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Does Soy Milk Cause Indigestion & Bloating?

by
author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Does Soy Milk Cause Indigestion & Bloating?
Glass of fresh soy milk on napkin surrounded by soy beans. Photo Credit sasimoto/iStock/Getty Images

Soy milk does not cause indigestion and bloating in most healthy people. Soy milk is a nondairy beverage that is commonly used to replace dairy milk. The beverage is made from soy beans, water, sugar and flavors and is commonly fortified with calcium and vitamin D. If indigestion and bloating develop after drinking soy milk, you need to make an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms. The most common causes of these symptoms are soy intolerance and a soy allergy.

Soy Intolerance

Indigestion and bloating are symptoms related to your digestive system, leading to the possibility that you may have soy intolerance. Soy intolerance occurs when your digestive system is unable to digest the proteins found in soy beans. According to a CBS News report, you can have an intolerance to any food if your small intestines fail to create enough digestive enzymes to break down the proteins or sugars contained therein. Soy intolerance will cause stomach pain, cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea and nausea because the undigested soy proteins cause inflammation in your digestive system.

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Soy Allergy

A soy allergy is different from soy intolerance and may cause indigestion and bloating. A soy allergy is a serious medical condition because severe soy allergies can cause significant health complications. During a soy allergy, your immune system releases immunoglobulin E antibodies that fight off the proteins found in the soy milk. Even though the soy proteins are safe for consumption, your immune system targets the proteins as invaders. The release of immunoglobulin E antibodies triggers your mast cells to produce histamine in soft tissues. Histamine leads to inflammation and swelling, causing digestive complications.

Allergy Concern

Most food allergies will cause more than digestive complications. Food allergies typically affect your entire body and may cause nasal congestion, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, hives, skin rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and lightheadedness. If you develop more symptoms that affect more than your digestive system, call your doctor immediately. Soy allergies are incurable and treated through elimination and avoidance.

Other Conditions

If you’ve been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, you may develop bloating and indigestion from consuming soy milk and other soy products. IBS is a common digestive condition that causes gastrointestinal symptoms after eating certain foods, according to PubMed Health. If you develop chronic diarrhea or constipation after drinking soy milk, talk with your doctor.

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