Soy Allergy: What You Need to Know

Soy allergy is one of the most common kinds of food allergy. It’s acquired from intaking soy – a product of soybeans. Often, this allergy can begin in infancy with reaction to soy-based infant formula but is often outgrown by age 10. However, there are cases in which soy allergies carry into adulthood.

soy allergy

Soy Allergy Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a soy allergy usually develop within a few minutes to hours after consuming soy.

  • Swelling of lips, face, tongue, and throat, or other body parts
  • Itching in the mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rash or hives
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Wheezing or other asthma symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

In some cases, a soy allergy can cause a fatal allergic reaction called anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Rapid pulse
  • Full-body redness and warmth (flushing)
  • Shock, with a severe drop in blood pressure
  • Difficulty breathing, caused by throat swelling
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness

Handling Soy Allergy

The most common way to deal with soy allergy is to avoid consuming soy-based products. However, it can be quite difficult since a wide array of food such as bakery goods, chocolate and breakfast cereals, as well as processed meats may contain soy.

The good thing is that the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 included soy as one of the eight allergens that fall under their labeling requirements. This means that manufacturers of packaged food items sold in the U.S. must clearly state the presence of soy in their item, making it easier to avoid.

Another option for dealing with soy allergy is a treatment known as sublingual immunotherapy. It involves under-the-tongue allergy drops that can that can help the body develop an immunity to soy and is available by prescription through an AllergyEasy doctor.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.