Sick of Being Sick: Letter from a Reader

Following is a letter from Travis that I feel is an all too common story. I’ve pasted his entire letter below with his permission, but the summary is that he has finally figured out that food is at least part of what is making him feel so sick, however he’s feeling overwhelmed and frustrated in trying to figure out WHICH foods, and how to eliminate them without starving. ┬áMy lengthy response is also below. Spoiler: I can’t really tell him what to do, but I can offer some direction on how to figure it out.

Hi Corn Allergy Girl,

I feel weird calling you that but I don’t actually know your name. Since I was about 10 years old I’ve always felt sick experiencing symptoms that have affected nearly every functioning piece of my body. It started out with just the and swelling of the joints in which I would take an over-the-counter NSAID of some sort and later, see my doctor in which he would denounce as growing pains. Sometimes the pains were so intense I’d start bawling because my shoulder or knee were throbbing and there wasn’t a pain reliever on or off the market that would touch the pain. At thirteen the symptoms spread to my stomach. A lot of things I consumed would hurt my stomach sometimes leaving me in the fetal position in so much pain. Later on, I’m diagnosed with an infection known as h. pylori found by a colonoscopy. The doctor treats me for it and my stomach doesn’t hurt as bad for a while. When we go back for a reevaluation I tell her my symptoms are still present but she says the ailment probably left me with Irritable bowel syndrome so I accept that.

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Advanced Corn Allergy Help: Tracking Down Mystery Reactions

Here’s the situation I was in a year ago: I had been corn and gluten free for 6 years, and thought I had it all figured out. Then suddenly I started having anaphylactic reactions to previously safe foods. I thought I must have a new allergen. In fact, I did have a few new allergens, but the one allergen that was causing the anaphylaxis was actually still corn. For many of the foods that I realized I was reacting to, I was able to eat another version of that food that was grown/processed without corn contamination.

If you know that you are allergic to corn, and find yourself reacting and confused because you think you are corn free, you may want to re-examine your food and household products for hidden corn. You may also have new allergens. It’s important for the sake of safety to examine all possibilities rather than dismissing any particular one without first exploring and testing.

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