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Everything you need to know about living with a soy allergy. All your questions and concerns are answered here.
I developed a soy allergy as an adult. My first reaction happened while I was attending a work conference. I went to lunch and about half an hour after I returned from lunch I developed an intense headache, chills, and severe body aches. I felt like I had the flu. I immediately left the conference, came home, and went to bed. I was sure I would be sick with the flu. I woke up later and felt fine. At the time I had no idea why I suddenly felt that sick. Once I was tested for food allergies and diagnosed with a soy allergy, it all made sense.
Living with a soy allergy is frustrating. It is one of the 9 most common food allergies and is in just about everything you can imagine including food, medicines, and beauty products. Living a soy-free life is difficult since soy is hidden in so many everyday things. Keep reading to find out more about living with a soy allergy and how to manage it. I'm here to help.
Soy is basically defined as a protein derived from the soybean plant or its seeds, used as a replacement for animal protein in foods.
When a person eats soy, their body reacts as though the soy will cause harm. The body produces an immune response to fight back and sets off an allergic reaction.
Symptoms usually happen within minutes or hours. Soy allergy symptoms may include:
If you have more serious soy allergy symptoms, you may have a severe reaction called anaphylaxis and will need IMMEDIATE CARE. Signs of an anaphylactic reaction include:
Yes. Many children will outgrow a soy allergy within a few years, although sometimes the allergy can last a lifetime. Consult a doctor for diagnosis and future testing. Do not reintroduce soy products without consulting your doctor first.
A soy allergy is most common in children, especially infants and toddlers. Adults are at risk for developing a soy allergy if there is a family history of seasonal allergies, asthma, or eczema. Of the 9 most common food allergies (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, and sesame), soy is the lowest percentage among adults.
Soy protein is found in commercial eggs because soy is present in the commercial chicken feed. Many people think they are allergic to eggs but really have a soy allergy. To avoid any confusion, purchase pasture-raised eggs. They are soy-free because the chickens are not fed the standard commercial chicken feed. Pasture-raised chickens eat bugs, insects, plants, and grasses. I have found this to be true. When I consume regular, commercial eggs I experience intestinal/digestive issues within an hour of eating them. I now buy soy-free eggs from my local grocery store, and I eat eggs without any adverse reaction. Whole Foods sells several brands of soy-free, pasture-raised eggs.
Soybeans are legumes. All beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts are also legumes. Most people who have a soy allergy do not have an allergy to other legumes. I have a soy and peanut allergy, but eat beans, lentils, and peas without any adverse symptoms. For more information, or diagnosis and testing consult your doctor.
Lecithin is a food additive derived from several sources, with soy as the main source. It is used as an emulsifier in food. Soy lecithin is raw soybeans that go through the process of oil extraction for use as a food additive.
Note: Always check and read food labels carefully before buying or consuming products.
Here is a list of hidden sources of soy in food products. If you see these ingredients listed anywhere on a food label, it means soy is present. Always check and read food labels carefully.
When purchasing soy-free products please note that some of these products are manufactured on shared equipment that also processes soy. Always check and read labels carefully before consuming any of these products. These brands may also contain other allergens.
When purchasing soy-free snacks please note that some of these products are manufactured on shared equipment that also processes soy. Always check and read labels carefully before consuming any of these products. These products may also contain other allergens.
Some over-the-counter medications contain soy or soy ingredients. Read all labels carefully before purchasing over-the-counter medications, or consult your doctor for more information.