestion as soon as they land in the stomach.

What are 4 reasons you should eat fermented foods? ›

5 Reasons to Add More Fermented Foods to Your Diet
  • You can't digest food alone. ...
  • The good bacteria fight the bad — and usually win. ...
  • Your body needs help making certain vitamins. ...
  • A healthy body needs balance. ...
  • They can help restore your gut health after taking antibiotics.
Feb 5, 2020

How long does it take for fermented food to heal your gut? ›

One small study of 36 participants showed that when people eat a diet rich in fermented foods, they have increased diversity of gut microbes and decreased signs of inflammation in just 10 weeks. “Fermented foods can support a healthy gut microbiome and may improve inflammation,” Mallik says.

Does fermented foods make you sleepy? ›

For instance, fermented foods are a source of tryptophan (just like that Thanksgiving turkey that's often blamed for the post-meal nap… most likely, this drowsy feeling just has to do with blood flow within the body, per John Hopkins medical experts).

Why do I feel dizzy after eating certain foods? ›

Do you sometimes feel dizzy or lightheaded after eating a meal? If so, you could have a common condition called postprandial hypotension (the term loosely translates to low blood pressure after eating) that affects up to one-third of older men and women.

What toxins cause dizziness? ›

Well-known vestibular toxins include aminoglycoside (AG) antibiotics, platinum-based chemotherapeutic drugs, mefloquine, solvents, organophosphates, and heavy metals. Exposure may be unavoidable when treating potentially life-threatening conditions such as malignant tumours and severe infections.

Can food cause dizzy spells? ›

Why am I dizzy after eating? Eating usually cases glucose levels to rise, but, in some people, blood sugar levels fall again soon after. This can cause dizziness. Other possible causes of dizziness after eating include standing up, heat exposure, and drinking alcohol.

Why do I feel so dizzy all of a sudden? ›

Dizziness has many possible causes, including inner ear disturbance, motion sickness and medication effects. Sometimes it's caused by an underlying health condition, such as poor circulation, infection or injury. The way dizziness makes you feel and your triggers provide clues for possible causes.

What should I drink when feeling dizzy? ›

If you feel lightheaded and/or woozy, Dr. Grossman recommends having a drink of water or orange juice and lying down. If symptoms last more than 15 minutes, he says it's time to seek medical help in an urgent or emergency care setting.

What poisoning can you get from fermented foods? ›

Botulism, E. coli and salmonella are the main hazards for fermented foods. Botulism can form in oxygen-free conditions if a fermentation is not successful and acid levels are too low.

What are 4 symptoms of botulism? ›

  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Double vision.
  • Drooping eyelids.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Difficulty moving the eyes.

What are 4 food sources of botulism? ›

In recent decades, however, botulism illnesses have been linked to foods such as unrefrigerated homemade salsa, baked potatoes sealed in aluminum foil, honey (the primary cause of botulism in infants), garlic in oil, and traditionally prepared salted or fermented fish.

What vitamin toxicity causes dizziness? ›

Vitamin D overdose can contribute to high levels of calcium in the blood. Vitamin A overdose can cause nausea and vomiting, dizziness, blurry vision.

What vitamins help with dizzy spells? ›

Studies have found that vitamins can be useful in treating dizziness. For example, Vitamin C can reduce vertigo while Vitamin D can be helpful when it comes to circulation issues. If you are suffering dizziness as a result of anaemia taking iron supplements can help to correct this.

When should I worry about dizziness after eating? ›

People who get dizzy after eating should see their doctor for assessment. While there is no specific treatment for reactive hypoglycemia, identifying and addressing the underlying cause is important. Also, eating smaller, more frequent meals, lowering refined sugar intake, and limiting alcohol intake may be helpful.

Is dizziness part of food poisoning? ›

High fever (temperature over 102°F) Vomiting so often that you cannot keep liquids down. Signs of dehydration, which include not urinating (peeing) much, a dry mouth and throat, feeling dizzy when standing up.


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