Soy Allergy: Facts and Symptoms
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Soy Allergy: Facts and Symptoms

Facts about, symptoms of and treatment for soy and soybean allergy.

An allergy to soybeans and soy based products is a serious food allergy that most often begins in infancy. While the most common time to develop an allergy to soy is during the early stages of development, more and more adults are becoming aware of or developing an allergy to soy later in life.

An allergy to soy is distinguished as a hypersensitivity to soy proteins that causes an immediate bodily reaction triggered by the immune system. Basically, the immune system of someone who is allergic to soy snaps into action when something containing soy is introduced into the body. 

Unlike other food allergies, soy can be tolerated to a much higher degree by those who are intolerant or allergic to it. Someone with a soy allergy can consume the allergen for years without knowing that they're adding to a build up in their body that may trigger a sudden allergic reaction. Milder symptoms are often overlooked in adults, due to the prevalence of this allergy presenting during early childhood.

In a food economy where soy is becoming increasingly prevalent in processed and prepared food products, it is more important than ever for those who think they may have a soy allergy to get tested and start any necessary treatment for an possible allergic reactions.


Soy allergy symptoms range from less severe stomach issues to full blown anaphylaxis which requires immediate medical attention. Most people who experience an allergic reaction to soy will feel more uncomfortable than seriously ill. In the most severe cases, though, the symptoms of this allergy are life threatening.

Symptoms include:

  •  An itchy or tingling feeling in the mouth
  • Stuffy or congested nose
  • Skin irritation; hives, blisters, canker sores
  • Swelling of gums, lips, face or other areas
  • Disorientation, confusion, dizziness similar to vertigo
  • Stomach irregularities; diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
  • Breathing issues or wheezing
  • Blood pressure drop; shock
  • Throat swelling or trouble swallowing
  • Anaphylaxis


The most effective treatment plan for someone with an allergy to soy is to avoid products that contain soy proteins, oils or other soy-based ingredients. Avoiding soy can be incredibly difficult for those who suffer from this allergy. 

Bread, chocolate, fast food, processed food and cooking oils are well known for containing soy based ingredients. Anytime an ingredient label lists "vegetable oil" it more than likely is a soybean based vegetable oil. Several soda varieties contain bromated vegetable oil. Nearly every commercial chocolate bar contains soy lecithin as an emulsifier. 

Those with a soy allergy should be extremely aware of what they eat. Read every nutritional label and ingredients list. When eating at a restaurant, ask what kind of cooking oil is used on grills and other equipment. The best way to know the food being eaten doesn't contain traces of soy is to make it from scratch or to eat things where every ingredient is readily identified.

Before making any life changing diet decision, consult with a doctor. For more online information on soy allergies, consult the official website of the Mayo Clinic

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Comments (2)

Thank you for such a complete informational article. Well done.

Returning for a well deserved vote up.