When you first hear the term, soy allergy, you might think this isn’t such a bad allergy. All one has to do is to stay away from soy and soy products. But do you really know what kind of foods actually contain soy?
Soy can be found in such foods as: flour, grits, some green or dried beans, soy milk, curd tofu cheese, soy sauces, and vegetable oils. But don’t think this means soy is always simple to find in the list of ingredients of foods. Sometimes soy is hidden and is listed as an additive used for flavor or even a protein that is added as a meat substitute.
Some soy products will cause an allergic reaction to a person, while another product may not. Some fermented soy products will not cause any allergic reactions to some people. While most people who are allergic to soy, will experience a reaction when the product is made from whole soy beans.
Since soy is sometimes hidden in the list of ingredients, it can be hard for a person to actually pinpoint if he/she has an allergy to it. But it does help if you know what symptoms may occur if you have this allergy.
An allergy to soy is different than most common allergies. You won’t suddenly begin itching or experience hives as you would when you ingest other allergic products. A soy allergy begins in one’s immune system. Once it is ingested the immune system mistakenly thinks that the soy is something that will harm the body. The immune system will remember that it believes that soy is harmful. Then the next time it is ingested the immune system will go on into attack mode. It will do this by creating antibodies. These antibodies will produce many chemicals including histamines. Now the body will start feeling the signs of an allergic reaction. How? It can be in a number of ways.
An allergic response to soy can show up in the respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, the cardiovascular system and even in the skin. One might have the following symptoms; acne, asthma, dermatitis, fever, itching, vomiting and diarrhea, to name a few. The reaction may also get worse each time a soy product is introduced to the body. The reason why is because more antibodies are produced by the immune system each time soy now enters the body.
There is also the problem of cross reactivity of other products if you are allergic to soy. Put simply it means if you are allergic to soy you are more probable of being allergic to these substances too: peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lima beans, string beans, wheat, rye and barley. Plus, any products that contains these substances.
If you think you have an allergy to soy, the best way to check is to stay away from soy products for a few days. It may take up to 48 hours for any soy to completely leave your body. Then try a small amount of soy and see if your symptoms return.
Doctor’s believe we can help our kids from developing an allergy to soy by breastfeeding, if at all possible for the first six months of a child’s life, keeping a child under the age of six months away from solid foods and to avoid such foods as cow’s milk, wheat, eggs, peantus and fish until your child is over the age of one year.
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