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Soy Allergy: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

When you have a soy allergy and you eat soy, your body reacts as if the soy is trying to cause harm. It fights back by setting off an allergic reaction. A mild reaction may include a few raised, red, itchy patches of skin (called hives). A severe reaction may cause hives all over, swelling in the throat, trouble breathing, or fainting. This is called anaphylaxis (say "ANN-uh-fuh-LAK-suss"). It can be deadly.

A good way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the foods that cause it. Soy might be found in processed meats, Asian foods, and sauces. An allergy doctor or a dietitian may be able to help you understand which foods might be okay and what to avoid. Learn what to do if you have a reaction.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

During a mild reaction

  • Take an over-the-counter antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratadine (Claritin), as your doctor recommends. If you have a severe reaction, you also might be given one of these antihistamines.

During a severe reaction

  • Call for emergency help. A serious reaction is an emergency.
  • Give yourself an epinephrine shot. Make sure it is with you at all times.

To prevent future reactions

  • Avoid the foods that cause problems. And try not to use utensils or cookware that may have been in contact with food that you are allergic to.
  • Teach your family members, co-workers, and friends what to do if you have a severe reaction to a food that you are allergic to.
  • Wear medical alert jewellery that lists your allergies.

When should you call for help?

Give an epinephrine shot if:

  • You think you are having a severe allergic reaction.

After you give an epinephrine shot, call 911, even if you feel better.

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. These may include:
    • Sudden raised, red areas (hives) all over your body.
    • Swelling of the throat, mouth, lips, or tongue.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Passing out (losing consciousness). Or you may feel very light-headed or suddenly feel weak, confused, or restless.
  • You have been given an epinephrine shot, even if you feel better.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • A rash or hives (raised, red areas on the skin).
    • Itching.
    • Swelling.
    • Belly pain, nausea, or vomiting.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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