Are There Other Allergens I Could Be Sensitized To*
Some people with soybean allergy may also experience symptoms when eating other seemingly unrelated foods. This is called cross-reactivity and occurs when your body’s immune system identifies the proteins, or components, in different substances as being structurally similar or biologically related, thus triggering a response. The most common cross-reactivities with soybeans are fruits , vegetables , legumes , seeds, and tree nuts.
If you experience an itchy mouth or throat after eating soy containing products or other related fresh fruits or raw vegetables, you may suffer from Oral Allergy Syndrome , sometimes called Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome .9 This condition is also caused by your immune system’s reaction to similar proteins, or components, found in plant foods and tree pollens. It is quite common, with up to 25 percent of children with allergic rhinitis also suffering from OAS when eating fruits or vegetables.12 Common pollen allergies that could cause OAS when eating soy containing products include tree pollens .2
What Is A Soy Allergy
An allergy occurs when the body is exposed to the soy protein and develops a strong IgE antibody response. This is the bodys own antibodies working to protect the body from something it sees as a threat, in this case a dairy protein. The body responds by triggering the immune system that has different effects on the body that can range from mild to life-threatening.
How To Test For Soy Allergy
When a soy allergy is suspected, its recommended to consult an allergist or general physician to determine which allergy test to perform. Diagnosis and guidance from a professional can help you accurately test whether an allergy exists and provide you with treatment and recommendations to prevent exposure moving forward.
When soy sensitivity is suspected you can also use an at-home soy sensitivity test. At-home tests, which are typically blood tests, provide an accurate way to pinpoint a soy sensitivity.
The way to test for soy sensitivity is using a blood test
- Blood test. As one of the most common methods, particularly for at-home food sensitivity testing, a blood test measures the number of specific antibodies in your bloodstream, known as immunoglobulin G antibodies, which can assess your immune systems intolerance or sensitivity response to soy.
A skin-prick test is used to test for soy allergy not soy sensitivity. This Skin test is more common in a clinical setting, a medical professional will prick your skin and expose your skin to small amounts of soy protein. If hives, irritation, or raised bump breaks out at the test site on your skin, an allergy can be diagnosed.
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How Long Do Allergy Symptoms Last
The duration of soy allergy symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Factors like stress and emotional state can contribute to the severity and duration of allergic reactions, as well as factors like age, immunity, and other biological conditions.
In general, soy allergy symptoms can last for about 48 hours on average after a reaction begins. However, some individuals who are soy-allergic have reported their symptoms diminishing within a few hours after onset. In other severe cases, allergy symptoms can linger for several days to even lasting upwards of a week or longer.
The longevity of allergy symptoms can also be viewed from a development perspective, such as when an allergy is detectable in children and when allergic reactions dissipate. Because soy allergy is one of several food allergies that commonly begins during the early stages of life, this is a particular topic of interest among parents with soy-allergic children.
Soy allergy usually occurs within the infant and toddler stages before the age of 3. This can include cross-reactive symptoms with other foods, such as cows milk and peanuts. Studies indicate that 50 percent of soy-allergic children outgrew their allergy by age 7 years, and 69 percent kicked allergic symptoms by age 10 years4.
Tips To Prevent An Allergic Reaction
Avoid foods that cause a reaction. Sometimes just touching foods can cause a severe reaction.
Read the ingredients lists on food labels to make sure the food doesnt contain soy. Read the list even if you have had the product before. Ingredients may change.
When you travel bring along some of your own foods.
When you eat out, always ask restaurant staff about ingredients in food and how it was prepared. Ask about oils and the foods fried in them to avoid cross contamination.
Contact food companies if you are unsure of any ingredient on the label.
For infants, elemental formulas or formulas with altered protein should prevent food reactions. Discuss the formula options with your doctor or dietitian. Do not assume products labeled hypoallergenic will not cause a reaction.
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How Common Is A Soy Allergy
Soy is one of the top eight food allergens, which make up over 90% of all food allergies. The other allergens in this group include cows milk, fish, shellfish, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, and eggs.
An allergy to soy commonly begins early on in infancy or toddlerhood. Only a small amount of babies who have cows milk allergies are also allergic to soy. While many children will continue to experience a soy allergy for life, others may outgrow it around age ten. Read through our guide on treating toddler seasonal allergies to see if that can be a factor as well
Interestingly, its uncommon for an individual to be allergic to soy and nothing else. In other words, if your child has a soy allergy, its possible that they may have an allergy to other foods or ingredients. This may be worth exploring particularly if you have a family history of food allergies.
Note that the biggest way in which having a soy allergy may impact a childs health is because of the risk of being exposed to soy through so many foods and other consumer products. While soy is an excellent source of protein and other nutrients, there are plenty of other foods to help make sure that your child received a healthy and adequate diet.
Is Allergy Product Labelling Mandatory
To avoid soy in foods and beverages, you will need to read the product labels. In most cases, if a food contains soy or any of its derivatives such as lecithin it will be labeled as containing “soy” or “soya”. However, some products may not list soy on their label but may still contain soy protein.
Food manufacturers are required to list any of the top eight allergens on their product labels. The eight allergens that must be listed are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soybeans, shellfish, and fish. If a product contains one or more of these allergens, the label must list it.
Asides from this, The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 also requires that all manufacturers must list the most-common eight allergens on their product list. This law applies to any packaged food regulated by the FDA, which includes most foods sold in supermarkets and convenience stores.
You should note that FALCPA does not apply to restaurants, schools, or other institutions. However, many restaurants voluntarily provide allergen information on their menus so that customers can be aware.
Also, you should be careful about what you eat when you travel out of the country. In some countries, due to a lack of regulations, soy may not be listed on the label. In these cases, you will need to contact the food manufacturer and inquire about whether or not their product contains soy.
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Allergic Reactions To Soy
An allergic reaction usually happens within minutes after being exposed to an allergen , but sometimes it can take place several hours after exposure. Anaphylaxis is the most serious type of allergic reaction.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis generally include two or more of the following body systems:
If you have a soy allergy, keep an epinephrine auto-injector with you at all times. Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for severe allergic reactions .
How Can I Find Out If Soy Is In A Food Product
All FDA-regulated manufactured food products that contain as an ingredient a major food allergen are required by U.S. law to list that allergen on the product label. For tree nuts, fish, and crustacean shellfish, the specific type of nut or fish must be listed.
This guide provides information on how you can select soy-free foods by properly reading Nutrition Facts food labels. A Registered Dietitian can provide detailed nutrition education to help you develop a personal action plan.
A soy-free diet is indicated for soy protein allergy. The common allergens are listed either within the ingredient list or after the list. For example, if a product contains natto, a food made with fermented soybean, the product’s label should list the term soy either after the term natto, or state contains soy after the list of ingredients. The FDA currently does not require manufacturers to state if the food was processed in a facility that also processes the 8 common food allergens.
Anyone allergic to soy should avoid the following ingredients and foods:
- Soy: in all forms, including soy flour, soy fiber, soy albumin, soy grits.
- Soy milk, soy ice cream, soy cheese, soy yogurt.
- Soy nuts and soy sprouts.
- Soy sauce and shoyu sauce.
- Tofu and textured vegetable protein .
You might want to avoid or be mindful when considering the following:
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/02/2018.
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Should My Child Carry An Adrenaline Autoinjector
All allergists agree that children who have had a serious reaction with involvement of the breathing passages should have an adrenaline autoinjector. The need for other children to have an adrenalin autoinjector depends on a number of factors which should be discussed with your doctor.
If you have an adrenaline autoinjector it is very important that you understand how and when to use it and that you have a written anaphylaxis action plan provided by your doctor.
Are There Soy Allergy Diets
There is no such thing as a “soy allergy diet” instead there are ways to avoid eating soy-rich foods. To keep a soy-free diet, eat foods that contain little or no amount of soy in them.
You may be wondering how possible it is to stay completely soy-free or avoid eating foods rich in soy. Well, the truth is that it takes a great deal of care and dedication. In the coming sections, we will discuss productive and effective ways of staying soy-free and better alternatives to soy foods.
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Foods To Avoid If You Have A Soy Allergy
You’ll find soy pretty much anywhere you’ll find food. A staple ingredient in many Asian cuisines, soy started to become more prevalent in the United States in the mid-20th century, and thanks to its ability to provide a non-meat protein source and its potential health benefits, it’s been a much-loved component of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes alike for generations .
But as with any food source, soy can have its downsides and for those with soy allergies, the ubiquity of soy and soy-derived products in food presents a huge problem. Soy allergies affect up to 0.5% of the general population, and are way more common among children, according to research published in Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology. Like other allergies, symptoms can range from mild itching and hives to dangerous and life-threatening reactions including fainting, breathing issues, and anaphylaxis .
That’s why it’s highly important to identify where soy might be lurking in your food. And that’s where we’re stepping in, to help you avoid some key items on the shelf if you have a soy allergy.
Soy Allergy In Infants
Soy protein may cause a digestive disorder in childhood called food-protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome . Infants can get a similar set of symptoms from cows milk protein, known as cows milk protein-induced enterocolitis.
Between 10% and 14% of babies who are allergic to cows milk will develop a reaction when given a soy-based infant formula, according to a 2008 study published by the American Academy of Pediatric Committee on Nutrition.
Based on these findings, the AAP submitted new guidelines in 2008: For infants with a cows milk allergy, an extensively hydrolyzed cows milk protein formula should be considered instead of soy formula.
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What Are Soy Allergies
Soy is a food product that is made from soybeans and can be used as an ingredient in foods, such as tofu and soy milk. Soy is also commonly used in the production of many processed foods. Nowadays, it is important to know if your food contains soy. This is because soy allergy is one of the most common food allergies and around 0.3% of the general population suffer from soy-induced allergies.
So how do soy allergies happen? Well, soy allergies occurs when our immune systems mistakenly identifies soy proteins as harmful invaders and develops antibodies to fight against them. This forces the body to release histamine which in turn causes you to experience allergic symptoms.
Soy allergy is often confused with soy intolerance because the symptoms can be similar. However, an allergy involves a reaction by your immune system whereas soy intolerance does not involve any immunological response.
The severity of soy allergies varies from one person to another: some people are very sensitive and only need a small amount of soy to experience a reaction, while others can tolerate small amounts without any problems.
How Is An Allergic Reaction To Soy Treated
If your child has a soy allergy , the doctor will want him or her to carry an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an emergency.
An epinephrine auto-injector is a prescription medicine that comes in a small, easy-to-carry container. It’s easy to use. Your doctor will show you how. Kids who are old enough can be taught how to give themselves the injection. If they carry the epinephrine, it should be nearby, not left in a locker or in the nurse’s office.
Wherever your child is, caregivers should always know where the epinephrine is, have easy access to it, and know how to give the shot. Staff at your child’s school should know about the allergy and have an action plan in place. Your child’s medicines should be accessible at all times.
Every second counts in an allergic reaction. If your child starts having serious allergic symptoms, like swelling of the mouth or throat or difficulty breathing, give the epinephrine auto-injector right away. Also give it right away if the symptoms involve two different parts of the body, like hives with vomiting. Then call 911 and take your child to the emergency room. Your child needs to be under medical supervision because even if the worst seems to have passed, a second wave of serious symptoms can happen.
It’s also a good idea to carry an over-the-counter antihistamine for your child, as this can help treat mild allergy symptoms. Use after not as a replacement for the epinephrine shot during life-threatening reactions.
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How To Avoid Food Allergies With A Soy
If you have a soy allergy, it is important to be aware of the foods that contain soy. Today, a lot of processed foods contain hidden soy, so it can be difficult to avoid.
However, many people allergic to soy don’t understand how to identify such foods beforehand. And overtime, this turns out to be a serious health problem. There are many common types of soy-free foods available, and it’s important to know which ones to avoid and which to eat.
In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of soy-free foods and how to identify them on food labels. We will also provide some tips for avoiding soy-free foods when you are out dining or travelling. Most importantly, we will provide good substitutes that can replace foods high in soy. Ensure to read on and get healthy tips from this blog post.
Whats A Soy Allergy Vs Intolerance
Many adverse reactions to soy exposure are not considered true allergies. In general, soy allergy is an IgEimmune system response that can have an effect on multiple organs of the body.
Conversely, experiencing isolated digestive symptoms or other symptoms such as tiredness, skin rashes, migraines, headaches and low mood can indicate a soy intolerance, not an allergy. When a soy-allergic person is exposed to soy, the proteins in the soy bind to specific IgE antibodies produced by the individuals immune system. This triggers the bodys immune defenses, which can lead to reaction symptoms that can range from mild or very severe.
With soy intolerance, a common response among those with sensitivity issues is that soy does not agree with them. This can show up as gastrointestinal and digestive problems, such as cramping or diarrhea, as well as headaches, dizziness, and nausea as well as the other symptoms mentioned above. On the other hand, symptomatic reactions from a soy allergy are often much more intense. They can rapid and severe, or they may occur gradually within 30 minutes or up to two hours later. With an allergy, the body reacts to soy protein as if it were fighting a disease-producing microorganism. With an intolerance or sensitivity the immune system can also be triggered but the symptoms are delayed and thats why the test to do for soy intolerance or sensitivity is the soya-specific IgG test not a soya-specific IgE allergy test.
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May Contain Traces Of Soy
This statement is used by manufacturers to indicate that products may be contaminated with soy during processing and packaging. At present May contain traces of soy is a voluntary statement and there are no clear guidelines to direct food companies how and when it should be used.
The wording of this statement makes it very difficult to determine risk level and a product that does not include the statement may be no safer than a product that does. The risk of significant allergic reaction through contamination during processing is extremely low. Many families choose to ignore May contain traces of soy statements as the only safe alternative is to exclude all commercial food products from the diet.
As above, be guided by parents about what the child tolerates at home and ask families to document this in writing on allergy action plans.
*The ASCIA website includes personal action plans for allergic reactions and for anaphylaxis. These are medical documents that can only be completed and signed by the patients treating medical doctor and cannot be altered without their permission.
Adapted with permission from: Soy Allergy, Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Childrens Hospital Melbourne, November 2010.Other references: Dietary avoidance – soy allergy, Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, 2013,