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With or without insurance, you can get a quick, personalized allergy test when it’s convenient for you.Read More
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Everyone has their own unique combination of allergic triggers and not all of them are obvious.Read More
Anaphylaxis, also called anaphylactic shock, is an acute, life-threatening allergic reaction.Read More
Digestive and gastrointestinal issues are closely tied to what you eat.Read More
Does this 4-year-old run the risk of having a severe reaction to peanuts?Read More
Food allergies are the body’s immune system reacting to something that is normally harmless to most people–like milk or eggs.Read More
If you suspect allergies are the cause of your symptoms, it is important to consult with your healthcare professional to get properly diagnosed.Read More
There are options when it comes to testing to identify allergic triggers.Read More
After eating a bowl of fruit and nut cereal, this 8-year-old was covered in large hives—what caused her reaction?Read More
Get answers to some of the most common questions about allergy.Read More
A soy allergy, like any allergy, is when your immune system identifies soy proteins as harmful. When you come into contact with these proteins, your immune system releases histamine and other substances, which then cause your allergic symptoms.
As a high-protein member of the legume family, soy is a common ingredient in infant formulas1,2 and is an important source of protein worldwide. Many vegetarians and vegans rely on soybeans as a great way to get protein in their diets.
In young children, soy is one of the more common food allergens. Typically, allergic reactions first appear in infants and children under 3, and most of them outgrow the allergy by age 10.2
Common signs and symptoms of a soy allergy can include:
Soy allergy symptoms vary from person to person, but most reactions are stomach or skin related.2 Reactions can also range from mild to severe, including the life-threatening reaction anaphylaxis.3-5
Although soybeans themselves may not be a part of many diets, soy can be a hidden ingredient in many foods—that’s why it is important to read the label or and ask about ingredients before buying or eating certain foods. Ingredients in packaged foods can change at any time—and without warning—so check the ingredients carefully every time.
People with a soy allergy often can eat foods that contain soy lecithin — a mixture of fatty substances derived from soybean processing. Soybeans and products made from the bean—like miso or tofu—make up a substantial part of the diet in Asia. This is one reason why Asian cuisines are considered high-risk if you have a confirmed soy allergy diagnosis. There is also the possibility of cross-contact or cross-contamination—when one food comes into contact with another food and their proteins mix—even if you order a soy-free dish.
Soybean oil is also used in some industrial components. It can be found in linoleum and glue in the plywood industry, where it is considered an occupational allergen.
Soy can be found in many processed foods, including:
Soy and soy products (like soy sauce)
Canned tuna and meat
Low-fat peanut butter
High-protein energy bars and snacks
Cross-reactivity is when the proteins in one food item are similar to the proteins in another and your body's immune system views them as the same. There is a high degree of cross-reactivity between soy and birch trees. Up to 10% of all patients with birch sensitization may also be at risk of reactions to soy, including anaphylaxis.5 So, people who are allergic to birch-related tree pollens may be advised to also avoid eating or drinking large amounts of low-processed soy, like soy milk,6 and particularly during pollen season.
Learn more about cross-reactivity >
Many people are so used to living with—or being embarrassed by—their symptoms that they never consider asking for help. So, how do you know if your symptoms are caused by a soy allergy, a birch allergy, or something else? If you think you or a loved one has a soy allergy, don’t try to manage the problem on your own. A simple blood test can help identify underlying allergen triggers, if you have an allergy.