Corn Allergy Symptoms
While rare corn allergies are becoming increasingly more common. The most common food allergies are tree nut, shellfish, fish, egg, wheat, peanut, soy, and dairy. A corn allergy can often time be difficult to diagnose using standard testing. Corn allergies are usually the result of your body being unable to process the protein in corn. Many others allergic to corn can become sensitive to the carbohydrates in corn.
How to Diagnose a Corn Allergy?
As mentioned, it can be difficult to diagnose a corn allergy through standard blood tests. Symptoms vary from person to person. You should start by making an appointment with an allergist. You will most likely be asked about your family medical history and your allergy history. If you or your doctor suspect that you are allergic to corn, you might be asked to start off by eliminating it from your diet. You can keep a food diary and track everything you eat and how you felt after eating it. This will be for a specific amount of time and will be monitored by your physician. You can then test this by reintroducing corn into your diet. Severe allergic reactions can be very scary. Your doctor may want to do a “supervised trial” by monitoring your reaction in their office. If it is determined that you are in fact allergic to corn, you will need to eliminate it and ingredients derived from it completely.
It is important to ask your doctor what other ingredients involved with corn that you will need to avoid. There are trace or undetectable ingredients that may be allowable to consume. The main ingredients derived from corn are corn syrup, corn starch, maltodextrin, cellulose, caramel and vegetable oil. For those that are allergic to the carbohydrate in corn, it is called Neocate. Neocate can be found in corn syrup, maltodextrin, and corn starch. Neocate can be found in the powdered or liquid form. Liquid Neocate products can be found in table sugar that comes from beets.
What Are Corn Intolerance Symptoms?
If you are allergic to corn, you may experience mild allergic reactions at first. These include nausea, hives or a runny nose. Allergic reactions to corn develop when the immune system becomes compromised and overacts to foods containing corn-based ingredients. You may even have an allergic reaction to corn pollen. There are several symptoms that may arise if you are having a reaction to corn. You may notice hives or a skin rash, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, sneezing, runny nose, asthma, headaches or the most serious anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can send your body into shock by impairing your breathing. Anaphylaxis causes your blood pressure to lower and swell your airways. This is life-threatening and needs to be treated with epinephrine.
Corn Allergy Symptoms in Babies
Corn derivatives are found in most baby formulas and cereals. While a corn allergy is rare in babies, symptoms of an allergic reaction can be severe. An infant who is experiencing a reaction to corn may show signs of trouble breathing and wheezing which require immediate medical attention. They may also show the less life-threatening signs such as diarrhea, rash, hives, and nausea.
Management and Treatment
While you may find it difficult to avoid corn and its derivatives it is possible. Keep a list of the ingredients that you need to watch out for. These liquid ingredients are corn syrup, corn flour, and vegetable oil. They are also found in a wide variety of packaged foods such as cereals, jams, candies, syrups, canned foods, snack foods, sauces, beverages, hot dogs and deli meats. Surprisingly, you can also find corn-based ingredients in shampoo, toothpaste, vitamins, cosmetics, crayons, clothing, paint, pet food, plastic, and IV solutions. If you are having trouble dealing with your corn sensitivity, you can consult with a dietitian. A licensed dietitian can provide a food plan and helpful resources to guide you through.