Busting out!

Good evening folks,


I have been making changes, HUGE changes, to pull myself out of the abyss.  It has taken a lot of work, practice, focus and dedication and I am pleased to announce that it is working, beautifully and effectively.  I am reclaiming my life.  In the recent weeks I have been to a local health food store (multiple times), Earth Fare, Office Depot, Books-A-Million, AND T-Mobile!  I have used a brand new phone, my new computer….  I’ve eaten in a restaurant, been around others eating, been around MANY different fumes and scents and I am doing so great!

I’m sorry for not posting, anything….but I am really busy living now.  I hope you all can understand.  I will check back here once a month, to update on what we’re doing, where we’re going and what we’re eating.  Life is not just changing, life is actually happening now.  I’m living now.   It is SO exciting.  Thanks for all of the support you guys have given us the past few years.  It’s been a struggle but that struggle is almost over for us.  We have found what works and we are throwing ourselves in 100%.

If you are interested in what I’m doing, you can check out DNRSystem.  Skeptical about it working?  Yeah, I was too….for over a year and a half and refused to order it or try it.  BUT I gotta tell ya, it works and I am living proof.  I don’t get paid to sell it….but I am singing it’s praises.  Now, if you will excuse me.  I’m about to go eat some apples, grapes and cheese and then gorge on an omelet and brownies and play with my brand new cell phone (the other new phone didn’t work so we got a new one).  Bye-bye issues….I won’t miss you at all.

What is Xanthan Gum?

Girl Meets Nourishment recently tackled the popular ingredient and guess what she discovered?  It’s made from corn.  Imagine that.

I know you guys know this.  Most of the individuals subscribed to the blog react to Xanthan Gum…even though we’ve been told multiple times, by multiple companies: “no corn proteins” remains in the final product.  Our bodies obviously didn’t get the memo on the “protein” allergy food rule.

Check out the article.

Check out my previous article about Xanthan Gum.

A Bump in the Road…

The bump was expected and anticipated, though I tried not to stress about the inevitable.  The bump was corn, hidden corn.  The new doctor doesn’t get corn, most doctors don’t understand corn, most of my family and friends don’t understand corn.  They do not understand how it is used in the processing and manufacturing of almost everything.  They do not understand how the aforementioned usage of corn contaminates “safe products for sensitive people.”  They do not understand how we can react to the tiny traces remaining in/on products.

The new doctor wants to pull the HCL that I’ve been using to help with my digestion.  She wants me to take a digestive enzyme.  I know you all know the pitfalls of digestive enzymes, but the new doctor has no idea.  I turned down many of her recommendations because of the “other ingredients” listed for the “safe for sensitive people” products.

I decided to try the digestive enzymes (even though it is industry standard to use maltodextrin, i.e. corn, during the drying process) because they were cheap, there were no other filler ingredients and I knew, though we would react to it, that the amount of corn was small.  I wanted the doctor to be able to see our sensitivity level, so that I would never have to prove it to her again; get the disbelief out-of-the-way with the least amount of pain for Yipi and for me.

And it is disbelief.  Doctors aren’t taught much about corn allergy/intolerance and the fact that corn allergy/intolerance doesn’t seem to follow the same pattern as other allergens just makes it more unbelievable.  I honestly think doctors are told that corn can’t be an allergen...but that could be paranoia.  I sincerely hope it is only paranoia on my part.  See this article written by the Allergy Associates of Lacrosse titled “Allergic to Corn – Living Without.”

Although corn products are widely consumed, there is a general lack of understanding when it comes to corn’s role as a
food allergy or sensitivity. One reason is that corn is not one of the so-called Big Eight allergens (peanuts, tree nuts,
wheat, milk, egg, shellfish, fish, soy) that together cause 90 percent of America’s food allergy reactions. It doesn’t fall
under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, which means that manufacturers aren’t
required to list it as an ingredient by its common name, highlight it on product labels or name it as a possible source of
cross-contamination in a product.

“I sympathize with people who have corn allergy because corn is very hard to avoid,” says Mary S. Morris, MD, of Allergy
Associates of La Crosse in La Crosse, Wisconsin. “A lot of times, people don’t connect their symptoms to the corn
sweetener in their ice cream.”

Adding to the confusion is the fact that symptoms of corn allergy can differ from those of more common food allergies.
While corn can prompt anaphylaxis, including breathing difficulty, hives, swelling and even death in severely cornallergic
patients, more often it causes headaches, fatigue and irritability.

“I’m surprised at how frequently corn will trigger a bad headache, even in children,” Morris says.

Another factor contributing to questions about corn allergy is that people can have varied reactions to different forms of
corn, Morris explains. For example, some people have more of a problem with corn sweetener than they do with corn on
the cob or cornstarch. And corn pollen or corn dust that’s inhaled during harvest can trigger a reaction in some people
who often can consume corn without a problem, she says.

All this makes corn allergy difficult to diagnose, Morris notes. Corn might show up in a typical skin or blood test that
checks for IgE (the allergic antibody) levels—but not always. IgE allergy tests didn’t detect Clare Donlan’s corn allergy.

“Sometimes corn is IgE-mediated but sometimes the only way to figure it out is to do a corn challenge test under
medical supervision in a doctor’s office,” Morris says, adding that she conducts oral challenges when she can’t tell for
sure if a suspected food is causing a reaction.

Morris’ practice routinely screens for corn allergy through a blood test and, while corn is a less common allergen than
the Big Eight, it is common enough that she says she sees patients with corn allergy every week.

Not all doctors would consider corn allergy as potential cause of a patient’s headaches or behavior issues. In fact, some
question whether the grain is even a true allergen. For example, Morris recalls informing a surgeon that her patient,
hospitalized under the surgeon’s care, had a corn allergy. The surgeon said the allergy wasn’t possible and ignored
Morris’ request not to administer dextrose (usually corn-based) to the patient. It took the patient’s allergic reaction to
corn during surgery to convince the physician that the allergy did exist.

“Because it’s not on the top-eight radar, it’s not the first place people go to look for the root cause of their symptoms.
Even though corn is the source of many severe problems for people, it is many times overlooked,” she says.

Read more:  Allergic to Corn – Living Without

I hope you followed the link, read the article and saved it to your computer.

I opened one capsule into a container.  We then proceeded to introduce the digestive enzyme onto our skin for a few days and then moved to ingestion after no noticeable reaction on the skin.  Within a few days of ingestion, the reactions became apparent.  We consumed about 1/1000th of the initial capsule we opened.  ….ok….you got me…I don’t know exactly how much of the capsule we consumed but it was a microscopic amount.  I emailed the company and simply asked them to check with the manufacturer to see if any maltodextrin was used during the drying process of the digestive enzyme.  Later that day (May 14th) I received the confirmation email that maltodextrin is used, but only a small amount.  That small amount is enough for Yipi and me to react.

Since beginning the GAPS diet, I have had less brain-fogged/limited cognitive ability days.  I am able to think clearer, I have more energy (my house is clean!!!!) and I am able to actually put my thoughts into coherent sentences.  I am able to remember how I felt before a reaction and to log that state of being as well as the shift that occurs when I’m reacting and the aftermath.  I’ve also noticed, and I’ve mentioned this before, that our reactions are not as severe and do not last as long since beginning the GAPS diet.  Thank you, GAPS.

With that being said, I’m going to copy and paste my notes from my food/reaction/GAPS journal for when we introduced the digestive enzyme, during the administration of digestive enzyme, and the aftermath.  We stopped the enzymes two days ago and the swelling and severe itching/hives/awful rash are already subsiding.

Notes from Journal:

5/7/2013  –  Erica started 3 RNAs and Digestive Enzyme on skin
5/8/2013  –  Yipi bad chemical reaction, behavior just awful all day, she couldn’t control herself.  Difficulty communicating.  The reaction was from the new unfinished poplar bed, she was in too close of proximity to it in a sealed room.  Not a good combination.  Gave her three baths today.  Will do three baths tomorrow.  (Bed has been airing out for over 6 months)
5/9/2013 – Erica began consuming one drop of RNAs and a tiny amount (less than 7mg) of digestive enzyme.
5/10/2013  –  Put one drop of RNAs on Yipi’s legs in the morning.  Erica took her morning dose of RNAs and Digestive Enzyme.  Erica noticed a little wax and some pressure in her ears after the dose.
5/11/2013  –  Last night I noticed the RNAs tasted like soap, I also increased my ingested dosage to two drops per RNA.  This morning they still taste like soap.  We began given the RNAs to Yipi through ingestion.  Digestive Enzyme is still being put on her skin for now but she is getting it from my milk.  Erica noticed that her left eye lid is swollen.  Yipi’s rash seems to be healing. (pictures in file)
5/12/2013 – Noticed Yipi twisting her hair on her finger during her nap.  Also noticed her itching at her scalp a few days ago.  Rash getting worse.
5/13/2013 – I’m still swollen and Yipi started really ripping at her hair today.  I had to cut it off again.  Her scalp is red with hives, her abdomen, bikini are and booty are red.  I think she’s reacting to the digestive enzyme in my milk.
  • Emailed manufacturer last night to see if digestive enzymes were sprayed onto maltodextrin to dry (cross contamination, maltodextrin is derived from corn).  From my research, in the past three years, it is industry standard to spray enzymes onto maltodextrin to dry.  Yes they do use a little maltodextrin (5/14 confirmed)
  • I am swollen, from 136.8 (swelling was subsiding from previously exposure) to 143lb in about 4 days
  • My eyelids are swollen and my eyelashes feel like daggers, pulling them out, trying to stop myself
  • Orange wax in ears
  • Lower back pain and hip pain (from swelling)
  • My insomnia has returned.  It is almost impossible to get to sleep at night and get back to sleep if I awake.
  • Yipi’s stomach is distended and swollen, her rash has brown whelps in it and is raised, the rash on her stomach is back, she is digging into her scalp and ripping her hair out, she is also having difficulty getting to sleep at night, and she is soaking through her diapers multiple times at night (sign of reaction for her)
  • We are reacting to something, it is either the RNAs or the digestive enzymes.  With our history of reactions and how enzymes are produced, I am leaning towards the digestive enzymes due to cross contamination at drying time during the manufacturing process (confirmed)
  • We pulled the digestive enzymes last night (5/13/2013).  We will see is the swelling and other symptoms subside.
  • I’ve also noticed another swollen, painful, bug bite looking thing under my arm.  I’m going to go with ingrown hairs at this point.  Definitely corn exposure.
  • Skin peeled off in two sheets on the middle finger on my left hand.  Very painful.
  • One good thing is Yipi pooped a teeny tiny amount today on her own.  About 1 tsp.  Black tar with a lot of mucous.
5/15/2013  –  Since pulling the digestive enzymes two days ago, Yipi’s itching has lessened and her rash is starting to heal and peel (she was getting a double dose, topical and from my milk).  My swelling is down to 139lbs and my lower back/hip pain has subsided.  Yipi pooped again a little.  About 1/4tsp of black tar.  I am having some pretty severe lip peeling today.

From Kelly Dorfman, Clinical Nutritionist on Corn Intolerance

Yesterday, September 18th, Kelly Dorfman,a Clinical Nutritionist, posted this article on Huffington Post.  I wanted to share it with you all here.  The article is titled “Corn:  New Worries about and Old Favorite” and raises many of the points that I’ve pondered over the past 2 1/2 years.  What are your thoughts?

I am starting to worry about corn. It started a few years ago when I noticed allergic babies in my practice were beginning to react to the infant formulas designed for them. These specialty products are made from basic protein building blocks (amino acids) rather than pre-digested milk protein. Minimum digestive function is required to tolerate them. In addition, they lack the complex antigens that tend to set off immune reactions, so they were a dependable way to save the day (and baby).

Despite being completely unnatural, these formulas are a critically needed feeding alternative for sensitive babies. But several years ago, I started to notice a problem. At first, it was a case here and there, but soon a growing number of infants appeared who could not tolerate any commercial formula. One frantic mother sat in my office with a red, mottled baby who screeched through the entire hour appointment. When I asked how often she was distressed at this level, the exhausted mom replied, “23 hours a day.” Several specialists and numerous formulas yielded the same distressed response.

I suspected corn.

The safety of GM foods is still being debated elsewhere, though not in as much gory detail as it deserves. Clearly, a policy of playing with our food now and deciding if what we are doing is safe later is risky. Our collective history is littered with the dead bodies of those who paid the price for scientific arrogance or someone else’s economic self-interest. Consequently, accepting assurances that ingesting food with inserted bacterial DNA is no different than eating the unadulterated stuff, from the very people who stand to gain from selling said food, could be hazardous to your health. When people started reporting symptoms from eating adulterated corn, I listened and blamed the GM process.

As is often the case, one does not know what one does not know. A study published earlier this year about bee colony collapse suggests a new wrinkle in corn land. Since 2006, honeybees have been dying at an alarming rate. Farmers need bees for crop pollination and if they keep dying at the current rate, there could be serious food production problems. Dr. Chenshen Lu from the Harvard School of Public Health has studied the colony collapse phenomenon. His research concerns the high-fructose corn syrup used to sustain bees over the winter. Specifically, his test target is imidacloprid, one of the world’s most popular pesticides.

In my practice, the health effects are often subtle, making it extremely difficult to ascertain whether the problem is corn, pollutants, food adulterations, fabric softener, sunscreen additives or a high pollen count. … The problem is the loss of navigational control regarding food safety. Somehow we have completely lost our way.

Read more here.

Corn Allergy from ACAAI

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI) posted this gem of an article recently on their website under “Types of Food Allergies.”  Though the “ingredients to avoid” section could go into more detail, I find their thoughts on Corn Allergy, the difficulty to diagnose the allergy, and the manner in which to confirm the allergy to be refreshing.  This week I have read more stories of parents who are frustrated with medical care professional who still do not believe in Corn Allergy.  Some of these medical care professional just graduated last year and were told that “Corn Allergy does not exist.”  What do you do with that?!  How exactly are you supposed to entrust your child’s health to someone who doesn’t believe they are reacting to an allergen?  This professional would probably balk at the idea that your child would react to corn derivatives in medication and refuse to give you the proper prescription for your child.  Been there…bought a postcard.  Riddle me this:  How is it possible for one food to have allergenic properties but not another?  Why is corn so different than any other allergen?

I know, I’m preaching to the choir here.  Here’s the article.  What are you thoughts?

Corn allergy can be difficult to diagnose using standard skin or blood tests due to cross reactivity between corn and grass pollens, and other seeds and grain.

Symptoms may range from mild to severe. A severe life-threatening allergic reaction is known as anaphylaxis, which is rapid in onset and may cause death.


Treatment for corn allergy includes strict avoidance of corn ingredients.

Corn allergy should be confirmed by an oral food challenge, administered by an allergist in a clinical setting, before an elimination diet is followed.

A Brief Recapitulate for Hidden Corn

I wanted to quickly re-post a few older blogs for anyone new to corn allergy or new to CornFreeLifestyle blog.  Please make a note of these links, save the documents as PDFs on your computers, or copy and paste any and all information that may be relevant to you.  These documents will help you when dealing with companies concerning any potential hidden corn and knowing which questions to ask in order to have more accurate answers.

If you’re new to corn allergy, I encourage you to read my New to Corn Allergy page.  There is a wealth of information there that has proven to be invaluable to me and my daughter.

Document from the Illinois Corn Association concerning the usage of corn in products

List of “allowed ingredients” in organic food processing

Corn usage poster from Center for Crops Utilization Research from Iowa State University

Corn usage poster from Casco, the Canadian business unit of Corn Products International, Inc.

Xanthan gum and corn allergy

Vaccines and potential corn derivatives

Chemurgy and products made from corn

The difference between natural and organic and how corn can still hide in organic products

Update: Enjoy Life

From Lisa K. on the Avoiding Corn, Delphi Forum:

“Corn Allergy Matrix” from Enjoy Life


They posted this on Facebook. They still seem focused on the protein aspect; thanks to the work of FAAN, but they also recognized xanthan gum and vanilla. I’m bettng the chocolate is an equipment issue, since the reactions started around the time they introd new, corny, options. Chocolate equipment is notriously difficult to fully clean.


I know not everyone will agree, but I think they have tried pretty hard to cooperate. But, given the multiple corn-like reactions on the forum, their chocolate chips will remain off the list (labelled with an explanation. The gf/cf list has removed products lined out at the bottom with an explanation, so those less sensitive can make an informed decision on safe ‘looking’ items)