Soy allergy is a type of allergy caused by soy, a product of soybeans, which may result in unpleasant signs and symptoms when exposed to any soy product.
Soy allergy is one of the most common food allergies among babies and children. Most children tend to outgrow this allergy by the age of seven, but it can also persist into adulthood. In most cases, the allergy starts due to occupational exposure to soy products, such as a soy-based infant formula. The signs and symptoms of wheat allergies may vary from people to people. Soy allergies can also lead to the severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis that can be life-threatening.
What Causes Soy Allergy?
When the immune system attacks a normal or good substance mistaken for a pathogen an allergic reaction occurs. In the case of a soy allergy, your immune system identifies certain soy proteins as harmful bacteria, triggering the body to produce antibodies to destroy the soy protein. These antibodies will recognize the soy proteins and destroy them the next time you come in contact with soy products. This is the same way your body reacts to other pathogens that may be harmful to your body.
Avoiding soy products can be hard as they can be found in a variety of forms such as meat products, bakery goods, certain chocolates and some breakfast cereals.
Cross- reactions may sometimes occur with soy protein among those with peanut allergies. These reactions can also occur with other legumes such as beans or peas. However, the majority with soy allergy can tolerate other legumes without any complications. Avoiding these foods because of fear of cross-reaction won’t do you any good. This is because avoiding foods can lead to the development of new sensitivities.
Soy Allergy Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms can appear anywhere from a few minutes to two hours after consuming any soy based products. Signs and symptoms of soy allergy are itching of the mouth, difficulty breathing, hives, and swollen, red, watery eyes,
Sometimes, the body might go into a state of shock which is a symptom of anaphylaxis. Other signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis include intense chest pain, chest tightness, weak pulse, swollen throats and tightens, and severe breathing difficulties. This is a medical emergency. Do not hesitate to seek help immediately if you stumble upon any of the symptoms of anaphylaxis.
When to seek medical attention for soy allergy
Consulting your doctor would be a wise decision even if you suffered from mild allergic reaction. Allergic reactions tend to intensify with time. Guidance from your doctor can reduce the chances of your soy allergy getting worse.
Doctors might prescribe the use of epinephrine shots during an attack. It is to be administered in a case of an emergency.
Soy allergy Treatment and Prevention
Medications such as antihistamines are not meant to prevent allergic reactions. They should only be taken after exposure to soy to help with the discomfort.
Even with the best efforts, you might still end up with serious allergic reactions from contact with soy products. Epinephrine shots are used for anaphylaxis treatment. You should consult your doctor for guidance about the administration of this drug to handle a severe attack due to soy allergy.