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Allergies: Living with a soya allergy

Soya beans are legumes. Other foods in the legume family include kidney beans, string beans, black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, lentils, carob, liquorice and peanuts. Many people are allergic to more than one legume. If it’s not possible to identify which soya product is causing your allergy, you may be advised to avoid them all.

It is not always easy to avoid these foods since many surprising products may contain soya.

Who is allergic to soya?

Soya allergy is more common in infants. The average age at which the allergy manifests is three months but the majority of infants outgrow it by the age of two. Although adults do suffer from soya allergy, it is rare.

What are the symptoms?

There are many symptoms of soya allergy, including:

How do I avoid exposure?

Always check the ingredients on the label before you use a product. In addition, check the label each time you use a product. Manufacturers occasionally change recipes and a trigger food may be added to the new recipe.

Soya products include:

  • Soya flour
  • Soya nuts
  • Soya milk
  • Soya sprouts
  • Soya bean granules or curds
  • Tofu

Soya-containing ingredients include:

  • Soya protein
  • Textured vegetable protein (TPV)
  • Hydrolysed plant protein
  • Hydrolysed soya protein
  • Hydrolysed vegetable protein
  • Natural and artificial flavouring (may be soya based)
  • Vegetable gum
  • Vegetable starch

Soya-containing food includes:

  • Miso
  • Soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tamari
  • Tempeh
  • Vegetable broth
  • Some cereals
  • Some infant formula
  • Baked goods
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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on December 15, 2017

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