22 thoughts on “About Erica

  1. Hi Erica .. . I’m fascinated by your blog. What a life . . .my family is dealing with a lot of intolerances also (not allergies though — no tightening of throat or anything, mostly behavioral problems), so we’ve cut out almost everything. We eat almost 100% organic (including meat) and no processed foods. It’s only been about a month but it’s making a difference. Have you heard of the GAPS diet? It might be something useful for you . . . best of luck!

    • Hi Suchada,

      I’ve looked into the GAPS diet only to look away. I am allergic to, or have had allergic reactions to, most of the recommended foods on the GAPS diet. I can eat some of the foods to avoid. My diet is already so very limited I would surely starve and not produce enough milk for my daughter. Thank you for the suggestion. I welcome all suggestions, you never know if and when something will be applicable and helpful.

  2. Thank you so much for writing this blog! After years of allergies that did not get better with antihistamines, I have finally discovered I have allergies to wheat, corn, soy, yeast, eggs, oats, and tomatoes. I believe there are more, but I have not been tested for anything other than common allergens as of yet. It is so nice to know I am not alone!

    • You are definitely not alone. Come back often and share your experiences. We all learn from each other. Make sure you visit the Avoiding Corn forum on Delphi, in case you haven’t. There’s a wealth of information there concerning corn allergy.

  3. I can honestly say that I feel for you! I am very allergic to many of the same things you are, but my allergies were worsened by having Chronic Late Stage Lyme Disease as the underlying factor. Fortunately, in 8-2009, the Lord healed me from the Lyme. Also, my son was born 29 years ago with the same allergies I now have, but he out grew most of them. He was allergic to wheat, oats, corn, dairy and sugar and many environmental toxins as well.
    I am finding that I have all those allergies, but especially latex, rubber, most vegies & fruits except for blueberries, cranberries and sometimes apples. The latex/rubber allergies are probably the hardest to deal with b/c it is everywhere, even in the car! Underwear, bras, sweatpants all use elastic-which causes my lympth nodes to swell…fun…
    About 12 years ago I made one of the best purchases of my life when I bought the Living Air by EcoQuest. It purified the air in my home and killed the bacteria on the dust particles floating in the air and my son & I could breathe!! Please check out this website: http://www.myvollara.com/lyncat
    It is my website and I now am a distributor for Vollara which sells the Fresh Air Boxes that I now use. Everyone comments about how fresh my house smells (I have a long haired dog and 2 long haired cats, all of which I’m allergic to, but when this unit is up and running I have no problems with pet allergies. It also has helped my immune system to become stronger b/c I don’t have to fight so much to breathe. I also have a “Buddy” that hangs on my neck and blows fresh air into my breathing environment just below my nose, which also helps considerably when around people that smoke, or have eaten onions (which cause my throat to swell-even by just smelling them) or I need to go into a department store that sells tires.
    Anyways, you are on my mind and I will keep you in my prayers. You can always email me if you’d like. windchimes2c@gmail.com

    • Thanks for the comment. I’ll check out your site later this evening. I’m currently using the Austin Allergy Machine and I absolutely love it. It has been a life saver for me in my home. When it is not on I definitely feel a drastic difference and usually awake the next morning with Bronchitis. I purchased a wearable air cleaner (I don’t remember the brand) however it blew ozone and made me even sicker. Now, if I need to go out I wear a mask with activated carbon. Latex is definitely impossible to avoid when you are referring to some baby items, clothing, shoes, tires, some foods, etc; however, it is my experience that corn is what is used in everything. Even if I find clothing that is latex free I find that it is sprayed in Zein, starch or washed in a detergent/chemical bath that involved a corn derivative. If I find foods that aren’t cross reactive with a latex allergy they have usually been sprayed with ethylene gas, waxed, clean with citric acid, soaked or washed with lactic acid, etc. Babies’ diapers that are latex free use corn in the manufacturing. Corn is the starch used to make tires. Corn plastic is used in interior of cars and zein and other corn derivatives are used to spray the insides of new cars and they add to that “new car smell.” Not trying to argue =) just trying to paint the corny picture that is my life. This is why I listed Corn as the most difficulty allergen to avoid.

      Here’s a poster explaining other uses for corn….this is not all of the uses, just some.

  4. Okay, I hope you are able to find a remedy to your allergies. My note was just a friendly note not meant to cause anything. I’m sorry to have started this conversation. I was not trying to sell you anything, just share my story. I”m glad you found the Austin Allergy Machine and that it is probably working as well as my Fresh Air Box.
    Take care…

  5. I just found this website and have added it to my favorite bookmarks.I was diagnosed with a corn allergy in 2009 but didn’t really research it. I figured all I had to worry about were obvious corn foods (ie. corn tortillas, cornbread, popcorn, etc.). I have some other food allergies and sensitivities that I have either known about since childhood or have developed over time, like a mild nut allergy and a lactose intolerance. My nut allergy has seemed to get worse in the last year. I used to only get canker sores on my tongue if I ate too many, now my throat becomes slightly swollen. I also quit eating meat years ago because I don’t digest it well and got tired of the weekly vomit sessions. Thanks to this website I learned that perhaps my trouble digesting meat has been due to my corn allergy. Doesn’t change anything but at least I know. I tolerate all seafood just fine, which I am thankful for. I still have digestive problems though and recently my chiropractor suggested I get tested for a gluten allergy, so I began reading up on that and think she is correct. I have also experienced vertigo several times over the years, with my most recent bout of it being the most severe. I have been unable to work for the last month due to it. A few doctors keep telling me they think it may be caused by some sort of allergies. So now I am taking my corn allergy much more seriously in a quest to try to discover what is causing the vertigo and if there is a way to get rid of it, so I can return to normal acitivity. I am glad that I found this website. In the few minutes that I spent browsing it I learned so much and am happy that it is here to help me learn more about this.

    • Hi Tammie,

      Welcome and thanks for the kind words. I equate corn to a ninja. It is very good at hiding and attacking without warning. 🙂 You may also want to visit the Delphi Forum should you have any questions about hidden corn in certain products. Low level reactions to small amounts of corn can build up over time and reek havoc on your entire system. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you find any hidden corn in your environment and please feel free to share anything that you discover along your own journey. You never know who you might be able to help.

      Feel free to email me: cornfreelifestyle@gmail.com.

      • Hi Erica,
        Thank you for your welcome at the corn allergy forum. I spent most of yesterday morning looking at your site. I realized I have corn allergies about two months ago. Reading this it is clear that I am only at the very tip of the ice burg. It feels like I have gone two days without getting into any corn syrup or corn starch, this is an accomplishment for me. I notice that I still have a very rapid pulse, bladder irritation and a little broken sleep. So I know there is more corn in my pantry. I hope that I will be able to get a handle on this and then pay it forward as you have. Thank you for the time, care and quality of information you have put into this site

        Thanks again,
        bon

      • Hi Bon,

        Two days without corn syrup and corn starch is a HUGE accomplishment. You should be proud of yourself. You’re right, you probably still have a good bit more of hidden corn in your pantry and possibly in other areas of your house. I’m not sure if you have fragrance sensitivity or topical sensitivity to corn derivatives but if you do pay close attention to your cleaners, fresheners and toiletry items. Good luck with everything and if you have any questions please feel free to ask here and definitely on the Delphi Forum.

        Erica

  6. Hi Bon,
    I have discovered there is corn or forms of corn in just about everything. Finding corn and corn derivatives lists has really helped me, and I read everything on every label in the store now, which makes for longer shopping trips, which I hate because I hate all shopping. But I am slowly eliminating corn from my life. I also watched a documentary that I found on Netflix last week called King Corn. It gave me a much better understanding of corn, and now I am convinced that NO ONE should be eating corn, allergic or not, and wonder if those of us who are allergic are really allergic only because of how it has been genetically modified. I am also sure that corn and corn derivatives consumption is the cause of diabetes and probably most other illnesses today. The Future of Food is a good documentary too.

    Tammie

    • Hi Tammie,

      Your comment on diabetes is interesting. It seems like this journey began for me over two years ago, when I was diagnosed with diabetes. A1C of 8.7 and 190 lbs. Yikes! I’m not sure one should ever admit their weight. I was able to loose and keep off 16 lbs. and life was a little better for a while. A1C of 6.5 with medication.

      I started sliding again. In November of 2011 I realized that I was gluten intolerant. I healed enough to get off diabetes meds, loose six more pounds and get my A1C down to 6.3. Things were better but not great, When I switched my pantry out to gluten free, I believe that there was a hidden corn influx.

      I was just able to get two days together without corn syrup or corn starch, but I have been in corn hell for the last two days. Not sure where it is coming from. Maybe tapioca starch from Thailand.

      There is a long standing correlation between coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes, but I could find no literature correlating type 2 diabetes. I was surprised at my results because a switch to rice flour is a switch to a higher glycemic index food and I thought I would have a more difficult time controlling my blood sugar

      The corn thing further baffles me because I react to non protein corn products. And I react more strongly to corn syrup (a carb) than to eating an ear of corn (protein and carb). So I do not think I am reacting to minute quantities of residual corn protein that is not processed out of the syrup.

      For now, I have stopped analyzing and am down to survival mode. I am having a difficult time finding the energy to cook for myself and my family today. I am really emotionally wrung out and tender. My scope is very small today, my goal is to make salmon and black beans and get myself fed for the day. I am going to have to ask my husband for help making almond milk tonight as I can not find the energy right now.

      I will start to follow the GMO literature in a while. I have a very heavy science background. I am not sure I want to jump on that bus right now. I believe that diabetes and coeliac run back four generations in my family. Of course, three months ago I was questioning how I could be allergic to a carb.

      Thank you for your welcome and your food for thought.

      bon

      In rereading this post, I can see that it is disjointed. Forgive me. I hope you get the gist of what I mean to say.

  7. Hi Bon,
    Thank you, and I hope you feel better soon.The King Corn documentary talked about how corn has been genetically modified, so that it is more starch than protein now. My understanding is that starches are carbohydrates and that our bodies convert carbs into sugar to be converted into energy for us to burn off but that if we don’t burn them off, then our bodies store them as fat. So considering that corn is now more of a starch and it is added to everything, including carbs, then it is almost like eating twice the amount of carbs that would normally be in that food. I hope that makes sense. That is why I immediately thought of diabetes when I learned that. Last week my cousin came over and told me her husband has been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. So I tried to tell her what I learned from the documentary and suggested that they cut corn and corn derivatives out of there diet but she got irritated and snapped at me that she is not going to change her whole lifestyle just because he might be diabetic and that she sees how we make all of our own food and it is too expensive and too much work. :/ I felt sorry for both of them, as she is very overweight herself and her mother is diabetic, so it runs in her family. Anyway, I know it can be difficult fr diabetics to keep their blood sugar balanced. I hope you are able to figure out how to do that soon and can get to feeling better.

    Tammie

  8. Hi Erica – I just stumbled into your blog through a link on the facebook corn group. I can’t wait to dig in & read through more of it. It’s nice to run into another blogger dealing with multiple issues. The issues aren’t nice, but knowing there are others that understand just how consuming living with them is. My 2 kiddos & I both have issues ranging from corn allergy, chemical sensitivities to behavior changes & seizures with a whole lot in between.

  9. Hey Erica!

    I’m sorry to post this here but I couldn’t find an email address or some other way to send you a message.

    I’m sending you this message because some of our forum members over at avoidingcorn.com have mentioned to me that your website is a valuable resource for people who are struggling with corn allergies. For this reason we have added your website to our list of helpful resources that we encourage newcomers to read.
    We were also hoping you would consider adding a link on your site to our forum (http://Avoidingcorn.com). We believe that it could be a tremendous help to other people who are trying to live the corn-free lifestyle.
    Our forum is new but has been taking off quite strongly. In case you aren’t familiar with our forum already, here is just a little bit about us: We are a not-for-profit group of friends who share our experiences to help each other learn the best way that we can live with this difficult allergy. Our forum charges no fees, shows no ads, and is run by people with corn allergies.

    Thank you so much for all the hard work that you have put into your site. We appreciate your consideration for linking to us!

    Thank you for your time,
    Sincerely,
    Andrew

  10. Knowledge really is power. After reading through the posted comments, I have claimed a renewed, sense of power over what I am eating. WE tend to place this blind trust in the products that we consume and utilize daily, never realizing the hidden ingredients may be a source of our decline physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and possibly even spiritually (Does GOD see what I am going through). Each day, I will make conscientious choices about what I am putting on my body and how I am nurishing my body. I will reclaim the power, I so blindly gave to others.

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