Corn Sensitivities Are On The Rise and Here’s Why

Ever since going gluten free, soy and dairy free almost 7 years ago, I never would have thought I could develop more food sensitivities. I recall my naturopathic doctor saying then that she was glad it wasn’t corn. Afterall she said, “Corn triggers the meanies – more violent out of control behavior. , the Dr. Jeckyll’s and Mr. Hyde’s in people.” That stuck with me. If you think how much HFCS is in our foods and the rise in our mental health issues, it makes sense. Corn and gluten sensitivities tend to overlap in their symptoms when it comes to our health ailments.

After my second child was born, my system was not quite right. Funny how kids do that to you. I went and saw another doctor recommended by quite a few bloggers here locally and learned that buckwheat, oats, corn, cane sugar and beef were giving me issues. The buckwheat made sense as I always felt bloated eating these fantastic raw vegan buckwheat crackers. The oats too, the gfree granola I was having made me sleepy just as gluten use to make me feel. But beef? Corn? I was in denial, but when I thought about it, I felt awful even after eating an organic tortilla chip (bloated, irritable, cranky). There goes my chips and salsa. I was hoping it would not be one of my many triggers, but surely after going off of corn (and cane sugar) for 3 weeks I felt better and lost 5lbs. And my increase in headaches went away. And my son, his behavior changed. In fact I notice it more with corn than gluten for him and that was enough for me. So what is up with corn? And as for beef, I don’t eat red meat very often, however, it does give me indigestion.

Like gluten, corn is in EVERYTHING! Just about 99% of our foods has corn or some sort of corn derivative in it. Have you seen the movie King Corn? If not, go watch it. It tests positive in our hair! Dextrose (corn sugar), Citric Acid, sorbitol, Maltodextrin, caramel and caramel coloring, “natural” flavorings, Vitamins C and E, Xylitol, modified food starch, vegetable protein are all hidden sources of corn besides the obvious HFCS, cornstartch, etc. So now I found myself calling all food companies to see if their modified food startch, Xanthan Gum or Citric Acid was from corn because it is not always the case. And if they don’t get back to me, I don’t trust them. I do tweet companies publicly about corn by-products and have yet to get a response back from them….Yes, I am a picky eater in the sense is that we have to be, but we are eating whole foods and yes, we have our “junkie” foods, just not the same as most.

Corn is in everything

According to the USDA, over 80 million acres in the US is dedicated to growing it and is processed in a variety of products such as corn oil, powdered sugar, (they make one with arrowroot starch), toothpaste, infant formula, supplements, protein powders/bars, medications (its in Tylenol, Aleve, Advil) and sweeteners to name a few. What is a girl to do?

Corn allergies are on the rise. In fact I firmly believe once gluten is recognized as a food allergy and passed into the labeling act, corn will be next on the list. It does not fall under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, though it is on Canada’s Big 15 list. (eh-hem so our food companies here in the USA HAVE to provide different labels for Canada as they do for Europe) Big companies are paying millions of dollars ($42M to be exact as of today) to sway voters to vote No on Prop 37 . It is a bunch of, well the cow dung from corn fed cows.

Corn allergies are hard to diagnose. I have been to several doctors (MDs) and they all have said, the best way to determine food sensitivities is to do a food elimination diet. Blood tests (IgE and IgGs), scratch tests will not be 100% conclusive. Corn can prompt anaphalaxis like reaction, however it often can cause headaches, foggy brain, behavior changes, fatigue as gluten can as well. Just like gluten, the reaction to corn can last for a couple of hours, especially in a child. They become hyperactive, then bam become really drained and tired. There are many similarities between gluten and corn. And if you are migraine sufferer and using prescription meds, you better believe cornstarch or some corn by-product is in your meds (remember, gluten can also cause migraines as it did for me). Thus leaving many in a vicious cycle. Going in for surgery or the hospital? Those IVs contain dextrose, so as you can see, it is everywhere.

The problem with corn is that 70% is Genetically Modified (GM or GMO). And since its inception of GMOs in 1994, food allergies has been on the rise at the same rate as Autsim and other behavior disorders such as ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder. With the rise of many diseases and disorders our tainted food supply (supplements and drugs included) is the very culprit of diseases that is causing so many ailments to our health. For those who cannot eat gluten, like oats, there is also a risk of cross-contamination of gluten into the corn crop. And you know how many gluten free products contain corn? Just about my guestimate, 85% of them. So for those who are staring a gluten free diet it is hard especially when learning of the similar symptoms of gluten can also be corn.

Feeling overwhelmed? Me too. If you are suspecting food allergies/sensitivities, see a qualified doctor who will believe you and you trust. I see a MD who does a lot with alternative medicine and a Naturopathic Doctor. My chiropractor is also great in working with food issues, not all are equipped or knowledgeable. Try doing a food elimination diet as this will be the best way to determine anything that is bothering you or your family member.

If you do decide to go the blood test route, which is still a useful tool, be sure to ask for the ELISA Food Allergy Panel which tests both IgE (immediate food allergy testing) AND IgG (food sensitivity or delayed reaction testing). IgGs will test about 100 different foods and be sure corn is on both IgE and IgG testing. And yes, the scratch test is still a useful method of those life threatening allergies.

Food can either heal us or kill us, it is the kind of foods we choose to eat that determines our health and vitality.

Summary:
1. Cross-contamination of the corn crop to the wheat crop
2. Rise of GMO corn in which the body cannot process and digest completely
3. Too many processed foods which contain GMO corn and deplete the gut of good bacteria in which helps digestion

There you have it.

Take a look at this article from one of my favorite sources of health info, Body Ecology:

Beyond Gluten-Free: How Corn and Oats Are Becoming Just as Troublesome as Wheat Gluten.

Pictures for this post came from FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Comments

  1. Jasmine, you are so scaring me. My parents still can’t get over my lactose intolerance – they think it it is all in my head. The stuff you are doing is so beyond my imagination. However, it is scary that corn is in everything. It is just scary

    • awww, don’t be mad at the messenger! Knowledge is power and it is what we do with that to keep ourselves and our families healthy and happy!

    • Almost everyone is lactose intolerant. We’re not supposed to be drinking the milk of other animals. Cows milk is for baby cows! People just drink it because they’re addicted (casein is similar to morphine) and they are used to feeling sick constantly. It’s awful that your parents would say you are just “making it up”. So rude! I wish you the best, Lena.

      I would love to try gluten free and corn free. I’ve been off meat (except fish) for over a year. I’ve been off dairy for over a year. I had quit fish and eggs for a very long while but picked it back up several months ago- I just quit those this week. I’m still feeling sick to my stomach all the time- I need to quit gluten and corn. Kind of hard to quit gluten since it’s in EVERYTHING, and I make a really incredible seitan “roast” from vital wheat gluten. Corn might be a bit easier.

      In the end, we’re all better off eating whole plant foods and avoiding processed foods. Fruit alone for breakfast each morning to clear our digestive systems, and veggies through the rest of the day. It’s hard to do, but I know I’d feel better if I did.

  2. You’re right, corn is in everything! It’s cheap and it seems everything comes down to the almighty dollar….

    It scares me that companies have just moved forward with GM crops without having done the research.

    I keep reminding people that the “M” word company is the VERY same company that lied about the health effects of PCB’s… Yet people want to put their complete faith in them with their FOOD supply….

    • Katie, you are correct, it’s cheap and it’s about the biggest profit for little quality in our foods. Education is key and how we can share our knowledge!

  3. This is so informational. We are currently doing the Lactose free diet with my youngest, yet in my heart I have a feeling we’ll end up having to do a blood test for glucose allergy. I can not imagine how hard it is for you & your family to go shopping for food with all the sensitivities you have acquired. I wish you & your family the best of luck & thank you for sharing your knowledge it may prove to be very beneficial to me in the days to come.

  4. Great information Jasmine. Keep up the good work.

    SMILE!

    ML

  5. Hi Jasmine,
    Interesting article. I am celiac… and I haven’t noticed a specific issue with corn, but wondering… could corn products test positive for gluten?

    Lots to think about.
    - Tanya

    • Tanya, It is something to think about and I think that is part of the reason why the FDA has not approved gluten free labeling because they have not identified an “allowable” safe amount of gluten to be labeled gluten free. Oats we know is a risk, and why we have to buy gfree oats and that is easy to do..but corn…corn is in everything and if there is zero allowable amounts, then it can be tricky.

  6. Great information, thank you

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  8. Gayla Combs says:

    So glad to see your blog. I have just started researching corn allergies and sensitivities. I retired from teaching to help my daughter with homeschooling her school age children. I found my 4th grade grandson had reading problems that we were unable to diagnose. I called in my friends to help and no one could name the problem. It seemed to be a tracking problem but his eyes were checked and there were no significant issues. In desperation, we started the elimination diet with both grandsons. It was absolutely miraculous. His fluency issues were almost gone. Suddenly one morning the reading was so difficult. He had popcorn the evening before! Wow! I had no idea after teaching for so many years that reading problems could be tied to diet! I knew about behavior but not reading. We have not added all the foods back yet, so I am not sure if there will be other sensitivities. People will often look at us like we are crazy when we share this story. They think we are cruel for depriving the boys of certain kinds of food. Perhaps, they would rather we medicate instead! Thank you so much for providing so much good information!

    • Hi Gayla,

      I am glad you found my blog! My goal is to empower all in taking charge of their health, even when it goes against the rules of modern medicine. We all have the ability to heal our bodies. I see the food reactions in my son’s behavior big time, he is still young, but I think it delays his speech. As a teacher, I am glad you see the links, you have the ability to influence others in their thought process in how foods affect our ability to learn as well. Please come back again soon!

  9. I am so glad I found your blog. I have been trying to limit what I eat to see what could be causing my tummy issues and I do believe that corn is that major issue. I wasn’t able to eat it when I was littler and now it’s in everything. I can’t wait to follow your blog to learn more about your diet and how you eat.

  10. Thank you for a great blog. Our 18 y.o. daughter was tested recently with the blood test for food sensitivity. She tested highly sensitive to corn and cassein (milk protein) and also tested sensitive at the low range for gluten and all grains except quinoq, millet, & rice. You are right about corn being in so much, if not most, of the prepared gluten free products, and the list of corn related additives is so overwhelming. Daughter is on the elimination diet now. She is an athlete who has to train very hard and this week she has felt lousy. I have a strong hunch her body is detoxing from being free of all the dairy and corn, not to mention bread products that had become a mainstay of her diet. I am hoping though that as she feels better she will appreciate more the benefits of whole food healthy eating. As a family we do try to eat local as much as possible and avoid processed food. It is not easy and it is beginning to feel like the food industry is poisoning us.

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