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.
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.
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:
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