Soy allergy generally affects babies and children. It can arise at any age and triggered by foods that were eaten previously without causing any issues. Many babies tend to outgrow the allergy as they grow older.
Soybeans are categorized as legumes. Some individuals with soy allergy might experience a response after consuming other legumes. If an individual is allergic, a doctor must be consulted on other legumes to be avoided.
An allergic reaction to food generally starts within minutes up to a few hours after ingesting the food. The severity of the symptoms varies widely from one individual to another.
Those who are mildly allergic might experience a few hives and itchiness while those who are severely allergic might have serious, dangerous symptoms such as throat swelling or difficulty breathing.
The usual indications of food allergy might include any or several of the following:
- Swelling or tingling of the tongue, lips or throat
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Chest tightness or difficulty breathing
How to avoid exposure
If an individual has soy allergy, avoidance of soy products is the only way to prevent a reaction. On the other hand, avoidance of products made from soy might be a hard task since it is present in various processed food products.
Always bear in mind that certain foods might include soy protein such as Asian dishes or foods that include artificial and natural flavoring, vegetable gum, vegetable broth or vegetable starch.
- The individual should always know what he/she is eating and drinking.
- Check the label before using any product even if was previously consumed without triggering any issues.
- Children with soy allergy should be instructed not to accept any food from friends or classmates.
- When eating outside, ask about the ingredients used and how the food was prepared.
- Use a medical alert bracelet with information about the allergy or always bring an alert card all the time.
- A doctor must be consulted on what to do during a reaction. A mild reaction can be managed using oral antihistamines. The doctor might prescribe an auto-injector epinephrine to be carried always in case of a severe reaction.