Overview of a Soy Allergy
Soy is a very common food allergy, and often begins during infancy. A test is necessary to confirm the soy allergy, as there are many foods such as meats, baked goods, and cereals that may contain soy.
- Soy is a common ingredient in formulas for children, and it is also one of the more common food allergens for children.
- Most children will outgrow their soy allergy.
- If you have a soy allergy, it is crucial to avoid soy altogether as side effects can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of a Soy Allergy
Typically, a soy allergy is not very serious, but can be severely uncomfortable. Symptoms will occur within minutes of ingesting soy, and can include symptoms such as hives, redness of skin, tingling around the mouth, swelling of the lips, wheezing, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain. Rarely is anaphylaxis a problem, except for in people with asthma or have other severe allergies. Anaphylaxis symptoms are extreme and can include difficulty breathing, shock, and dizziness.
Causes of a Soy Allergy
An allergy to soy is triggered by an immune system reaction when the body identifies the protein as harmful. During your first interaction with soy, the allergy may not appear. During the second interaction, the body will release histamines that will trigger a reaction.
Risk Factors of a Soy Allergy
There are three main factors that will put you at a higher risk for a soy allergy. If you have a family history of soy allergies or various food allergies, if you are a young child or if you have other food allergies you are at a higher risk for developing a soy allergy.
Complications of a Soy Allergy
One of the greatest complications that can occur with a soy allergy is having a severe reaction after ingestion. In the case that you or someone around you has anaphylaxis symptoms, then a dose of epinephrine must be administered followed by a trip to the emergency room.
Prevention of a Soy Allergy
The only way to prevent a food allergy is to avoid the food and any food that may contain the food. Soy is a common ingredient in many foods, so you will have to check labels carefully and ask questions when you are at a restaurant. For children with a soy allergy, it is best to breastfeed if possible, as avoiding soy-based or milk-based formula is the best option.
Diagnosis of a Soy Allergy
Your allergist will begin with a physical exam and ask about your symptoms when an allergic reaction occurs. To confirm the diagnosis, the allergist may recommend a skin test or a blood test. In a skin test, you will be exposed to the allergen on your skin and then your allergist will prick your skin. If you are allergic to soy, then a raised bump will appear. During a blood test, a sample of blood will be taken and the allergist can measure what your immune system’s response to the allergen is.
Treatment of a Soy Allergy
The best treatment for a soy allergy is to avoid the allergen completely. Ensure that there is no soy in your food, as it can be identified as a variety of different names. If you are eating in a restaurant, then ask your servers if there is soy in the menu items that you wish to order. If an allergic reaction does occur, then an antihistamine may be administered in order to reduce the symptoms. This will be able to control itching, minor breathing problems, etc. If you have a severe allergic reaction, seek help immediately.
Summary of a Soy Allergy
A soy allergy is very common in children and most will outgrow it by adulthood. Symptoms are typically minor and can appear as hives, minor trouble breathing, and tingling around the mouth. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction will occur. To properly diagnose the allergy, your allergist will begin with a physical exam and will ensure a proper diagnosis through a skin test or a blood test. The best way to treat a soy allergy is to avoid the allergen completely.
Soy Allergy Diet
Download our helpful Soy Allergy guide. This guide list food to avoid if you have a soy allergy.
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