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 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.