Soy, a product of soybeans, is a common allergen in children, and it generally starts when soy formula is introduced for a child with milk allergies. Although a soy allergy can be anaphylactic, it is more commonly not.
Although soy rarely causes anaphylaxis, children with peanut allergies and diagnosed with asthma are at greater risk and should be watched closely. There have been rare instances of fatal response to soy and parents of newly diagnosed children should be aware that although it is extremely rare, it is possible. Overall, reactions to soy allergy are generally mild compared to other common allergens. Read more about managing a soy allergy from Health Canada's Website.
Children typically suffer from hives, nausea, or allergic rhinitis. For those that suffer from soy intolerance, symptoms are quite different. Studies have actually shown that soy intolerance is common among children with milk protein intolerance. Soy allergies are often outgrown by age 3, but there are cases of adult soy allergy too.
Soy intolerance, however, is similar to gluten intolerance. In rare cases it can cause damage to the villi, the small hairs in the small intestine that smoosh up our food and help the body to absorb vital nutrients. This type of intestinal damage is similar to the type of damage found in celiac disease. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King use soy in their hamburger meat, sauces, and buns. Most all breads in the U.S. contain soy derivatives and many contain soy flour.
Soy intolerance may cause severe fatigue, body aches, lower immunity and more infections than normal, inability to concentrate, back pain, and headaches.
Natural flavorings in foods are often soy derived. Call and ask manufacturers if they use soy as a carrier protein in their natural flavoring.
Flavorings may be soy based.
Hydrolyzed plant and hydrolyzed vegetable protein in the US are likely to be soy.
Vitamin E contains soy bean oil.
Contact the company to identify derivatives in vegetable broth, gums, and starches, as they tend to be soy based.
Always ask the staff at a restaurant what oil they use for French fries and other fried items, as well as to sear meat and grease pans. Vegetable oil made from soy is usually the cheapest type and most widely used.
Natural crayons are made from 85% soy oil. Synthetic crayons are soy-free.
Hydrolyzed soy protein
Mono Sodium Glutamate (MSG)
Shoyo or Shoyu sauce
Soy protein concentrate
Soy protein isolate
Soybean curd, granules
Surimi (an ingredient in imitation crab meat)
Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Canned chicken broth
Lecithin (can also come from corn, animal byproducts, egg, sunflowers, and peanuts)
Hydrolyzed plant protein
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
Mono- and di-glycerides
Vitamin E often contains soy bean oil