Soy Allergy

This food allergy is an immune system response linked to soy. It happens when your immune system treats harmless soy proteins as if they're a danger to your body. Soy is a product of soybeans. We see this allergy most often in kids. Many of them will outgrow the soy allergy, but not all do.


What happens when a person with this allergy is exposed to soy? Well, they may have a wide range of reactions. Their face, lips, mouth or throat may swell. They may have red spots on their skin. They may itch and break out in hives. They may have stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.


If the reaction is severe, they may have trouble breathing. They may go into shock and lose consciousness. We call this "anaphylaxis." It's an emergency. Get medical help as soon as possible.

Managing this allergy

To manage a soy allergy, avoid soy and all foods that contain it. Read food labels carefully. While things like soy milk and tofu may be obvious sources, watch for soy where you may not expect it. Look for it in canned tuna, energy bars, crackers and soups. It may be in low-fat peanut butter.

Other tips

Soy is also used in many vegetarian foods. It may be found in oils, starches and food flavorings. Things like chocolate and breakfast cereals can contain soy, too. For more info about soy allergy and how to manage it, talk to your doctor.