How is soy allergy treated?

If you have soy allergy, strict avoidance of soy is the only way to prevent a reaction. Your doctor might suggest antihistamines or injectable epinephrine for treating reactions.

Avoiding products made with soy is difficult because soy is contained in many processed food products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires food manufacturers to list common food allergens on food labels in plain terms to make it easier to identify the food allergens. Food labels must clearly list eight allergens which account for almost 90 percent of all food allergies: cow’s milk, soy, wheat, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Generally, soy lecithin and soy oil are tolerated by soy allergic individuals.

How can I best manage living with a soy allergy?

  • Always know what you are eating and drinking.
  • Always check the label ingredients before you use a product, even if the food was safe the last time you ate it. Manufacturers can change recipes and a soy-containing food may be added to the recipe.
  • Teach children with soy allergy not to accept food from classmates or friends.
  • When dining out, ask detailed questions about ingredients and how the food was prepared.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet with information about your allergy or carry an alert card with you.
  • Talk with your doctor about how to prepare for a reaction. Mild reactions may be treated with oral antihistamines. Your doctor may prescribe self-injectable epinephrine to carry with you at all times in case you have a severe reaction.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/02/2018.

References

  • Food Allergy Research & Education. Soy Allergy. Accessed 10/4/2018.
  • Soyfoods Association of North America. Soy Allergies. Accessed 10/4/2018.
  • American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Soy Allergy. Accessed 10/4/2018.
  • Expert knowledge and experience of healthcare providers at Cleveland Clinic.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy