Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
A couple of years ago, Ashley and I essentially self-diagnosed Ashley with a soy intolerance. As we’ve shared before, we decided to investigate if diet made any improvement in her symptoms. We did an elimination diet to check for reactions to different foods and found that soy caused Ashley to react. Because we did all of this on our own, Ashley made sure to discuss this with her doctor after we found the issue. We wanted to confirm with a medical professional that we were being safe. We knew that soy was a problem, but still valued our doctor’s opinion. Ashley also went to an allergist to confirm that her reaction to soy wasn’t a life-threatening allergy.
Food intolerances and minor allergies are likely to be self-diagnosed. While doctors/nurses can (and do) suggest diet changes to combat some health concerns, the medical system as a whole is just not set up to identify food intolerances. This means that identifying food concerns is often left up to the individual.
CAUTION: IF THERE IS A CHANCE THAT YOU HAVE A LIFE-THREATENING ALLERGY BE SURE TO INVESTIGATE THIS WITH YOUR DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. SEEK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL'S ADVICE BEFORE ALTERING YOUR DIET.
Diagnosing a food intolerance or allergy on your own (like we did) can be dangerous, and it is important to be safe while also working to feel better. There are two ways to do this:
- Become as knowledgeable as you can about the food intolerances and allergies you might have. You can diagnose yourself, so become your own expert! Use resources like Beyond Soy, read other people’s experiences during elimination diets, and research similar stories to yours to learn everything you can about the challenges/complications with your food intolerance. Learning as much as you can will help you avoid situations where others have already struggled. We still read everything we can find about having a soy intolerance. In fact, one of the reasons for starting Beyond Soy was to create a place to learn about living with a soy intolerance.
- Keep your doctor involved! As you go through the process of identifying a food intolerance or an allergy, be sure to discuss your plans and results with your doctor! They will provide a valuable second opinion to validate what you’ve figured out, and they can recommend seeing a specialist (e.g. an allergist or nutritionist) if it would benefit you. Ashley talked through our elimination diet results with her doctor (she even brought her food journal to the appointment) and was also referred to an allergist to confirm that she didn’t have an allergy.
Becoming an expert, and listening to your doctor, are very helpful when self-diagnosing a food intolerance or allergy. You can use these strategies to safely figure out a way to eat without causing any other complications.