While several food items are known to cause reactions in people, a few of these are lesser known.
Corn is one such allergen that is lesser known. A person’s immune system becomes sensitive and reacts to the presence of some material from corn in it. It can be corn or other food items that contain corn in some form. Processed food in the market contains corn and corn derived products and hence one may have to carefully gauge the source.
Since corn allergies are lesser in incidence, not many studies have been devoted to its details. However, several investigators have looked at the case more closely and discovered that it is indeed present in children and is more prevalent than thought. The reactions are often mild, and not everyone develops symptoms when exposed to it.
In the study that noted corn allergies, it was found that only 6 in 16 children who were skin-test positive to corn developed symptoms on eating corn. They had no previous history of any corn allergy.
Some studies also found that the protein in corn – prolamins (zeins) contains amino acid sequences that closely resemble gluten in wheat which is known to cause the celiac disease and may have a similar effect on people with the disease. Several products use corn as a substitute for wheat for gluten-free products. These findings point to the fact that some serious study needs to be conducted to unearth facts about corn allergy and the results reevaluated.
Some experts note that corn allergy can’t be detected through a regular blood or skin test. But there is conflicting information and with more studies being conducted, perhaps we will have conclusive information some day.
When the blood or skin doesn’t divulge any information, experts resort to a method called „food elimination diet.“ From the target’s diet, specific items are removed for a period of time to see if symptoms improve.
Corn Allergy Symptoms
✓ Hives or a skin rash
✓ Nausea, vomiting, indigestion, stomach cramps, or diarrhea
✓ Stuffy or a runny nose
✓ Anaphylaxis a less common incidence but potentially life-threatening reaction; it impairs breathing and can send the body into shock
What Causes Corn Allergy
Corn-derived products, including cornstarch and high-fructose corn syrup, Canned Fruits, Candies, Cereals, Jams, Syrups, Sauces, Snack foods.
Processed meats, hot dogs and deli meats and several beverages are also known to contain corn derivatives.
Even nonfood items such as shampoo, toothpaste, IV solutions, cosmetics, crayons, dishwashing liquid, vitamins, clothing, paint, plastics and pet food.
How to Treat Corn Allergy?
Stop consuming corn and corn derivatives.
If the person needs hospitalization, the doctor will administer epinephrine (adrenaline) based on an analysis of the severe reaction.