Symptoms of Allergies to Chickpeas and Soy

chickpeas on glass bowl
Dried chickpeas in a glass bowl. (Image: lsantilli/iStock/Getty Images)

Chickpeas and soybeans share similar proteins that can cause an allergic reaction. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America notes that soybeans contain at least 15 different proteins that can trigger an allergic reaction. If you’re allergic to soy beans, you have a greater chance of being allergic to other legumes, such as chickpeas. Symptoms of a chickpea or soy allergy are similar, but may develop in various degrees of severity in each person. Talk with your doctor if you suspect that you’re allergic to chickpeas and soy beans.

Chickpea/Soy Allergy

If you’re allergic to chickpeas and soy beans, your immune system doesn’t recognize the proteins in these legumes as safe. Instead the immune system overreacts to the proteins, identifying as a dangerous substance, although they’re safe. The body creates a defense system against the chickpea and soy proteins by producing antibodies, which are disease-fighting agents. The release of these antibodies causes mast cells to produce histamine, a chemical that protects the body from infection but triggers inflammation in soft tissue.

Skin Reactions

Skin reactions are a common symptom of a soy and chickpea allergy. Hives and eczema are the most common skin reactions, causing inflammation, redness and itching in the skin. The skin rashes can develop within a few minutes after you consume the allergen, or could take up to an hour. Hives develop in various shapes and sizes and appear like welts. Eczema forms in small blisters that can fill with liquid, weep and crust over. Eczema leaves the skin dry and leathery.

Asthma and Congestion

Soft tissues in the respiratory system can become inflamed, leading to asthma and nasal congestion. Common symptoms of asthma and nasal congestion include: shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, stuffy nose, runny nose, postnasal drip and sneezing, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The most effective way to prevent these and other symptoms is to avoid the consumption of soy and chickpea products.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that affects your entire body. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include a drop in blood pressure; facial, lips or mouth swelling; dizziness; appearing pale; shortness of breath and a rapid heart rate. This type of reaction can lead to death if not properly treated. Call 911 if these symptoms develop.

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