When you google “corn allergy”, the top links you get back seem to convey a picture of corn avoidance that is far less complicated than what I experience, and what the folks in my support groups and who contact me directly through my blog experience. Now, I’m not trying to bum anybody out here, but I am trying to keep everybody safe. Which does seem to bum people out a lot. But hey, I like being alive so I’m not bummed at all to know things that keep me that way.
Here are some of the things I see a lot of the most popular google hits on corn allergy get wrong. I’ve included references where I can, but in a lot of cases research on these kinds of things just haven’t been funded. So for some items all I really have is my own experiences, my own critical thinking, and reports from the patient community to go on. I would much prefer solid statistics and rigorous studies. If you would like to explore some of these topics in that manner, let me know and I will help you find volunteers to participate.
In the meantime, this is what I know, based on as much peer-reviewed research as I can find, the reports of 8,000 members in a support group, and many dozens of direct messages between myself and members of the corn allergy community:
Misconceptions about Corn Allergies
- Corn allergy reactions are only to the protein.
- If you have to avoid derivatives and traces of corn, you can do so by reading labels.
- If you have to avoid derivatives and traces of corn, you can do so by calling or emailing manufacturers and asking them if their product “contains corn”.
- Airborne reactivity to corn is impossible or at least incredibly rare.
- Coping with a corn allergy only involves avoiding foods that contain corn.
- The symptoms of a food allergy are limited to hives, hay-fever type symptoms, severe facial swelling, or throat closing.
- Food intolerances cannot cause serious reactions.
Incorrect: Corn allergy reactions are only to the protein. Starches, sugars, alcohols or other items synthesized using corn products as a starting material cannot cause an allergic reaction.
Allergens can be more than just proteins.
Continue reading “Clearing Up Some Misconceptions About Corn Allergy”