Soy Intolerance Vs. Allergy | Allergy Test

Often, soy allergy begins in infancy. Some children outgrow their allergies and intolerance in their teenage years, while some aren’t as lucky. Having a soy allergy or intolerance means avoiding soy foods, which can be a bit difficult as soy is an ingredient in meats, baked goods, chocolate, breakfast cereals, and other foods. When you’re on a vegan or vegetarian diet, soy becomes a very reliable source of protein. However, if you’re soy intolerant or have a soy allergy, this will mean that you will need to find other protein sources.

 

The difference between soy intolerance and soy allergy

Even though some people use the terms allergy and intolerance interchangeably, these two mean different things. When you have a soy allergy, the body reacts differently compared to soy intolerance.

When you have a soy allergy, it means that even trace amounts of soy can cause allergic reactions in the body. A soy allergy happens when you consume anything with soy protein, and the body mistakes these harmless proteins for invaders and creates antibodies to fight them. After consuming soy for the first time, the second time you do so, the immune system produces histamines that “protect” the body, which leads to allergic reaction symptoms.

When it comes to soy intolerance, soy proteins don’t trigger the immune system. Instead, they trigger the gastrointestinal tract, and that’s where most of the symptoms show up. Soy intolerance occurs most of the time because the body lacks enzymes to digest soy protein. So, the more soy products you consume, the more severe the symptoms become. Some people can eat soy products in small quantities and have no symptoms when they are soy intolerant.

 

Soy allergy symptoms

The symptoms of soy allergy may range from mild to severe. It is not common to get anaphylaxis when having a soy allergy, but some people do. These symptoms will develop between a few minutes to a few hours after consuming soy foods. Some of the soy allergy symptoms include:

  • Tingling
  • Runny nose, wheezing, or trouble breathing
  • Skin reactions including hives and rashes
  • Itchiness
  • Swelling of lips, mouth, or other body parts
  • Wheezing
  • Abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting
  • Red skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Itching and swelling
  • Anaphylactic shock (very rarely in the case of soy allergies)

 

Soy intolerance symptoms

Soy intolerance symptoms take between 30 minutes to forty-eight hours to show. Because of how long these symptoms take to manifest sometimes, you can find it hard to determine exactly which foods are causing the intolerance symptoms. That’s why an Intolerance Test is a good helper in such cases. Symptoms of soy intolerance include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea

When soy substances in the stomach aren’t fully digested, they cause inflammation in the gut, which in turn leads to diarrhea. For people who have a moderate tolerance for soy products, that means you can consume small amounts of soy without experiencing unpleasant symptoms. You should, however, not finish the entire serving of soy-based products. However, those who experience severe soy intolerance need to avoid soy at all costs.

 

Soy intolerance gas

Plant-based foods like vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (like soybeans) often cause gas and bloating. People who lack specific enzymes to digest or break down complex carbohydrates experience this. This condition is often referred to as complex carbohydrate intolerance. So, when soy products and beans that contain these carbohydrates are not broken down in the gut, they produce gas and ferment there. If this is an issue you suffer from after consuming soy products, it is advisable to take the over-the-counter alpha-galactosidase enzyme. This enzyme helps the small intestine digest carbohydrates and prevent gas and bloating.

 

Soy allergy risk factors

Anyone can experience a soy intolerance or allergy, but some factors put people at a higher risk of developing these issues. They include:

  • Family history of soy allergy or other food allergies. If there’s a history of food allergies in your family, you’re at a higher risk of developing a soy allergy.
  • Age- Younger children or infants tend to be at a higher risk of developing food allergies and intolerances.
  • Other allergies- If you’re allergic to other legumes, milk, or other common food allergens, you’re at a higher risk of developing a soy allergy.

If you’re nursing your child and they have a soy intolerance or allergy, you will notice their reaction when you breastfeed the baby after you’ve consumed soy products. In such cases, you need to talk to a pediatrician to get help, and you’ll also need to stop consuming soy products so that your child is no longer digesting soy.

 

Soy intolerance and allergy treatment

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Our Allergy & Intolerance Test Kit

The best way to deal with an allergy or intolerance is to avoid the allergen food. So, in this case, you will need to keep away from foods and products that contain soy. If you or your child has a sensitivity or allergy to soy, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with soy ingredients when reading package labels. You will also need to inquire about food ingredients when eating out.

Soy is among the top common food allergens that the FDA requires manufacturers to list on the food ingredients if used. So, if you’re avoiding soy due to allergies or intolerance, you will be sure to find it written on processed foods and avoid them. If you have severe reactions to soy, your doctor will prescribe an EpiPen that you will need to carry all the time if you encounter soy products and get adverse reactions.

Most people who are allergic or intolerant to soy can tolerate highly processed soy products like soy oil and soy lecithin. To know for sure what you can avoid and what you can consume, your Allergy and Intolerance Test will come with a list of foods you can consume and the ones you need to avoid. If you feel you don’t completely understand and need further clarification, you’ll need to talk to your doctor for additional guidance.

 

Soy intolerance foods to avoid

When you suffer from soy sensitivity or allergy, you must avoid it. It can be a little easy to spot ingredients like soy milk, edamame, tofu, and soybeans and prevent them, but sometimes soy proteins can be labeled in ways you won’t know that it’s soy. Here’s a list of ingredients and foods to avoid soy intolerance. They include:

  • Mono-diglyceride
  • Glycine max
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Vegetable broth
  • Vegetable gum
  • Flavorings
  • Vegetable starch
  • Asian cuisine

If you’re not sure about whether the ingredient contains soy or not, you can always contact manufacturers and confirm. It is better to confirm than suffer the side effects of an allergy or intolerance. If your child is suffering from cow’s milk allergy, it is more likely that they’ll be allergic to soy milk, and it’s wise to switch to hypoallergenic baby formula {1}.

 

Soy intolerance and allergy test

The best way to test for soy intolerance or allergy is by ordering an Allergy and Intolerance Test online. Upon ordering the test, you will receive it in your mail within three days. This test will not only check for soy intolerance and allergy, but it will also check for other common allergies and intolerances. It will help you be aware of any other food allergies and intolerances that you may not be aware of.

After sending your sample back to the labs, you will receive your test results within a week. The results will include foods you should avoid because of your allergies and intolerances. This list will prevent you from having the adverse effects of allergies and intolerances as you can remove these items from your diet.

If you feel as if you will need to eliminate so many foods from your diet, you may need to talk to your doctor to get help about how to cope and find food alternatives. Suppose you’re vegan or vegetarian, and you mainly depend on soy products to get your daily protein intake. In that case, you may need help from your nutritionist or doctor on the way forward to prevent you from suffering from any deficiencies. Proteins are necessary for our diets, and you will need to find other protein alternatives, especially if you’re vegan.

 

Final thoughts on soy intolerance and allergy

Once you’ve noticed that you either have a soy intolerance or allergy, you will need to confirm this by ordering an Allergy and Intolerance Test. This test will give you a run-through of your food allergies and intolerances. It is essential to avoid anything with soy if you have an intolerance or allergy.

If your baby has a soy allergy or intolerance, you will need to stop using milk formulas with soy as an ingredient. If you’re not sure whether an item contains soy or not, don’t be shy to inquire from the company directly – most companies leave their information on the product label. Positively, if your child has a soy allergy, they may outgrow the allergy earlier on in life {2}.

 

About the Author.

Kate Young joined Healthy Stuff in 2021 as our Laboratory Manager. Whilst working in embryology, Kate worked on 14 different publications including, ‘trophectoderm biopsy and human blastocyst development’, and talked at the ‘European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology’. Coordinating a team of 6, her expertise in processing protocols and validations has allowed us to gain ISO 9001 accreditation status and work towards Good Lab Practice and further ISO. See Kates Healthy Stuff profile here.

 

References

  1. Candreva, A. M., Smaldini, P. L., Curciarello, R., Cauerhff, A., Fossati, C. A., Docena, G. H., & Petruccelli, S. (2015). Cross-reactivity between the soybean protein p34 and bovine caseins. Allergy, asthma & immunology research, 7(1), 60–68. https://doi.org/10.4168/aair.2015.7.1.60
  2. Soy Allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI). Source: https://acaai.org/allergies/allergic-conditions/food/soy/