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Soy Allergy : Common Food Uncommon Allergy

When I think of soy I don’t think that it is a common type of food ingredient. I typically associate it with Chinese food and soy sauce so I thought a soy allergy shouldn’t be that big a concern. Unfortunately for those that have a soy allergy it is contained in more foods than I thought.

When a person develops a food allergy like a soy allergy the immune system malfunctions and identifies a type of food as a potentially harmful substance to the body. The immune system responds by producing antibodies called immunoglobulin (IgE’s) that create histamines to help protect the body from these “harmful” substances. The result is symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes, hives and itching, wheezing and gastrointestinal problems. Some people will have an intolerance to certain types of food instead of an actual food allergy. While this condition may include similar symptoms to a food allergy as far as a stomach upset and pain, the immune system is not involved. Food allergies can be a reaction to nearly any type of food, but the most common triggers are milk, eggs, fish, and legumes which can include soy products.

So Where is Soy Found?

Soy can be used as an ingredient in many foods that you would never consider. Some of these are:

  • Ice Cream
  • Tofu
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Vegetable Protein
  • Salad Dressings
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Margarine…

Since soybeans are a legume, if you suffer from a soy allergy, you may also have a reaction to related foods like beans, peas and peanuts as well. The symptoms of soy allergies can run the spectrum. Some reactions to these products will be mild and include itching, wheezing or diarrhea. There are many other symptoms that can appear as well, and some can become quite severe.

Can a Soy Allergy be Prevented?

While food allergies affect a small percentage of the population, the number can still translate into millions of people in this country who suffer from some type of food allergies. Statistics show that the percentage of the population who is diagnosed with a soy allergy is at about .5%. Often this type of allergy is found in children, and many times it is not detected until the second or third exposure to the food.

There are some ways to cut down on the chances of developing a soy allergy. Doctors recommend that mothers nurse their babies for at least the first six months of life. It is also a good idea to wait until your child is at least six months old before offering any solid foods. This will not only reduce the risk of an infant soy allergy, but may cut down on the incidence of other food allergies throughout life as well.

A soy allergy is a potentially dangerous condition and should be definitively diagnosed by your doctor and allergist. You should also see a dietician whenever a food allergy is involved. They can help you not only avoid the food involved but also lead you toward choices that can replace some of those cravings a soy allergy can deprive you of.

Sophie-Safe Cooking: A Collection of Family Friendly Recipes that are Free of Milk, Eggs, Wheat, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish and Shellfish

Sophie-Safe Cooking: A Collection of Family Friendly Recipes that are Free of Milk, Eggs, Wheat, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish and Shellfish

Sophie-Safe Cooking: A Collection of Family Friendly Recipes That are Free of Milk, Eggs, Wheat, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish and Shellfish
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One Response to “Soy Allergy : Common Food Uncommon Allergy”

  1. Charlyn Hawk says:

    I’m looking for help with with new foods that don’t have soy or egg free and no barley. Can anyone help? It’s so hard to find things that don’t have these things in them.

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