Soy lecithin is considered generally safe for people with a soy allergy, according to SoyConnection.com. Soy lecithin is a by-product of soy beans and is commonly used in foods to stabilize and provide a greater shelf life. Although an allergic reaction to soy lecithin is highly unlikely, a person with a soy allergy may experience allergy symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with a soy allergy, talk with your doctor before consuming soy lecithin. If you experience adverse reactions after eating foods containing soy lecithin, discontinue its use and see you caregiver.
If you experience allergy symptoms after eating soy lecithin, it is related to the proteins found in soy beans. A soy allergy is a hypersensitivity to the proteins found in soy, according to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. When you eat soy-based products, your immune system overreacts to the soy protein and begins to attack it. The attack is carried out by IgE antibodies and histamine. Histamine in the body causes irritation and inflammation in the areas of the body it is being produced.
Rhinitis and Digestive Symptoms
The most common symptoms of a soy allergy are rhinitis and digestive symptoms, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Rhinitis symptoms include watery eyes, a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, postnasal drip and throat irritation. Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach cramping, abdominal pain and gas are common digestive symptoms associated with a soy lecithin allergy.
High levels of histamine in the lungs cause the airways to swell, restricting your ability to breathe normally. Asthma symptoms from a soy lecithin allergy include shortness of breath, the inability to breathe, chest tightness, coughing and wheezing, according to KidsHealth.org. If you experience asthmatic reactions, contact your doctor immediately.
Skin reactions are a common symptom of an allergy to soy lecithin. Skin reactions manifest themselves in the form of general itching, eczema or hives, according to the Cleveland Clinic. General itching may be felt anywhere in the body, but primarily in the mouth, lips or throat. Eczema forms as small pimple-like blisters that can bust and crust over, leaving the skin open to infection. Hives develop in clusters of flat welts that are extremely itchy. All skin-related rashes are elevated from the skin, red and puffy in nature.
Severe Allergic Reaction
A severe allergic reaction may occur. Severe allergic reaction symptoms include cough, diarrhea, anxiety, mental confusion, wheezing, difficulty breathing, nasal congestion, nausea, fainting, dizziness, hives, difficulty swallowing, skin redness and vomiting, according to MedlinePlus. Call 9-1-1 if you experience these symptoms.