Soy Allergy

What is a Soy Allergy?

A food that causes an allergic reaction in many individuals is soybeans. The various types of allergies caused by soy products include a soy milk allergy, soy lecithin allergy and soy sauce allergy.

Doctors can diagnose a soy allergy by performing various kinds of tests, which include a skin prick test, a radioallergosorbent test and an intradermal skin test. The immune system of a person who has a soy allergy mistakenly believes that this kind of food is unsafe. To keep the body from harm, the immune system discharges histamines and this compound is what causes a person to have an allergic reaction.

What are the Symptoms of Soy Allergy?

When an individual has an allergic reaction from consuming a food or beverage that contains soy, their symptoms can be mild or they can be very serious. Mild symptoms often include an itchy rash or hives, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing and coughing. Symptoms that can turn life-threatening include pains in the chest area, becoming unconscious, a swollen tongue or throat, swallowing difficulties, being short of breath and a blood pressure level that drops too low. Individuals who have an allergic reaction to a soy product may immediately start having symptoms or it may take numerous hours before the symptoms begin.

How is a Soy Allergy Treated?

Medical treatment for a minor allergic reaction to a soy-based product is a prescription antihistamine and steroid medication. When individuals have a serious allergic reaction they will receive a medication called epinephrine, which causes a reversal of the symptoms.

Additional medications may include cortisone to lessen the signs of inflammation, and diphenhydramine and cetirizine to help control certain symptoms, such as sneezing and itching. Individuals who are experiencing problems with breathing may be prescribed various asthma medications. To avoid dangerous allergic reactions from a soy allergy, individuals should avoid consuming any foods or drinks that contain soy.

Last Reviewed:
October 10, 2016
Last Updated:
August 17, 2017