Soy has become a fairly common ingredient in food products. It is also a common cause of food allergy – Soy Formula Allergy.
Soy is found in soybeans, which belong to the legume family (along with beans, lentils, peas and peanuts). Some people are only allergic to one type of legume while others are more than one. Soy allergy is more common in infants and children than in adolescents and adults, although it can develop at any age.
When a person is allergic to soy, the body’s immune system, which normally fights infections, reacts disproportionately to soy proteins. If this person ingests something that contains soy, his body will interpret that these proteins are harmful invaders.
The immune system reacts by trying by all means to face the invader. This causes an allergic reaction, in which the body releases a series of chemicals, such as histamine.
Symptoms Of Soy Formula Allergy Are As Follows:
- wheezing or wheezing (“whistling” when breathing)
- trouble breathing
- throat tightness
- stomach ache
- Crying eyes, itching and / or eye swelling
- pimples or red welts
- lowering of blood pressure, which can cause dizziness and / or loss of consciousness
Reaction to soy formula allergy can differ from each other. Sometimes the same person may react in different ways at different times. Most allergic reactions to soy are mild and affect only one body system, such as when skin rashes appear. But other times allergic reactions are more serious and involve the participation of various parts of the body.
Anaphylaxis is a fatal risk reaction
Although it is very rare, allergy to soy can cause a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis may initially manifest as if it were a mild allergic reaction and then worsen quickly, leading to a person having trouble breathing and / or losing consciousness. If left untreated, anaphylaxis can endanger the life of the affected person.
How to deal with serious reactions
If your child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to soy (or any other type of life-threatening food allergy), your pediatrician will want you to carry a self-injectable adrenaline (or epinephrine) to be used in case of emergency.
A self-injectable adrenaline is a prescription medication sold in easy-to-carry containers about the size and shape of a large marker. It is easy to use. If your child should always have an adrenaline injection by hand, your pediatrician will tell you how to use it.
Older children can be taught to give themselves an injection. If they are responsible for carrying the adrenaline, they should always have it on hand, instead of keeping it in their locker or in the infirmary of their study center.
Regardless of where your child is located, the adults who care for him should always know where the adrenaline injection is, how to access it and how it is administered. The staff at your child’s study center should know that you have a severe food allergy and have an action plan to follow in case of an emergency. Your child’s rescue medications (such as adrenaline) should be easily accessible at all times.
If your child begins to have severe allergic symptoms, such as inflammation of the inside of the mouth and / or throat or breathing difficulties, administer the auto-injectable adrenaline immediately. Every second counts in an episode of anaphylaxis. Then call the emergency number (911 in the USA, 999 in the United Kingdom and 112 in the rest of the U.E.) or take your child to an emergency department. Your child should be under medical supervision because, although it may seem that the worst is over, a second burst or wave of severe symptoms often occurs.
It is also a good idea that your child has over-the-counter antihistamines that help treat mild allergic symptoms. In life-threatening allergic reactions, use the antihistamine after the adrenaline injection, never as your substitute.
Live With Soy Formula Allergy
If tests to detect allergy indicate that your child is allergic to soy, the pediatrician will give you some guidelines to ensure the child’s food safety. Your child should completely avoid products that contain soy. This can be quite difficult, since soy is part of many processed foods.
Asian food, artificial baby formulas (or formula) and baked goods are just a few of the foods that usually contain soy. For more information on the foods your child should avoid, check out the websites recommended by your pediatrician, such as Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network).
You should always read the labels on the packaged products to see if they contain soy. Manufacturers of food products in the USA they must specify in a clearly understandable language whether the product contains any of the eight major food allergens, such as soy. The word “soy” should appear on the packaging in the list of ingredients or phrases such as “contains soy” next to this list.
This labeling requirement makes things a little easier. In any case, it is still important to know the main names that soy can use when it is used as an ingredient. It is also important to keep in mind that a “safe” food can become “unsafe” if the food companies modify the ingredients it contains, its manufacturing process or its production facilities.
For cross-contamination, we understand that the allergen is not part of the ingredients of a certain food product but may have contaminated it during the process of preparation or packaging. Companies are not required to report the risk of cross-contamination in their packaging, although there are some that voluntarily include this type of information in their products. You can find warning information such as “Can contain soy”, “Processed in facilities that also process soybeans” or “Made with machinery that also processes soybeans”.
Since products that lack this type of preventive information are also exposed to cross-contamination (although the company has chosen not to report), it is best to contact the company to know if the product could contain soy. . You can find this information on the company’s website or send an email to a company representative to find out.
Eating away from home
When your child eats at a restaurant or at a friend’s house, find out how the food is cooked and what exactly it contains. It can be complicated to have to ask questions about the methods of preparation and you must also trust the information received. If you can not be certain that the food your child is going to eat does not contain soy, it is best to have your child take safe foods made in your own home.
Be aware of the risk of cross contamination, since soy can be introduced into any food product that is prepared or served using the same surfaces or the same kitchen utensils, from marbles and knives to cutting boards and toasters . This is common in Asian restaurants, where soy is widely used as an ingredient, and in other restaurants that use shared grills (such as Japanese restaurants with “hibachi” or shared plate). Free buffets are also associated with this risk, since serving utensils can be exchanged between different dishes.
Also talk to the staff at your child’s study center about the risks of cross-contamination of the foods served in the school cafeteria. It could be better to prepare your child’s food in your own home to be able to control all its ingredients.
Here are some additional precautions to take:
- Do not feed your child with cooked products that you have not prepared yourself or with any other food that you do not know the ingredients it contains.
- Tell everyone to serve or handle your child’s food, from relatives to waiters, that your child has a soy allergy.
- Prepare your child’s food and snacks in your own home, where you can control the preparation process.
- Do not let your child eat at a restaurant whose owner or manager seems uncomfortable or upset just because you are trying to ensure your child’s food safety.