What is the difference between soy allergy and soy intolerance?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

If you become ill after eating soy, you may have a soy allergy. Soy allergies result in a negative reaction after eating soy, which produces symptoms that are generally mild, such as hives, rashes, nausea and wheezing. However, becoming ill after you eat a product made with soy may not be caused by a soy allergy but rather a soy intolerance. This may be a digestive problem that results in symptoms like upset stomach. This is different from a soy allergy since the problem originates in the digestive system, not the immune system. To determine whether you have a soy allergy or intolerance, talk to your doctor.

Most of the time, a soy allergy is more annoying and uncomfortable than it is serious. However, soy allergies can occasionally be serious and even fatal. People who are strongly allergic to soy can experience anaphylaxis, which consists of severe airway constriction, loss of consciousness and a rapid but weak pulse.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.