Manage Your Child’s Soy Allergy

Soy Allergy Explained
In many cases, soy allergy starts with a reaction to a soy-based infant formula. Although most children eventually outgrow a soy allergy, it can persist into adulthood. Often, signs and symptoms of soy allergy are mild, such as hives or itching in the mouth. In rare cases, soy allergy can cause a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).

If you or your child has a reaction to soy, let their doctor know. Tests can help confirm a soy allergy. If you have a soy allergy, you’ll need to avoid products that contain soy. This can be difficult, however, as soy is common in many foods, such as meat products, bakery goods, chocolate and breakfast cereals.

Signs and Symptoms of Soy Allergy
Soy allergy symptoms can include:

Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
Bloody stool (this is a common symptom from soy-based formula)
Hives, itching or itchy, scaly skin (eczema)
Redness of the skin (flushing)
Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
Tingling in the mouth
Wheezing, runny nose or trouble breathing
As mentioned above, soy allergy in infants often begins with the introduction of a soy-based formula. Soy allergy may develop when a child is switched to a soy-based formula after an allergic reaction to a milk-based formula.

If you think your child has a soy allergy, their doctor may refer you to an allergist. An allergist may do a skin prick or blood test for immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to get an accurate diagnosis. In the case your child is diagnosed with a soy allergy, notify their school and any family and friends who prepare food for them at any given time.