Soy Intolerance Symptoms

Soy intolerance is a condition where one is unable to digest the protein present in soy milk and foods. There are at least 15 such substances present in soy proteins that can be intolerable for the human system. Soy intolerance is quite common among infants and small children. They get it after consumption of baby foods that contain soy proteins. Even breastfeeding infants may also show these symptoms if the lactating mother has consumed soy products. Sometimes, adults may also become intolerant towards soy protein.


Some of the symptoms of soy intolerance develop as soon as soy food is ingested, while others may show up after few hours. When infants are suffering from soy milk intolerance, they cry continuously for several hours throughout the day. They vomit repeatedly, and this is often accompanied by watery diarrhea and bloody stools. Some of them refuse to eat anything at all. Others may want to eat again and again, as they feel slightly better after eating. Other symptoms are irritability, wheezing, colic, swelling of the skin, eruption of itchy bumps, etc.

Like infants, adults also show the usual symptoms of stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, etc. Apart from that, some typical signs of soy intolerance in adults include: headache, nervousness, dizziness, sweating, burning sensation on skin, palpation, breathing difficulty, tightness in chest and face, etc. Some of them experience a tingling sensation on the lips, tongue, throat and even on face, and runny nose.

There are some symptoms of soy intolerance which are quite serious in nature and require immediate medical intervention. One of them is breathing difficulty, which can be found both in infants as well as adults. If neglected, it can cause asthma to the child. This could also be a sign of anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening condition, that arises when the lungs get swollen and blocks normal breathing. Other accompanying symptoms of anaphylaxis are drop in blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, fever, loss of consciousness, etc. However, this condition is found quite rarely in soy intolerance cases. Ear infection is another problem that is found particularly in infants, as the ear fails to drain out due to blockage in the air passage. Continuous itching and inflammation of the skin often leads to eczema and hives.


If the symptoms are minor, then they do not require any medicinal treatment, and they will usually disappear within 48 hours or so. Then onwards they have to avoid all kinds of soy foods to control the symptoms. More serious symptoms are treated with the help of antihistamine medicines. One can get relief from skin itching by application of ice. Wrap up an ice cube in a soft piece of cloth, and rub it gently over the itchy parts of the skin. There are several creams and ointments which when applied topically can be highly beneficial for healing hives and eczema. If any symptoms of anaphylaxis are observed, the patient has to be rushed to the emergency room without any delay.

So far, there is no treatment that can cure this problem of soy intolerance. Therefore, the only way one can prevent symptoms is by eliminating soy foods completely from the diet. Parents should purchase baby formula only after reading the label to find out if it has any soy content or not. In many cases, it has been found that after following a soy-free diet, infants outgrow the soy protein intolerance condition by the age of one or two.

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