A cousin to the peanut family, the soybean is a very common allergenic food for the human population. Not only are many people deathly allergic to this bean, but many more have an immune sensitivity to the specific protein structure of soy. This can be a very subtle food intolerance that can easily be identified through subtle to moderate symptoms. No worries, however, because natural soy intolerance treatment is extremely effective and some supplements allow people like me to eat soy products again!
Symptoms of Soy Intolerance
A sensitivity to soy is different from a soy allergy in that you won’t necessarily be in danger of dying when you eat it. However, it is very unhealthy and dangerous to have chronic exposure to the protein you are intolerant to because these immune system reactions are inflammatory.
Inflammation is the root cause of disease, so you can see how this would affect your health. That’s why it is important to avoid your allergens the best that you can.
However, recognizing that you have been having chronic exposure to an allergen is the first step to treating it.
If you have a soy allergy, which is a severe full-blown immune reaction, you will have these more obvious symptoms:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Nausea or vomiting
- Running nose and sneezing
- Wheezing and swollen airways
- Skin reactions like hives
- Itching and swelling of joints
- In serious cases, anaphylactic shock may be deadly.
If you have soy intolerance, you will have these more subtle, but still noticeable signs:
- Skin reactions like itching, acne, pustules, and sensitive skin
- Tingling in the mouth, face, and throat (see Oral Allergy Syndrome)
- Swollen airways
- Running nose, congestion, sneezing
- Rapid heart rate
- Pain in the abdomen/diarrhea the following day
- Headache and head pressure
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chronic fatigue and weakness
My Personal Experience with Soy Intolerance
Since I was a young teenager, I had experienced very uncomfortable symptoms for a reason that I could not pinpoint. It took me about 5 years of experimentation to finally realize what had been ruining my well-being: soy intolerance.
The particular symptoms that were bothering me were chronic pain in the abdomen, frequent headaches, poor sleep, nerve damage (I would sometimes see flickering lights), severe acne and dry skin, hair loss, severe seasonal allergy symptoms (I would blow my nose for hours), and belly bloating. This all started when I was around 13.
I thought that these symptoms had mostly to do with my hormonal changes during adolescence because everybody had told me that this is when I’ll be in an awkward state of health as my “body changes.” But I thought that it couldn’t be fair, why would this need to happen to me and not everybody else my age?
The only thing that I had changed during this period was my diet: I tried eating vegetarian for a few years. I wish I had speculated this earlier because I was forced in a lot of situations to eat soy products that were offered at restaurants and stuff. But the soy intolerance thing was hard to pinpoint for me partly because I was in denial that eating yummy tofu and soymilk would be unhealthy for me.
I had gone to the lab for a blood allergy test and it had determined that I had high levels of IgE antibodies, meaning I was eating something that I had an intolerance to. It had to be soy intolerance.
Then, I had stopped consuming anything with soy in the ingredients list and my health transformed over the next few months.
I felt much better. But I was sad that I couldn’t eat a lot of vegetarian items (and a lot of other things with soy oil and soy lecithin).
BUT natural soy intolerance treatment allows me to consume soy protein again
I was very depressed about my diet lacking soy products as a vegetarian, so I did some research about how intolerances work. It seems that the body’s immune system triggers a reaction to the protein because it can only be partially ingested. Some section of the soy protein (a very complex molecule), must uniquely piss of your immune system. (Source)
It had occurred to me that maybe there could be some way to assist your body in digesting the protein that you are intolerant to.
I learned about how natural digestive enzyme supplements work to provide assistance to your digestive system in breaking food down. In many cases, a digestive enzyme treatment may be all you need to stop the immune reactions from occurring when you are experiencing one.
For me, this is definitely the case. Whenever I eat sometime I have an intolerance to (soy, peanuts, shellfish), I feel the reaction start to occur and I take a digestive enzyme supplement. This helps my reaction subside for some reason.
If I take one of these enzymes a few minutes before eating, it’s as if these foods don’t cause a problem at all. However, eating too much of the foods is not recommended by any means. You should probably still try to avoid them. However, moderation is great for nutrition.
Having one of these supplements on hand just in case you accidentally consume a food you are intolerant to, like soy, take one of them so that you don’t experience symptoms of harmful inflammation.
Soy intolerance sucks because it’s in so many foods
Believe me, I would imagine that it would be very stressful to have a soy allergy because so many foods have soy products in it. Take a look at most foods in your pantry—it’s likely that most of them have soybean oil or soy lecitihin in there.
Soy protein is present in:
- Tofu and “vegetable protein”
- Anything that says soy (soybean oil may have trace amounts of protein)
- Some natural flavors may contain soy
- Vegetable gum
- Vegetable starch
- Deep-fried tofu under secret names: tamari, tempeh, etc.
- Some infant formulas
- Cereals and baked goods
- Some vegetable broths
Now, if you think about it, these ingredients are found in most preserved foods. Unless the brands are specifically trying to avoid soy ingredients, it’s like that they won’t.
That’s simply because the soybean is extremely inexpensive and its products are pretty much worthless. Soy is a commercial crop that is commonly planted around the world. Since it is genetically modified, the plant can survive many harsh climates, insects, and diseases. The same can be said for wheat and corn. (Source)
Probiotics can cure soy intolerance in some people
In some cases, food intolerances may be caused by a deficiency in probiotic intestinal flora. These friendly bacteria help you digest certain foods (especially proteins) and release vitamins as waste products that your body can absorb. (Source)
However, there are different strains of probiotic bacteria and various types of organisms. There are different families of bacteria and yeast that have different functions.
For instance, the Lactobacillus probiotic bacteria family have been proven in research to help lactose intolerance sufferers digest milk products. It’s possible that certain strains of probiotics can help you digest soy protein as well.
Studies have not pinpointed which ones exactly work for soy intolerance, but perhaps you can try to experiment with different kinds. Simply check the label of the probiotic supplement or food and see which ones make you feel better.
The types of probiotics that work best for me and my soy intolerance are ones that incorporate Bifidobacterium as a base. My body seems to not respond to the Lactobacillus family as well as these. Maybe that is because I am not intolerant to milk, but this probiotic supplement definitely helped my soy intolerance symptoms.
If you haven’t tried a probiotic supplement ever before, I urge you to try one because it may revolutionize your health and how you feel. You can experiment and research which probiotic strains would be the best for you.
I know how uncomfortable the symptoms of soy intolerance are, but these natural treatments can really work for you. The digestive enzymes supplement had helped my symptoms immediately and I urge you to buy a quality food-based enzyme to assist your health whenever you need general assistance with digestion or you have accidentally eaten a food you are allergic or intolerant to.
I am still on my journey to conquer what soy intolerance really is and how to treat the root cause of it, so I am sorry that I don’t have any more information for you that would cure the allergy. I’m sure that researchers will have more studies done on food intolerance instances, but they seem to focus of serious allergies right now.
If you happen to suffer from this and would like to suggest another natural soy intolerance treatment, please tell me in the comments. It would definitely help me and many others who are struggling to avoid soy ingredients. Information that is available on this intolerance is very limited right now unfortunately.
Talk to you soon,