Soy Allergy Symptoms Are Rarely Life Threatening Events

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It is estimated by the Food and Drug Administration that roughly 0.2% of the population of the United States has an allergy to soy products. Some people who conduct research into soy allergies suspect that the number is actually much higher. One researcher, in fact, estimates that approximately 5-8% of all children and 1-2% of all adults living in the United States have an allergy to soy products.

Soy products contribute to 90% of all food allergy reactions experienced by children. It is eighth on the list of the most common food allergens.#

Soy allergy symptoms are usually limited to just one area of the body but can sometimes be more widespread. The symptoms include:

· Flushing of the skin
· Intense itching
· Swelling of the lips or tongue
· Shortness of breath
· Wheezing or hoarseness
· Nausea
· Vomiting
· Abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea
· Colic in babies

Very few anaphylactic allergic reactions have been reported in the medical literature. Soy allergy symptoms can present within a few minutes after the food has been ingested; they can also take several hours to present.

Anyone who suspects that they have had an allergic reaction to soy products should consider having allergy testing to determine if they are actually allergic to soy. In 1996 genetically modified soybeans were introduced into North American soy bean crops. This can pose a serious problem for anyone who has any food allergies at all because not much is known about genetically modified soybeans’ ability to produce allergens. If you are concerned about soybean allergies, you should purchase only organic soybeans because organic products do not contain any genetically modified components.

Anyone who has experienced any soy allergy symptoms will wish to simply avoid coming into contact with soy products in the future. This is much more difficult than simple avoidance, however because soy is found in many processed foods. It can be found in:

1. canned tuna
2. cereals
3. margarine
4. infant formula

It is also often included in vitamins, many different supplements and many over-the-counter drugs as well as in many prescription drugs and some lotions and cosmetics.

To make it even more complicated, soy can be called many different things. It is known as edamame, diglyceride, miso, tempeh and lethicin to name just a few. This issue has been somewhat alleviated by the fact that in 2006, food manufacturers were ordered to clearly indicate on their food labels if soy is contained in their food products. This law does not extend to any non-food items, however, such as medicine or cosmetics. It is, therefore, extremely important to always read labels whenever you have any kind of food allergy.

At present it is not known how much soy must be ingested in order to cause a soy allergy reaction.

The best way to deal with a soy allergy is to prevent it from developing. This means not introducing any soy products into the diet of a child until her or she is at least one year old. Babies who are not breastfed exclusively should not be fed any soy-based formulas because infants are much more likely to develop a soy allergy. It will usually develop by about three months of age. Most children will outgrow their soy allergy by the time they are about two years old. It is extremely rare for adults to suffer from a soy allergy.

In general, soy allergies are not usually serious though they may be uncomfortable and troublesome. Any person who suspects that they may have an allergy to soy products will want to consult with their physician. If possible, it is best to try to see the physician while the reaction is happening so that they can assess it.

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