What is Soy Allergy?

Any food allergen can cause an allergic reaction in your body. The allergic reaction is just a way of the body showing that it cannot adjust with certain products that you have taken in or the immune system of the body consider the product to be a foreign or a harmful substance. Food allergy is one of the most common types of allergy that almost all people have faces sometime in their lives. Within the food allergy, the allergy towards soy products is very common mostly in very young kids. The soy allergy is usually seen in kids below the age of 3 and the allergy is outgrown by the time the child reaches the age of 10. Any kind of soy product like soy milk, soy fats can trigger the allergic reaction. Soy allergy can be mild or severe in nature.

What is Soy Allergy?

Causes of Soy Allergy

The immunity of the body often finds certain food products to be foreign and react against them causing the allergic reaction. Soy products like soybean, soy milk or soy sauce trigger the immune system and cause the allergic reactions which are the preventive measure of the body fighting the allergens. Sometimes it can be that the small intestine becomes incapable of absorbing all the nutrients from the food and thus the allergic reaction occurs. Having an allergic reaction to the similar chemical components like that of in the soy products may also cause the soy allergy. Often the body feels that the soy proteins are harmful for your system and release antibodies like immunoglobulin E to fight against these proteins which are allergens to the immune system of the body. These antibodies are thus registered in the body. Thus when you again consume any soy product the body immediately identifies the soy proteins as allergens and release chemicals like histamine to fight them and this lead to the soy allergy reactions occurring in our body. This is also known as Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome from which the body usually recovers over time.

Causes of Soy Allergy

Signs and Symptoms of Soy Allergy

The symptoms of soy allergy are like any other kind of food related allergy. The common symptoms are:

  • Rashes and hives on the skin are the first symptom of soy allergy.
  • Itchiness even in the mouth and the eyes.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Swelling of skin.
  • Swelling of tongue and the insides of the mouth.
  • Dizziness.
  • Vomiting.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Runny nose and sneezing.
  • Dry throat and coughing.
  • Asthma attacks.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Nausea.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Swelling of the throat which prevents from swallowing food.
  • Swelling of wind pipe which causes impairment of breathing.

If the symptoms of soy allergy are ignored, they can get severe and cause serious illnesses or enter into an anaphylactic shock. Also not using ointments can leave permanent marks on the skin.

Risk Factors for Soy Allergy

The following are the risk factors for soy allergy:

  • If the soy allergy attack is mild in nature people often tend to ignore it or they tend to self-medicate themselves and this might increase the danger. The medicine might even have a reverse effect on the patient.
  • The patient starts to lose the nutrients that he or she would have got from the soy products. Kids need soybean or soy products for remaining healthy and avoiding formulas containing soy products can bring down the nutrition level.
  • The soy products may trigger a risk of fear in the patient who have had serious allergy attacks before.
  • To remain under a controlled diet the patient might not leave home or attend social gatherings and thus become lonely and risk affect his or her social life and daily routine.

Complications of Soy Allergy

Sometimes soy allergy can lead to critical complications. Soy product is present in many kinds of food especially in the food products of the children, thus the soy allergy develops most in the children. Usually the soy allergy attacks happen to kids under the age of 3 and gets outgrown when they reach the age of 10 but sometimes it can remain in you.

It is not easy to know all the ingredients that are inside the dish that you are about to eat and thus sudden soy allergy attacks can occur. For any kind of allergy, even if your body gets exposed to a little amount of the allergen it shall get triggered. If you are allergic to one kind of product you might also be allergic to relatable products which will cause trouble for you. You might develop a fear for the allergen containing product if your allergy attacks are severe.

Tests to Diagnose Soy Allergy

The doctors shall check your medical history and ask you questions about your allergic reactions. Usually soy allergy which is a kind of food allergy can be self-diagnosed hence lab tests might not be required always. Sometimes the allergist may go for an oral food challenge which will help him or her to diagnose the causes of the allergy. If the rashes on your skin remain for more than 20 minutes and go on spreading then probably it is a result of an allergic reaction.

Treatment for Soy Allergy

  • The best way of treating any kind of allergy including soy allergy is to avoid the substance, thus avoiding he consumption of soy products is the best way to not get any allergic reaction.
  • When you develop an allergic reaction, the doctors might prescribe antihistamines and lotions containing cortisone to bring down the itchiness that you feel and the swelling and rashes on the skin.
  • Epinephrine is often used by doctors to reverse the severe symptoms of soy allergy.
  • Medicines containing mild sedatives or tranquilizers are prescribed by the doctors often to calm down your nerves and help you get rest when you get an soy allergy reaction so that when you get up fresh after sometime the reaction stops spreading.
  • You need to be extra careful about children you have soy allergy because making them avoid certain food items is difficult and they are not careful of what they are consuming. Also various infant formulae contain soy ingredients, thus you should check the label before buying the product.
  • You should consult the allergist that you are going for a treatment if you are allowed to take in highly refined soybean oil and food containing soy lecithin, for most of the time that might not be harmful for you but at times that might also trigger the allergic reaction in you.
  • Making the patient used to with little consumption of soy products at regular intervals to outgrow the allergic reaction caused by it is a therapeutic method to treat the soy allergy.

Prevention of Soy Allergy

It is very easy to find if you have a food allergy. Any kind of food that is causing the soy allergy is self-identifiable thus if you have an allergic reaction to soy products then you will be able to know it yourself and thus stop taking any soy product. You must get your allergic tendency treated before it can pass on to your children. Also keeping yourself always aware of all the ingredients that go in the food item that you are eating is a good way of preventing the sudden consumption of soy products.

Prognosis/Outlook for Soy Allergy

If you work in a factory that produce soy products or any product which is relatable to soy product then sudden consumption of it or daily exposure to the product may develop the soy allergy in you. Other than that if your soy allergy is not heritable in nature then there are full chances of you recovering from the soy allergy. Sometimes the allergy gets removed by itself but sometimes especially when its hereditary then the allergy remains in you forever.

Home Remedies for Soy Allergy

There are not many home remedies for soy allergy. As mentioned above, the easiest way to treat soy allergy is to avoid eating soy products completely. Change your food habit hence and bring some food which contains the same nutrients like the soy products so that your nutrient intake is completed without getting any soy allergy attack is the best home remedy for soy allergy. Always take the medicine or at least cool down your skin to avoid the rashes from spreading. Apply home-made lotions of cucumber, sandal powder or curd to help remove the marks that are left on your skin due to the rashes.

Coping with Soy Allergy

There are many food items that contain soy thus avoiding all is really difficult. You should be careful about what you are eating in order to properly cope with soy allergy. You should always go through the label of the food product to know the ingredients so that you are aware of the food item completely that you are going to have. You should never neglect if you have a mild allergy for a soy product as this allergic tendency might grow in you and cause serious troubles for you later. Try to be at home and relax when you get a soy allergy attack since the sedative that you will take to calm down your nerves can make you feel sleepy and that can be dangerous if you are out on the road. Also treat yourself before you develop a phobia about soy allergy.

Recovery Period/Healing Time for Soy Allergy

Depending on the type of treatment that you are undergoing and the stage of the soy allergy that you are having, the doctors can help you know about the recovery period/healing time that you may require. The doctors will also be able to tell you if the allergy can reoccur after getting removed from within you after the treatment and what shall be done then.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: December 28, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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