Saturday, November 11, 2006

Corn Allergy or Corn Intolerance?

Do you have a Corn (Maize) Allergy or a Corn (Maize) Intolerance?

Confused? Well so are we.

Actually I think the entire world is confused. The more I read up on this subject in order to shed some light on this confusing debate, the more confused I became. So don't worry, you're not alone in the head scratching.

It seems that when it comes to food intolerance, no one can agree on specifics. About the only agreement is this:

For it to be a food allergy, the immune system (IgE) is involved. Food intolerance the immune system isn't involved.

However that's about where the agreement separates. Some sites will tell you that if your food allergy doesn't show up on tests, then it has to be a food intolerance. We tend to disagree.

How reliable are Corn Allergy tests?

According to a study from March 2004, posted on Allergy "Traditionally, skin-specific and serum-specific IgE tests to maize are used to diagnose maize allergy. It is generally assumed that a negative result indicates the absence of maize allergy. However, it was recently shown that a negative skin-specific IgE and serum-specific IgE to maize flour had no clinical significance for most of the patients studied, and that food allergy to maize has to be proved by double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge studies"

The same study also states: "Many allergens have been isolated from maize, but the majority of them have not been clinically evaluated for their allergenic potential."

Even the Corn Refiner's Association admits: "Though allergens in other food systems have been well characterized, very little work has been devoted to identifying allergens in corn or corn ingredients."

So for starters, the tests are not accurate measures of IgE responses to corn, probably because the allergens in corn have not been fully identified to even make an accurate test for corn. Clearly for diagnosing a corn allergy, testing alone is not going to be an accurate measure of an IgE mediated food allergy reaction. (Despite what your allergist may tell you)

How can you tell if its a Corn Allergy or a Corn Intolerance? What is the difference?

One difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance is portions. A person with a food allergy usually cannot tolerate any amount of that allergen; however a person with a food intolerance can usually tolerate a small portion of an offending food but a larger portion will cause problems. Tolerances on this will differ from person to person whether they have a food allergy or intolerance.

The main difference however is the involvement of the immune system. Despite some sites claims to the contrary, there are a few symptoms which signify the immune system is getting involved. If you have any of the following, you most likely have a food allergy and should see your doctor immediately (you will want to get a script so you can have an Epipen handy).

These are:

Hives, urticaria, skin rash, eczema, - Skin may become red or flushed, raised bumps, itching, or fluid filled blisters.
Itching/burning around the mouth (or other contact area) usually accompanied with swelling.
Labored breathing, tightness of the chest, wheezing, asthma, shortness of breath.
Life-Threatening anaphylaxis.
Skin Contact reactions.

This is not an all inclusive list of food allergy reactions but these generally are not present with food intolerances and only present when the immune system is getting involved. (however there are always exceptions)

I should probably clarify here that when I say "immune system is involved" or maybe I should state that when 99% of the medical field states the "immune system is involved" they are referring only to the IgE immune response.

The immune system has many little warriors out there battling diseases and bacteria on our behalf. Some are IgA, IgG, IgM, IgD, and of course IgE. However, IgE is about the only one that has been even close to thoroughly researched and is the only immune response considered when declaring a food allergy.

IgG has also been proven to have reactions to foods; however these reactions are considered minor and temporary. Thus in medical circles, IgG mediated food allergies are considered intolerances despite the immune systems involvement. It is believed that if you avoid an IgG allergen long enough that the body will stop reacting to it. This is not true of an IgE allergy.

Genova Diagnostics explains the differences between IgE and IgG pretty simply:

IgE Mediated Allergies

Immediate onset (within minutes)
Circulating half life of 1-2 days
Permanent allergies
Stimulates histamine release
Includes foods, inhalants & molds

IgG Mediated Allergies
Delayed onset (4-72 hours)
Circulating half life of 21 days
Temporary allergies
Stimulates histamine release
Includes foods, herbs & spices

This is generally considered the differences between IgE and IgG allergies. Yet, an article by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine gives more time for IgE mediated responses:

"Type I hypersensitivity is also known as immediate or anaphylactic hypersensitivity. The reaction may involve skin (urticaria and eczema), eyes (conjunctivitis), nasopharynx (rhinorrhea, rhinitis), bronchopulmonary tissues (asthma) and gastrointestinal tract (gastroenteritis). The reaction may cause a range of symptoms from minor inconvenience to death. The reaction usually takes 15 - 30 minutes from the time of exposure to the antigen, although sometimes it may have a delayed onset (10 - 12 hours). Immediate hypersensitivity is mediated by IgE." - U of South Carolina, School of Medicine

So if your reactions to foods are more than minutes but less than hours, your chances are pretty good that its IgE mediated and would be considered an actual food allergy. Keep in mind, that though IgG mediated food allergies involve the immune system, the medical community still considers them “intolerances”.

What is a Food Intolerance (Corn Intolerance)?

Food and WebMD both give pretty clear cut and accurate definitions of real food intolerance.

Food states: "Food Intolerance is the inability to completely break down food into absorbable components due to lack or insufficient amounts of digestive enzymes. The unabsorbed food which remain in the digestive system causes the classic symptoms of bloating and cramps and others."


WebMD states: "Food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It occurs when something in a food irritates a person's digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest or breakdown, the food. Intolerance to lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products, is the most common food intolerance."

Rules about food intolerance seem to be breaking down in recent years. These two definitions are more conservative than what some sites will tell you, as the discovery of IgG mediated food allergies (intolerances) has made some alter their definitions of food intolerance which I believe is misleading. (one such definition can be found at Australian Disability Online which lists asthma and other histamine type responses as a symptom of food intolerance.)

Food Intolerance symptoms should be mostly harmless, though when you're suffering through it you might wish it wasn't as these can be quite painful and debilitating. These symptoms include: (be aware these can also be present if it’s a food allergy)

Abdominal Pain

These symptoms may start about a half hour after eating or drinking the problematic food, but they may also be delayed.

Rules of Thumb on differences between Corn Allergy and Corn Intolerance:

1. Immediate (minutes - Corn Allergy) vs. delayed reactions (hours - Corn Intolerance).

2. Immune system involvement: Hives (skin irritation), stuffy nose, chest congestion, swelling, anaphylaxis. (Food intolerance is mainly digestion issues.)

3. Skin contact problems - skin contact reactions have nothing to do with digestion and are only mediated by the immune system (except harmful chemicals which harm anyone’s skin). If you break out (eczema and acne included), have difficulty breathing, swelling, nausea, etc. by skin contact with a food item, you are most likely allergic to it (or something in it).

Important to note: The body can mask allergy symptoms as a way of survival. So some of these symptoms may not be noticeably present at first, or may not seem to be linked to a particular food. Masked allergies to foods are often present in persons with other skin (eczema and acne) conditions, airborne allergies, mood & behavioral issues, dark under eyes, sleep problems, and other miscellaneous conditions. (See Women to Women: Food Allergy Symptoms for more clues as to conditions which may be caused by hidden food allergies)

Telling the difference between an allergy and intolerance isn't always easy, but your family history will help. According to statistics on Australian Disability Online "Children who have one family member with asthma or eczema have a 20-40 per cent higher risk of developing allergy; if there are two or more family members with allergies then the risk increases to 50-80 per cent." Since asthma and eczema are often symptoms of allergic reactions themselves, its possible that the genetic allergy risk may be even higher than stated.

A full list of food allergy symptoms would be very long and there will be a separate article hopefully fully encompassing any and all symptoms you may experience. However in the meantime, Women to Women has an article which gives the most comprehensive list of systems. Keep in mind, that a food allergy can have all the same symptoms of a food intolerance (digestion issues), but a food intolerance will not have the symptoms of a food allergy (aka immune system response symptoms as explained earlier).

Where to start looking for Food Allergies?

If you just read through the last several paragraphs and you think you might have a food allergy but you don't know where to start, here are a few clues.

There are often two ways people react to allergy foods. They either love them (food allergy addiction) or they hate them. If there is a food you dislike (or strongly disliked as a small child), its possible that a food allergy may be the culprit. Keep in mind that this is not always accurate as the older you get the more memories you have about food, and you may stop liking foods based on non-food related memories. Aka you don't like orange jello because you associate it with the time you had that violent flu.

For parents of young children: Despite what some doctors and parenting advisors might say, young children (babies included) often refuse a food that they know is bad for them or has previously caused them problems. This can also include breast milk if the mother is eating a food to which the child is allergic. Children as they grow older may get finicky and like or dislike foods for other reasons, but pay attention to foods your child is refusing. Keep a list, including brand names as some brands may have added ingredients that others do not. This will help you narrow down possible food allergies. FYI: Enriched products (milks, flours) often have added corn and soy as carriers for the added vitamins.

According to FAAN, common food allergens are: Milk, Eggs, Peanut/Soy, Wheat (other related grains), Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish. The FDA only recognizes these 8 allergens to be serious enough to require labeling. FAAN does not recognize corn (nor does most of the USA) and you'll find many doctors will actually discourage a corn allergy even if the test results are positive. Corn Allergy and Intolerance is on the rise. If you do test positive to corn at all (in any even slight amount) you should investigate it through diet. Avoidance and retrial, is the only accurate way to know if it’s going to be a real issue.

Food Allergy Addiction is also something for which to watch out. It sounds funny or like a "fat persons" disease, but it isn't necessarily. Physiologically, the body becomes dependant (addicted) to the allergens presence and starts a craving for it. There are several theories for this (see below links) which center more on the chemical reaction that happens in the body when an allergen is introduced. When those chemicals start to wane, the body craves another dose of the allergen to increase the levels of those chemicals again. These foods are usually eaten within a 3 day cycle, or less depending on the level of addiction. Some may be eaten daily, or every meal/snack/drink.

Why do I crave foods to which I'm sensitive?

Allergy Addiction Cycle

Addiction Pyramid

With corn, these cravings can manifest as a craving for any number (or multiple) of foods as corn is everywhere and it can be very hard to detect. One days craving may lead to ice cream, another day to Spaghetti-O's, baked beans, cookies, crackers, canned fruits, juices, salami, hotdogs, candy, chocolate, beer, etc.

My (Von) allergy to corn was based in a food allergy addiction cycle. It wasn't until I removed 80% of the corn from my diet (corn starch, corn syrup, etc) that I realized that corn was getting me high. My body was addicted, even though it was also making me sick. I would crave anything and everything in my cupboards. I actually started figuring out certain corn derivatives because I would crave the foods they were in - when you're starving for canned beets (corn vinegar), and will eat them straight out of the can (can't get them fast enough), you start wondering if maybe you might have a problem. After avoiding corn for two years, my body is finally starting to reprogram its addiction and is starting to react to corn as an aversion to it. It’s much easier to stop your body from eating something it doesn't like, rather than something it insanely wants. I have other food allergies as well, but none are instigators of the addiction cycle, only corn.

More resources:

WebMD - Allergy or Intolerance
Food Reactions.Org - Food Allergy & Intolerance
SAGA - Intolerance and Allergies
Women to Women: Allergy Symptoms
Allergy, Intolerance, & Sensitivity explained
Why do I crave foods to which I'm sensitive?
Allergy Addiction Cycle
Addiction Pyramid


Leia said...


My name is Leia and I suffer from frequent abdominal migraines at age 24 (which is very weird if you know anything about abdominal migraine), among other neurological ailments. I had many, many food allergies as a child that I grew out of, but always suspected a link between foods and my current problems. For example, any time I started taking geltabs of any kind on a regular basis, my attacks became more frequent. I was tested for food allergies using the usual methods, and none were found. However I recently took an Alcat food sensitivity test and was told that I have severe intolerances towards corn and gluten.

Does anyone here have any experience with the Alcat? Do you trust it as a method for diagnosing food sensitivities? I am, for example, for sure, severely lactose intolerant yet the test turned up that dairy is fine for me to eat. I'm guessing because lactose intolerance is caused by a completely different mechanism?


V said...

The Alcat tests for "immunological reactions" basically, not IgE but other immunoglobulin type reactions. It won't test for intolerances based on an inability to digest something (ie Lactose Intolerance).

They can't say its an allergy because its not IgE, but anything that isn't IgE can be called an intolerance. Which makes it hard for people to comprehend "intolerance" from "intolerance" when there are different causal mechanisms involved.

So basically, while you cannot digest milk, you'd probably not have any actual allergic type reaction should you ingest it.

If you'd like to discuss things further, please email me.

Anonymous said...


My name is Fiona and my 13yr old tested positive for a corn allergy on the immulite 2000. I believe it measures IgE levels? I think thats right. The blood test was also successful in detecting her allergies to soy, wheat, tomato, peanut and eggwhite (not to mention a number of individual inhalents on top of the food). Basically everything I asked her to be tested for individually showed positive results From Class 2's through to 6's (6 is the highest).

I am suprised to read that there was a possibility of it not revealing any allergies. If IgG is a part of the immune system, then I agree its reaction to allergens should be measured as well.

As for me I do not want her tested for anything else as I don't know what to feed her as it is! No, I would like to see her healthy for a change.. we will get there.

V said...

Fiona, I had to look up the Immulite 2000 as it hasn't come across my desk before. It looks like it is a new machine, and maybe its more accurate than those in past?

It seems to test a lot of things though, IgE and IgG, so I can't say which test you had.

History though of corn allergics seems to be about (generalization) 40% positive test results & 60% negative results for blood tests, and SPT seems to be the reverse of those stats. Maybe with new equipment and better testing, those numbers will change to be more accurate.

Good Luck with your avoidance diet.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your site! It was a lot more helpful than anything I have seen so far.
I've always known that eating straight corn made me sick. And two weeks ago I was rolling tamales from ground Maize (for the first time ever) and noticed that my hands and arms were turning bright pink and itchy. The did the same thing several days later when I made more.
I was slightly discouraged by what I'd found out so far, but now I feel like I can at least start ironing out whether it is an intolerance or an allergy.

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you have ever heard of Immuno 1 Bloodprint test? If so, do you believe it is a reliable test? Mine shows that I have 11 reactive foods (corn being one of them). Corn is in everything and is very hard to avoid. I am still trying to figure out if it is an intolerance or an actual allergy. Thanks for any advice you can offer.

V said...

The Immuno 1 Bloodprint - by Immunolabs is an IgG ELISA test. So while it tests Immunoglobulin response, it may not be considered an allergy by medical professionals as IgG is often still considered an intolerance. The labeling of it however does not make it any less serious.

Do your avoidance diet, and challenge however your doctor recommends. For IgG, I'd recommend at least 3-4 months of avoidance before trying.

Once you trial the food after the avoidance period (have benadryl handy btw) how your body reacts to the food is going to give you the biggest indicator whether its an allergy or not. Trust your body, and listen to it. Your body will let you know if the food is ok for you to eat.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...


My name is Raya,currently 20, three years ago I was diagnosed with Asthma and allergies to dogs and dust. A year later I developed eczema. After some research I've done lately and a few friends popping up with food allergies I decided to get tested for food allergies again. I tested slightly positive to corn, but i don't know that I've ever noticed a reaction to eating corn. Most of the reactions I had with foods are highly processed foods. I'm wondering if I should avoid the extensive corn products even things like calcium citrate? I've been avoiding as many corn products that I know of because I'm hoping that this corn allergy could be the cause of my asthma or eczema.


Administrator said...

Its possible that corn may be the source of your eczema and asthma if not more things.

I figured my corn allergy out through elimination and trial, it was a huge allergen for me in that it did a whole lot of crappy stuff to me. But when tested it only showed as the lowest possible allergy reaction.

So even though you tested low on the scale, corn could still be doign quite a number on you. I'd recommend going as 100% corn-free as possible, as its the only way to know for sure.


Anonymous said...

I have eliminated corn, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup from my diet and my 24 year battle with eczema is over. If you are an eczema sufferer, try cutting out all corn products. It was a miracle for me.

Corn Allergy Kim said...

I am allergic to corn and so is my son. I suspect most of my family is also allergic to corn as well. We had terrible symptoms and I want people to understand that it doesn't matter if you call it an intolerance or allergy if it's making you sick. My symptoms and my son's are very different yet it is corn that causes them, in all forms. I am trying to spread the word so that others don't have to suffer for years like I did.

Anonymous said...

So what is the difference between the Alcat test and the Immuno 1 Bloodprint test? My son has a suspected corn intolerance (among other foods) and we want confirmation. My cousin had one of these tests and my brother the other but both had similar results. Is there another test out there that is better? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Tamela Sue said...

I appreciate the information you've compiled here. It's been a great help. My son has been diagnosed with celiacs and intolerances to dairy, soy and eggs. There were still some unexplained symptoms so the dr recommended an ALCAT which found no less than 54 foods showing mild to severe reactions. Corn was on the low end. Now that we have gotten through 8 mo. of our 9 mo. rotation diet of these problematic foods, I can tell that corn and corn products are the one which gives him that funny rash around his nostrils every time he eats it, and may be giving him a stuffy nose each time too. Yet this was considered a low reactive on the test. I know the ALCAT tests for IGg, so I'm wondering if we need to take him to an allergist to see if corn might be a true allergy. He does definitely crave corn just as he craved gluten, dairy and even eggs before we removed them.
I will say that I've been unhappy with the responses we've gotten from the allergist in the past. Simply because my son's food intolerances weren't true allergies, he treated them as non-existent. Had we not perservered and found a dr who could diagnose these food issues, he would still be suffering from severe reflux, stomach pains that woke him up at night, constant illnesses, poor nutrient absorbtion, sluggishness, brain fog, and unexplained rashes and eye "shiners" for years to come. On the flip side, the allergist is covered by insurance, which would be nice for a change. I almost don't want to know because he's been deprived of so much. Other parents are afraid to have him over for sleep overs because they're afraid to do something wrong to trigger reactions no matter how I assure them that I will take care of all food. (Although he has reacted at 2 friends' homes because of cross-contamination). But if he's already got the skin reaction which comes on within minutes to a few hours of eating corn and lasts a day or two, and stuffy nose at the age of 11, how much worse will his reactions be when he's 30?
Any advice is appreciated. Thanks for your time and allowing me to vent my concerns.

Anonymous said...

Oh man,
I think Im allergic to corn. I knew MSG and aspartame gave me headaches and I quit eating those years ago. Things were ok for awhile, but about 1 or 2 years ago I started getting migraines again. This time accompanied by itchy skin and shortness on breath. Also extreme lethargy. A couple of times I noticed if I ate corn chips or corn bread, I would get heart palps. But not all the time. I just blew if off. Now I am going to call my Doc and get this blood test done. Which test should I ask for?? thanks

V said...

Lisa - Tests aren't the end all be-all, but the most accurate has been the Skin Prick Testing. It's not as painful as it sounds, it's similar to rolling a pinecone up your arm.

Whatever the results, you'll probably also want to do a food challenge where you avoid a food for a couple weeks then eat it to see what happens. (This is best done under medical care with an epipen and liquid benadryl handy)

V said...

Lisa - Tests aren't the end all be-all, but the most accurate has been the Skin Prick Testing. It's not as painful as it sounds, it's similar to rolling a pinecone up your arm.

Whatever the results, you'll probably also want to do a food challenge where you avoid a food for a couple weeks then eat it to see what happens. (This is best done under medical care with an epipen and liquid benadryl handy)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. I am 28 years old and things started going wrong about 2 years ago. I stzrted being moody and got severe acne that was really itchy. I was addicted to junk food. I started getting hives on my head about 3 months ago. I went to the doc and they sent me to an allergist who did a skin test and told me I am only allergic to cats, which I knew.I eleminated Gluten,dairy and then corn and soy. After 2 weeks off of all corn and hive free, I took advil which has corn starch and got full body hives, worst reaction I ever had. I do not understand how it seem to be ok most of my life and then hits me like this now, but appriciate knowing that I will need more test and that I am not crazy. Thank you Thank you.

V said...

Anonymous - it's probably best that you see a doctor asap. Your quick progression from just a few hives to full body hives indicates to me that this could be life threatening with your next exposure. Do try to get an epi-pen to have on hand no matter what your testing shows.

Also since this seems to really be corn related, if your tests don't show corn, you'll want to ask for a food challenge to diagnose this. (It is the only medically approved way to diagnose a food allergy btw)

Pam said...

I am pretty convinced I have a severe corn intolerance. The only symptom I can't figure out is my scalp breaking out. If anyone else has ideas I am all for talking. I am working with my allergist. Is there a better type of doctor to work with on food intolerances? I am not convinced that I do not also have fructose intolerance, but the breath test for it uses fructose from Corn, which I had a terrible reaction too, but not a fructose reaction. Is it possible the intolerance would throw the test off?

V said...

Pam - It sounds like you might be corn allergic with contact allergies. The scalp problem is generally due to products used on your scalp, shampoos, soaps, conditioners, gels, hairsprays, etc. Look into your hair care products for corn, and try using corn-free products.

Anonymous said...

After suffering w/ hives for close to a year, I finally asked my doctor about it. He had me do an allergy elimination diet for corn, gluten, and dairy. I did not have blood tests for these allergens. It turns out I have problems with all of them. But corn is the worst offender. Corn seems to cause: migranes (especially corn syrup), extreme irritability, brain fog, lethargy, and hives. I have tried cutting out all gluten, dairy and corn. As everyone knows, corn is very difficult to eliminate as it is in so many things. The more I eliminate the more sensitive I seem to be. Maybe I just notice the reactions more. It seems that I can't even have things that have white vinegar (distilled from corn), and sometimes even iodized salt. This has led me to cut out most condiments. Since I have finished my allergy elimination diet I have noticed a pain in my kidney. I asked my doctor about it and he did some tests. I don't have any signs of infection, but my ferritin levels are low. My question is, can food allergies lead to kidney problems and cause me to be anemic? The kidney pain is not new. It comes and goes. Sometimes I have no problems for months, and other times it seems to go on for months. Any input would be appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I have had a skin rash since I was a toddler and doctors have still never found out what causes it! I am in the uk so was refused allergy tests and all I have ever been given is skin cream and antihistamines!! Now at age 31 I still suffer from bouts of as well as stomach issues, lethargy, dizziness, excessive yawning, sleep problems, sweet craving addictions etc etc so recently I have taking up cake making and after I make the icing (confectionery sugar) my arms come out in the rash! Could this finally be what's causing all this? Could this be down to a corn allergy?

V said...

Anonymous - Yes it could be a corn allergy, and stories like that are common among the corn allergy community. Try eliminating corn from your diet and life as much as possible and see if you improve.

Anonymous said...

I am a 37 year old female who was diagnosed with MS in 2000. This year I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia. I was always sick as a child with strep, bronchitis, eczema, visual migraines,chronic widespread pain, anemia and stomach issues. After not receiving any real information on how to cure either disease I went and got tested for food allergies. I am allergic to corn. I am hopeful that with a corn free diet I will rid my body of all that I have been diagnosed with. I denied any immunomodulating therapy for the MS and have been successful in keeping it under control. I am having both of my children tested for food allergies in an effort to prevent any neurological or hematological damage to their systems. I hope for the future that general medical doctors open their minds and support those patients wishing to have testing done. It would answer so many questions and save many lives. Educate don't medicate.

Brandy Brow said...

I greatly appreciate this post. My daughter has doctors slightly confounded because she has become so reactive to corn products that she can't even touch them anymore without getting red swollen skin within fifteen minutes (corn in glue on Crayola crayon wrappers). Washing off corn recedes reactions fairly quickly. Ingestion causes projectile vomiting. Consequently, she has an epi-pen and as long as we avoid all corn products, or products produced in corn (ie. MSG) she's ok. We're convinced she has an allergy even though the scratch and IGe blood test keep coming back negative, but I'm wondering if her allergy is not to corn protein, but maybe corn sugar or another component of corn. Are there tests that measure allergic reaction to other corn components?

Anonymous said...

For people who are not necessarily allergic but who still react to corn and/or other foods . . . There is an elimination diet called FODMAPS. You cut out the 5 carbohydrate groups from your diet and then reintroduce them gradually. I was able to finally figure out that my problem is an extreme sensitivity to corn. You really do need to implement this diet with a Registered Dietician who has been trained in FODMAPS as it's somewhat complicated.

canadiangirl said...

Anonymous ...
You wondered why you had been fine for most of your life and the intolerance hit you recently. I found that my corn allergy/intolerance hit me after I had my first child. I have always wondered if there is a relationship between allergies and hormonal changes.

D'Bug said...

The easy way to tell the difference between a food allergy and a digestive intolerance is by the presence of histamines. If you are having a reaction and take an antihistamine and the effects go away...its obviously an allergy. I have a pretty severe dairy allergy and I pop a pseudofed it's gone. Others have similar reactions and pseudofed does nothing. Conversely when I take lactaid nothing changes and friends take lactaid and their
symptoms are gone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike, can't agree more. I've had corn allergy for over 20 years and anti-histamines definitely work. Everybody need to be aware there are now so much corn and derivatives in our foods it is difficult to identify at all times. Avoid all processed meat (unless you know the butcher and he does not use corn or dextrose at all).
This issue is expanding exponentially and I am highly concerned as this was a rather unique allergy when I got it, this is no longer the case at all

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all this info. I have had trouble with corn since I was a kid. My parents thought I was eating too fast. I would eat corn for supper and throw up at night. I now think I am corn intolerant. Two weeks in a row, I have had corn on cob and vomited a couple hours after eating. Second week I ate slowly and even chewed very well. The reaction actually came faster. Will avoid corn and corn products. Thanks for some good info.

Anonymous said...

I see that this is an old post...2007...but I just can't help but comment. When I saw the part about eating canned beets I was aghast. I've gotten up in the middle of the night craving beets, pickled beets in particular, and have stood in front of the open refrigerator door just stuffing them in my mouth until they were all gone... And I'm convinced I'm not tolerating corn well in the pasat 5-6 years but not having a definitive allergic reaction. Just my abdomen gets huge. I tried some hand pollinated non-GMO corn and did NOT have any problem, so I'm thinking I don't tolerate the genetically modified corn. Fortunately I don't eat processed foods, and have eliminated high fructose corn syrup, so I've learned to manage the situation.

Sam Marks said...

Food Intolerance - Read about the distinction between food allergies and food intolerances.

Julie said...

Me, too! I developed an allergy/intolerance to egg after my first child. I was able to tolerate during a couple of subsequent pregnancies, but after child #4, I've had lots of problems with multiple foods. Two more kids and I'm frustrated, wondering if I'll ever feel good again.

Unknown said...

Does corn intolerance ever manifest as chronic pain?

Alex Neil said...

Food allergy is caused by an abnormal immune response to food. Two main categories of food allergy are IgE-mediated and non IgE-mediated, and some allergic disorders have characteristics of both. Reactions involving the skin gastrointestinal, respiratory, or cardiovascular systems may develop. In severe food allergies, anaphylaxis is possible.

Unknown said...

If you are reacting to corn with skin problems, and specifically if you have tested negative for IgE testing for corn, you should consider salicylate sensitivity. It is a natural chemical found in many plants. you may find you also react to other wise healthy foods, with itchy skin, tomato anyone??? for more information and a food list

Anonymous said...

I found out about 3 months ago that I have a Corn Intolerance. Allergic or Intolerant, it doesn't matter. Both cause serious issues. I suffered from stomach aches so bad I thought I would pass out. They were delayed at times which made it so hard to figure out what was causing the problem. Corn is hard to digest and you may not experience issues until the next day or longer. I couldn't find a Doctor that would test me. They didn't feel it was the problem or necessary. Once I finally got a Doctor to test me and found out I tested high in Corn, I immediately stopped eating it. I couldn't believe the difference. What I thought was IBS or maybe something more serious was nothing but a simple corn intolerance. I tried to eat corn again a few days ago which was a huge mistake. Don't think just because you feel great you no longer have the intolerance. I paid the high price in serious pain. I don't know if this is a new intolerance or if I've always had it, but I have suffered from stomach pain my whole life. I have never felt better. I hope this helps someone who is seeking answers to their stomach problems. Try eliminating all corn products. Research all the hidden names for corn products. HFCS causes me serious pain. Found out its in almost everything.. breads, cereals, sauces, etc. Do your homework, read labels, and get better! Don't take no for an answer if you feel it's a food allergy.. demand allergy food tests. It changed my life.

Anna Jacobs said...

None of your commenters or the article talk about the way corn/maize affects me. It give me a blurry brain and within the hour, my heart beats faster. I have to carry an emergency pill in case the latter escalates, as I've ben hospitalised for it before now. Wheat has exactly the same effect. What worries and upsets me most is the prevalence of corn/maize as 'fillers' in pills and supplements. My cardiologist wanted me to go on warfarin - I can't because all warfarin contains corn/maize. So do the lactose assisting supplements.

Also, foods I've been using safely for years are suddenly affecting me badly - a change of ingredients to one containing corn. I am so fed up of not getting any notice on the packs. You can't read the ingredients of every item you buy every time you buy it!

Why is it taking so long for the medical authorities to recognise corn as an allergen? Is this the Monsanto effect?

Anonymous said...

I have suffered migraines, IBS, various issues all my life, never known what it was. Cutting our dairy/soy seemed to help, but not stop it.

Recently I had a son, who has been (to put it bluntly) crapping blood since he was six weeks old. We cut everything from his diet (and his mother's who breastfeeds) allergen wise - but it wasn't until we finally cut corn out (upon reading lengthy food diary which we kept for a year) that the blood has stopped.

I am wondering now whether I have had corn intolerance myself all this time - the problem is it's in absolutely everything. I can live with it (albeit it has dominated my life to a degree) and I can try to ensure my son doesn't suffer the same issues I have had.. albeit the NHS here in the UK really has no idea how to deal with any of this stuff, we had to do it all ourselves and figure out what was going on. The hydrolised formulas for allergens all contain corn syrup and whatnot, they are no help. Breastfeeding was the only way our son could eat. My wife's intuition saved our son massive pain on that front. (He screamed in agony for 30 mins after the one bottle of neocate - until breast feeding slowly calmed him down - never again).

Just my two cents/pence!

A father in the UK struggling for answers - cheap corn, big business, not good.

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Anonymous said...

I got a corn intolerance in my early 60s. I was taking a supplement with sorbitol every day. That's when I started having problems and figured it out by trial and error. I read labels on everything, and when possible when going out to eat look on the restaurant menu and ingredients list to see what I can eat. Since a food intolerance has to do with enzymes in the digestive system is there anything to take before eating that would help? Thanks!