Dieting with Obstacles - Anyone dealing with a Soy allergy/intolerance?

01-29-2012, 12:52 PM
I would like to start off by saying that I have been to the allergist multiple times. My blood work showed histamine and that I am having allergic reactions. I have been tested for 50-60 food items. All the tests came back negative. I have lost a lot of weight and I'm at the time of my life where I could be going through some hormonal changes. Also, the weight loss causes hormonal fluctuations. My allergic reactions started about 1 1/2 years ago. It started off with facial swelling, sores in the mouth and tongue, sores outside the lip area, lip swelling, body swelling, and constipation. I do not have anaphylactic shock. I have tested foods on my own and eliminated some things in this process. Since things have improved, the allergist suggested that I give it some time to see if it passes. His thoughts are that it might have something to do with weight loss/hormones. He suggested if I have a reaction that I take an antihistamine. Allegra seems to work well for me.

Anyways, I have eliminated peanuts, legumes, tree nuts, soy. I was still having some flare ups. Then I realized that most commercial salad dressings contain soybean oil. Also, most restaurants baste their food with a butter flavored soybean oil product. The last couple of weeks I have eliminated as much soybean oil as I can. I request all of my foods to be grilled, broiled, steamed dry. I have eliminated all bread while out because I don't know if they are made with soy flour. Also, I make my own dressings and sauces. I seem to be clearing up. I have been reading all of the ingredient lists on the foods I buy to make sure they do not contain any soy. Of course, only time will tell.

I did some research on soybean oil. It seems that soybean oil is not considered an allergen because it is highly refined. I guess I could be unique and still be allergic to it. :?: I don't know. Any thoughts?

Anyone else dealing with something like this? TIA

01-29-2012, 01:27 PM
Well, you're not completely unique in your soy sensitivity. I have a really big intollerance to soy. My reaction is that I get very lethargic within 20 minutes of ingesting it and it takes me about 2 to 4 hours to sleep it off. If I have a bigger quantity, my joints and muscles begin to ache as if I have arthritis. I haven't noticed any other symptoms, but just those two symptoms have been increasingly with me since my 20s. At one point in my life, well before discovering the intollerance, I thought I was dying of something horrible. But the doctor just kept telling me to lose weight and it would all go away. Once I figured out what the problem was, I methodically eliminated soy from my diet and I feel 100% better. Since then, I've lost 60 lbs.

I go to great lengths to avoid soy. I rarely go out, but if I do, I only go to restaurants that are one-of-a-kind and usually a little pricier. Going out to eat is an occasion now, not commonplace for me, so I don't mind spending more knowing I won't come home sick. And I usually order only grilled meats (not poultry) and vegetables that are simply prepared. Nothing with sauces. Only olive oil based salad dressings.

There are those of us who are even allergic/sensitive to the ultra-refined soy products. I'm one of them, so I've had to scour out as much soy as I possibly can. Even just a little bit affects me. You'd be surprised how many things have soy and soy bi-products in them.

I can only eat tuna that says it was processed without soy, because even the water-packed tuna is usually processed with soybean oil. (Crowne Prince pole-caught yellowfin tuna, and I order it by subscription from Amazon.)

Most chocolate has soy lecithin. (I get the Vivani dark chocolates, but they do contain traces of tree nuts, so you may need to avoid those.)

I have to buy eggs and poultry sourced from animals raised free-range with specifically soy-free diets. Going with "raised a vegetarian diet" isn't good enough. I get my eggs from a local farmer who has hens fed soy-free feed (and it helps that I know him and we're good friends), but there are some eggs that I've eaten from the supermarket that don't bother me. It's just a matter of trying them out. Same thing with chicken and turkey meat. I can't do Zacky or Foster Farms chicken or Butterball turkeys. I get more expensive chickens from a local market that only sells grass-fed, free-range meats. Poultry don't digest soy grain like cows with different digestive systems, so the soy comes through. But I still stick with grass-fed beef and lamb too. I love hot dogs, but there are only a couple brands without soy fillers (Applegate Farms and Trader Joe's). I stay away from breakfast sausages.

I used to try to use "all-natural" cosmetics, but discovered they all have soy in them and that's why I can't wear mascara and other cosmetics like that. Soy is also used in candles, scented items, lotions, vitamins. You really have to read everything on the labels. I now use olive oil soaps, almond oil on my skin, and only do make up on special occasions. I'm allergic to all sorts of scents, so the only perfume I can use is an essential oil product.

Basically, I've switched to a Paleolithic Diet and buy things that are very minimally processed.

Good luck clearing out the soy! Hope you feel 100% soon!

01-29-2012, 01:37 PM
Wow! Thank you so much for sharing. I am taking notes from your post. Have you ever tried Enjoy Life chocolate?
I have bought the mini chips and will eat a few here and there to help with the "need" for chocolate. I have also used their cookies in recipes (recently made banana pudding with their crunchy sugar cookies). They have worked well for that.

01-29-2012, 01:40 PM
Count me in as another soy avoider. I've always been wary of soy for personal reasons and tried to limit it in my diet but since starting menopause any soy at all makes my hot flashes more frequent and more flashy. Chocolate was about the only source of soy in my life before. Equal exchange makes a chocolate without soy plus there's a locally made chocolate - both are very spendy but that just means i eat less which isn't such a bad thing really. I was already on the localvore, whole food bandwagon plus baking my breads using sourdough so this last leap to a soy free world hasn't been too hard for me.

01-29-2012, 10:58 PM
ETA: If anyone is dealing with something similar, please share the specific product information of foods that you have found that are soy free.

Vladadog I have always avoided soy due to a thyroid issue.

geoblewis What is the brand of Olive Oil soap that you use?

01-29-2012, 11:36 PM
I am enjoying the L'Occitane almond shower oil lately, but I've also used the Kiss My Face olive oil soap. I really love how the L'Occitane products smell and feel. It was pricier, but I don't spend any money on all sorts of cosmetics so I'm okay with the splurge.

01-30-2012, 04:48 AM
If your local grocery store has a kosher section check there for soy free products. I've found great mayo recently and other things in the past.

I've also learned that many organics are soy free since so much soy is GMO and it's easier for companies to go soy free than source non-GMO soy in quantity. So, yet another good reason to shop organic.

01-30-2012, 08:10 AM
geoblewis and Vladadog Thank you for the information

I noticed the other day that my body wash has soybean oil in it. I don't know if that would have any kind of effect on me. I know something in foods are bothering me. I will look into other products, too. It can't hurt.

01-31-2012, 11:16 AM
I have celiac, the autoimmune reaction to gluten, and soy intolerance. I was given Vitamin D supplements and did not know they were made with soybean oil. They trashed my digestive system for an entire month and it's taken me a month and a half to recover.

Allergy and intolerance are two separate processes. Food allergy testing doesn't test for intolerance or for celiac and the symptoms from intolerances and celiac can be far worse on a day to day basis.

There is a test called Enterolab that you can pay for to check for food intolerances. Look them up. You may have other things going on. You might also want to get a blood test for celiac, although that test can have false negatives but not false positives.

02-01-2012, 10:28 AM
Sandsurfgirl Thanks for the info. I will check into that.

02-06-2012, 04:36 PM
I was given Vitamin D supplements and did not know they were made with soybean oil.

I didn't know this! Just started taking them recently and wondered why I was feeling a bit lethargic when my diet was so clean! Thanks!!!!

02-06-2012, 08:54 PM
This is the Vitamin D that I take. I don't think there is any soy in it. (I hope not) I didn't see it listed.

03-16-2012, 11:53 AM
THis thread has been very helpful! I was diagnosed with Hashimotos (auto immune thyriod condition in Nov) but I was also tested for the antibodies that might point to Celiacs/ Ulcerative colitis. I was found to have a Vit D deficency, so I was put on VIt D as well. I was recommended to avoid Soy produces by my doc as there have been studies showing soy impairs thyroid function.
I was told I was neg for celiacs/ UC, but I still have various GI symptoms. After an obvious reaction, I completely elliminated sugar substitutes from my diet, namely Splenda.
But I'm struggling to figure out what else is causing my awful cluster of symptoms to appear at times. GI like cramping and other unpleasant things, hand joins pain with swelling, and flare up of psorasis (which can also be worsened by the Vit D deficency. )

Anyway, while I'd been avoiding soy, I haven't elliminated the smaller sources of it, like salad dressings, for example. I'm going to have to start taking closer notice to see if this is what is causing these symptoms.

03-17-2012, 12:25 AM
GlamourGirl827 I recently found out (the last month or so) that the manufacturer has changed the recipe of the English muffins that I eat. Now the ingredient list has soy flour listed. It didn't have that before. Now I am using Rudi's Whole Wheat English muffins and Sandwich Flatz. Now I have to go to a specialty store to get these rather than my regular grocery store. A total PITA, but worth it since I seem to be doing better.