Soy (Glycine max) comes from soybeans which are a species of legume native to East Asia. Soybeans can be consumed as an edible bean or processed into various products. These soy products come in unfermented and fermented versions.
Soy is a common trigger for allergic reactions, especially among younger children. Mollakhalili-Meybodi, N., Arab, M. & Zare say this is due to biogenic amines, allergens and anti-nutritional factors that are present in soybeans. Positively, soy proteins that are the cause of soy allergies are less potent at triggering allergy symptoms than other common allergens such as peanuts or shellfish.
What’s more, soy is a common trigger for symptoms where no allergic reaction occurs and is more likely to be a soy intolerance or soy sensitivity due to the digestive nature of the symptoms. If you think you are suffering from a soy intolerance or allergy, this guide will outline symptoms of both, as well as the next steps you could take in getting a diagnosis.
Symptoms of Soy Allergy can include:
- Rash or hives
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Narrowing of the throat
- Swelling of the face or lips
- Anaphylaxis (very rarely)
For individuals experiencing severe symptoms, please seek medical professional help as soon as possible. If you want to test whether you are allergic to soy, TMI Testing offer allergy tests which involve completing a fast and pain-free pin-prick and blood spot sample. The results will show out of 35 allergen items which food allergies you have.
Soy Sensitivity Versus Intolerance
Soy sensitivity or intolerance is where a person may present different digestive symptoms after the consumption of related products. A less severe condition than an allergy, symptoms can still be uncomfortable and embarrassing for the individual.
Symptoms of Soy Intolerance and Soy Sensitivity Include:
Here at TMI Testing, we offer a range of intolerance and allergy tests so that you can know for sure what is causing these unwanted symptoms.s
Soy Intolerance in Infants
Many infants experience negative reactions to soy, which can be found in baby milk formulas as well as in breast milk if their parent has consumed soy. As well as previously mentioned symptoms, soy intolerance in infants can manifest as irritability, spitting out milk often, or abnormal stools.
What Do I Do if My Baby Is Intolerant to Soy?
Milk soy protein intolerance is often temporary and babies outgrow the issue. In the meantime, the issue can be easily resolved by converting to a soy-free milk formula or by removing soy from the diet of the person breastfeeding.
Which Foods Should I Avoid if I Have a Soy Allergy or Intolerance?
If you are allergic to soy, you must avoid foods containing the food item to prevent symptoms from occurring. For people with intolerances, it is possible that after removing the food from your diet for 21 days using an elimination diet, you can reintroduce soy and not experience negative reactions.
Foods to avoid if you have a soy intolerance or allergy include:
- Foods with soy protein
- Soy sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Textured Vegetable Protein (often used as a meat and dairy substitute)
- Soy flour
It is also important to check the labels on many common foods such as baked goods, canned goods, cereals, ice cream, and frozen dinners, as soy flour is commonly used as an ingredient in processed foods and condiments.
Ingredients which may mean soy and should be avoided too, are:
- Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
- Monosodium Glutamate
- Glycine Max
Soybeans and many soy products are low in saturated fats and high in protein, vitamin C and folate. Soybeans also provide a good source of dietary fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Replacing key nutrients when eliminating soy
It is important to use alternative items in your diet when undertaking either a short or long term elimination diet to maintain nutrient balance. Below are good examples of nutritional alternatives when eliminating soy:
Orange, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, leafy greens.
Dried apricots, salmon, mackerel, tuna, monkfish, white beans, lentils, kidney beans, avocado, butternut squash, spinach, mushrooms, bananas, potatoes.
Folate (Vitamin B9)
Lemons, bananas, melons, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, beans, peas, lentils.
Watercress, kale, broccoli, pak choi, tofu, sugar snap peas, almonds, sardines
Brown rice, oats, rye, whole wheat, quinoa, poultry, pork, liver, sardines, scallops, salmon, mackerel, crab, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews.
Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chicken, oysters, mussels, clams, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, beef, lamb, lentils, white beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lima beans, spinach, swiss chard, kale.
Soy Intolerance Testing From TMI Testing
If you’re suffering from a soy intolerance, allergy, or sensitivity – it’s wise to get tested so you can start making practical changes to your diet that could improve your wellbeing. At TMI Testing, we are specialist intolerance test providers, and our range of tests include:
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SAVE £6A rapid at-home indicator of Allergies (IgE) to use as a first step investigation.
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SAVE £30Home-to-lab Allergy (IgE) test of 35 food and environmental triggers.
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SAVE £30Home-to-lab Intolerance (IgG4) test of 80 common food and drink triggers.
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SAVE £34A full screen of 70 combined Allergy (IgE) & Intolerance (IgG4) triggers.
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SAVE £20A first step to learning more about your sensitivities with this test.
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SAVE £44970+ item comprehensive sensitivity and health test report.
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SAVE £40Make savings for two people on our most comprehensive test.
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SAVE £66Our best saving package for four people on largest screening of items.