New to Corn Allergy

Check this website for information for Corn Allergy Beginners

And so it begins…  You have been diagnosed with corn allergy or a corn intolerance, or you suspect a corn allergy/intolerance from a food challenge or from basic observation and a food journal…either way you are overwhelmed with avoiding this ubiquitous allergen. What does it mean to have a corn allergy or corn intolerance?  Your allergist or doctor has instructed you to avoid all corn, possibly giving you suggestions of how this could work in theory.  Correct?  Did they give you any indication how difficult it was actually going to be in practice?

The intent of this page is to assist you in avoiding all corn, including hidden corn from processing and corn derivatives that may “no longer have any corn protein.”  These are the questions I asked myself almost two years ago.  Corn is ubiquitous.  It is actually used so much, in every facet of our lives, I jokingly call it “air.”  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Please keep in mind, you will make mistakes and you will have reactions.  Products that appear safe will confuse you and you may inevitably try them out of desperation.  These products can cause a reaction because of the hidden corn derivatives used in the cleaning, processing, manufacturing and even packaging.  Be careful. Ask questions. Do your research.

Bookmark and read these posters and pamphlets from different Corn Grower Associations.  It could save your health and life.

It Begins With A Kernel

In A World Without Corn

Corn Uses Poster

Good Things Come From Corn

Additional Corn Free Basics from Kristy @ LivingItUpCornFree

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Corn Allergy

Where will I find corn?  I mean, is it only in food or is it in other places?

Is corn labeled like the other allergens?

  • No.  Corn is not labeled like the “Top 8 Allergens” (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, wheat, soy), which is what makes it so difficult to avoid.
  • Corn derivatives are used in processing of meat (both conventional and organic),  fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables, added to bottled water, fruit juices, baby food, milk (both organic and non), coffee, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, deodorant, and the list goes on.

So, how do I tell if corn is in a product?

  • You will need to familiarize yourself with the names of corn and corn derivatives, which I will call “hidden corn.”
  • Declared Corn / Zea Mays:
    • Zea Mays
    • Corn
    • Maize
    • Zein
    • Cornstarch
    • Cornflour
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup
    • Corn Syrup
    • Corn solids
    • Corn sweetener
    • Corn oil
    • Corn alcohol
    • Corn gluten
    • Popcorn
    • Corn Meal
    • Corn Extract
    • Hydrolized Corn
    • Hydrolized Corn Protein
    • Malt Syrup from Corn
    • Modified Cornstarch

So, if I eliminate corn from my diet will this be enough?

  • For some individuals it will be enough.
  • For some individuals it seems to be enough and a few months later they will have unexplained reactions, then a further elimination is needed.
  • For most corn allergic individuals, the short answer is no.  Most individuals need to further remove corn from their toiletries, cleaning supplies, environment (fumes), and medications.  Fumes mean anything that is designed to have a scent.
  • Unfortunately, there is no set guideline with this and it varies with each individual and sensitivity level.

In what ways are corn and corn derivatives used in toiletries, household cleaning supplies, environment, and medications?

What exactly do you mean by toiletries?

  • toothpaste
  • deodorant (Make your own)
  • soap / hand soap / liquid soap
  • shampoo / unscented and scented
  • conditioner / leave-in conditioner
  • lotion / unscented and scented
  • shaving cream
  • body creams
  • styling products
  • nail polish
  • nail polish remover
  • basic alcohol (for cuts and abrasions)
  • germ-x / hand sanitizer
  • wet wipes
  • perfumes
  • body mist/spray
  • toilet paper (Recent Toilet Paper Discussion from Delphi)
  • whatever else you use to prepare yourself for going out into the world…

What do you mean by household cleaning products?

  • Multi purpose cleaner
  • Paper Towels
  • Tissue
  • Glass/Window Cleaner
  • Laundry Detergent, laundry odor eliminator,
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Carpet Deodorizer
  • Wood cleaner
  • Spray Starch
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Shower Build-up Cleaner
  • Floor cleaner
  • Floor Dusting material/paper
  • Air Refresher
  • Clothing Refresher
  • Dusting spray aids
  • Laundry beads (ANYTHING that’s “unstoppable”)
  • White Vinegar is Corn

How is corn used in medications?

  • Corn is used as an excipient.
  • Click here to check the ingredients of your prescriptive and over-the-counter (OTC) medication
  • Corn Uses Poster 
  • Good Things Come From Corn
  • This is a link to my Medications Page.  It is very important to find a compounded pharmacist and an MD who understand the use of corn derivatives in over the counter (OTC) and prescription medications and who are willing to write and fill/compound/make corn and corn derivative free prescriptions.
  • Article discussing allergic reaction to excipients
  • Corn is the excipient of choice in most over the counter and prescriptions drugs
    • propylene glycol
    • cellulose (could be made from wood)
    • lactic acid (could be made from dairy)
    • methylcellulose
    • manitol
    • sorbitol
    • magnesium stearate
    • dextrose
    • glucose
    • tocopherol
    • xylitol
    • ethyl*
    • the list goes on…
  • “Multiple pharmaceutical products contain excipients, or additive chemicals, to improve stability, bioavailability, antimicrobial activity, or palatability. Two of the most common excipients are propylene glycol and parabens.”
  • Be aware of pitfalls in a hospital setting
    • Intravenous  fluids containing glucose and dextrose are problematic for corn allergic/intolerant individuals.
    • Request Saline Only IV
    • Probable Anaphylactic Reaction to Corn-Derived Dextrose IV
    • Intravenous fluids in hospital need a carrier vehicle.
    • Propylene glycol is a colorless, odorless liquid thought to be a harmless carrier vehicle…  It is present in multiple IV drug preparations frequently used by anesthesiologists and other physicians; these drugs include lorazepam, diazepam, etomidate, digoxin, phenytoin, nitroglycerin, hydralazine, esmolol, phenobarbital, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and chlordiazepoxide. Propylene glycol is also found in myriad gels and other products used frequently by medical personnel, including gels contained in electrocardiogram electrodes, for ultrasound examinations, and even alcohol-based hand-cleansing preparations.
      • Propylene glycol can be made from corn.
    • Band-aids, the adhesive could be derived from corn.
    • Alcohol swabs.  I’m not sure if the isopropyl alcohol is derived from corn or not.  I can only speak from experience in that this alcohol causes shortness of breath, makes my skin burn and I experience a terrible rash at the contact area and surrounding areas.
    • Hand sanitizer.  Has the same effect as the alcohol swab.

Is corn in drinking alcohol and beer?

  • Go here to see how corn derivatives are used in the making of alcoholic beverages
  • Short answer…  Yes.
    • Unmodified starch
    • Maltodextrin
    • Glucose Syrup
    • Dextrose
    • High Fructose Corn Syrup
    • Ethanol
    • Organic Acids
    • Fermentation
  • Corn Uses Poster 
  • Good Things Come From Corn
  • Many alcoholic beverages sold in the US are grain alcohol.
  • Alcohol is made by fermentation.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer)
  • “The basic ingredients of beer are water; a starch source, such as malted barley, able to be saccharified (converted to sugars) then fermented (converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide); a brewer’s yeast to produce the fermentation; and a flavouring such as hops.[43] A mixture of starch sources may be used, with a secondary starch source, such as maize (corn), rice or sugar, often being termed an adjunct, especially when used as a lower-cost substitute for malted barley.[44] “
  • I do not drink alcohol.  I have not done very much research into this matter.  If you have any additional question, please comment below and I will delve into this more.

Is corn used in cigarettes?

Is corn in building/remodeling supplies?

Is corn used in craft/art supplies?

  • Yes.
  • Corn Uses Poster 
  • Good Things Come From Corn
  • Corn is used in
    • Paints,
    • Crayons,
    • Paper,
    • Cardboard,
    • Glue, Adhesives
    • Balloons
    • Book Binding
    • Printing ink
  • Easiest thing is to make your own products.  I will provide links to making your own craft products as I perfect each one.
  • Link to Crayon Blog Post
  • Link to Glue Blog post
  • Link to Chalk Blog Post

Is corn used in baby products, including food and formula?

  • Unfortunately, corn is used in almost all baby products on the market
  • Corn and corn derivatives are used in:
    • Baby formula
    • baby food
    • baby snack food
    • baby juice
    • baby wipes
    • disposable diapers
    • butt creams
    • pedialyte
    • fever reducing medication, OTC and prescription
    • teething ointments and gels
    • ointments
    • colic/anti-colic medicines (both prescriptions, homeopathic, and OVC)
    • appliques on some babies clothing
    • baby lotion
    • baby soap
    • Baby toys can be made from corn
    • baby toy animals can use a corn stuffing to fill them
    • baby clothing (including buttons) can be made from corn
    • baby serving ware (plates, bowls, cups, utensils) can be made from corn
    • filling for mattresses and sheets can be made from corn
    • Corn Uses Poster 
    • Good Things Come From Corn
  • Safe Baby Items:  Personal Care Items I Currently use
  • Safe Baby Items:  Baby Items I currently use

What are some ways corn is used in the production and distribution of animal protein (meat/protein: beef, chicken, lamb, duck, eggs, etc.)?

  • Corn in the processing, production and manufacturing of meat
  • Corn is often used
    • In the feed of animals
    • Citric acid and lactic acid (corn derivatives) are often used to wash the carcasses of the animals
    • Vinegars containing corn derivatives are also used to wash the carcasses
    • Meat Packaging is often dusted with corn starch
    • Soaker Pads, located under the meat, are often soaked in citric acid to preserve freshness
  • Corn Uses Poster 
  • Good Things Come From Corn
  • KOL Foods lamb and beef is safe during Passover only

What are some ways corn is used in fresh produce, vegetables and fruits?

  • Corn derivatives are used on fresh and frozen produce.
    • Fresh produce is often with a cleaner, or veggie wash, before being set out for purchase.  The cleaner/veggie was usually contains a corn derivative.
    • Fresh produce can be gassed to aid in ripening the fruit/vegetables.
    • Fresh produce can be waxed to improve its appearance.  The wax is typically derived from corn.
    • Pesticides and Herbicides used in the field can be problematic for the corn avoider.
  • If at all possible, it is better to buy locally, grown organic produce.  You will have the opportunity to interview the farmer and ask about any cross-contamination issues that might exists.
  • Frequent Farmer’s markets during the Spring/Summer/Fall.  Can, Dehydrate, Freeze food for winter
  • Start your own garden.

Are all Organic or “Natural” foods corn free?

 —

Corn-Free Foods, Products, and Grocery Store Lists

Blog post concerning “Corn Free” or “No Corn” on labels of foods, supplements, etc.

How is corn used in feminine items?

Are corn derivative used in vaccines?

How to clear/clean corn out of your home and life?

  • Everything in your medicine cabinet, cupboard, refrigerator, freezer, laundry room, bathroom, kitchen, garage, etc. should come under scrutiny when you are attempting to avoid corn.
  • Corn and corn derivatives are everywhere.  Corn and corn derivatives are in everything.  I am not trying to scare you, but I do want to make sure you understand that one point.

Other places corn and corn derivatives are used:

  • Corn is used in textiles.  Textiles includes clothing, sheets, comforters, yarn, etc.
  • Corn in furniture.  Varnishes, paints, cork board, etc.
  • Corn in the office.  Paper products, hand sanitizers, soaps, air refresheners, etc.
  • Corn in plastics.  Some plastics are made from corn.
  • Corn can be used in bakeware, rubber, shoes, tires, polyurethane foam, explosives, fireworks, leather, batteries, candles, matches, typewriter ribbon, printer ink, fuel, trash bags, briquettes, antiobiotics, enzymes, insecticides, pharmaceuticals, surgical dressings, adhesives, gums pastes, dyes, oilcloth, printing, sizing material, windowshades, straws, bookbinding, parchmant, wallpaper, invalid feeding, filters, rice and coffee polish, and every single food imaginable.

Corn Allergy Research.  Scientific articles and case studies concerning corn allergy.

Bookmark and read these posters and pamphlets from different Corn Grower Associations.  It could save your health and life.

It Begins With A Kernel

In A World Without Corn

Corn Uses Poster

Good Things Come From Corn

27 thoughts on “New to Corn Allergy

      • Wash your shower!! because smells can stick to the walls and linger. And walking into someone else’s bathroom just isnt a good idea, especially when it’s still hot after a shower. Or past their house when they are showering! Or doing laundry…or cooking…..
        I have found, after reading your research on castille soap, that scrubbing the shower down with Dr. Brommers definitely helped clear my reactiveness, after guests stayed at our house!

        The only other thing I can think of is….
        …..That you can react to your sweetheart!! I think sometimes people forget that cleaning their own products isn’t always enough. And if you live with someone or are dating someone, snuggling into their arms isn’t a good idea if they use any corny products!
        ALL the way down to, as you said, condoms, chapstick, lotion, deodorant, and cologne. I put it this way:
        “If you think about it…corn is currently closer to me than you are!”

        Other people I think have been the biggest challenge thus far, because advocacy can definitely sometimes come off as being bull-headed,
        and other people can be fiercely protective of their soap….

        (damn axe…)

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    • Hi Jennifer,

      I think it would be best to get an organic cotton mattress, made to order that has organic wool as the natural fire retardant. We opted for an organic cotton mattress that has no wool, no latex, no foam and no chemicals. We were forced to get a doctors prescription but it is worth it. There are companies available that offer these mattresses. The company we used is Whitelotus.net. We caught the mattress on sale (45% OFF) and scored free shipping, that made it sort of reasonable. There are other companies around that offer these products. I would say take to Google and see where the search leads you. Search: organic cotton mattress, flame retardant free.

      If you’re up to it, you can also make your own mattress. Search: make your own organic cotton mattress.

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  5. Thank you for all the helpful info, it has been a chore convincing my husband that this ‘new’ allergy is just as difficult to deal with as the milk allergy.

  6. I am so glad I stumbled onto your site. I am feeling so overwhelmed at this point. I recently tested 3+ for corn gluten sensitivity. It is highly suggested that I avoid all corn. I also tested positive to a lesser degree for many other foods as well. I am also suspecting that I have a leaky gut. I guess what I want to know is after I have healed my gut is there any possibility that the corn gluten sensitivity will lessen or go away completely? Is this life long? What scares me is being hospitalized or needing antibiotics or any other meds that can’t or won’t be compounded.

    • Hi Stephanie, sorry for the late reply. Everyone is so very different. You body may react and respond different after gut healing is achieved than someone else with the exact same reactions and corn sensitivity. I’m really sorry, but I don’t think I can really answer your question.

  7. I heard from the head chemist of Sierra Nevada Beer. I am allergic to milk, eggs and corn; Sierra Nevada uses none of these products. (They have a milky beer, but milk is in the title of the beer)

  8. Just wondering as corn seems to be in everything and I know u are giving a guideline but how are u supposed to live in 21st century If u avoid everything on this list it’s just not possible! I understand the food part but the cleaning products, furniture etc?

  9. Thanks for the information. I have found that the longer I go with out corn the worse it gets, now I am having issues with traveling because eatting out is getting harder as well as the sheets in the rooms seem to make me itch.

    • Avoiding is difficult, especially eating out and traveling. Would it be possible to bring your own sheets to the hotel? Possibly call a few restaurants before arriving and try to work with the chefs before hands, to have a less corny meal? I realize how time consuming this would be, but it might be worth it if you are becoming for sensitive.

      • Yea we have just bought new sheets and towels to carry, as well as trying to stick the same restaurants that we know will not make me sick.

  10. Hi, I was recently diagnosed with corn sensitivity and told to avoid corn Today, I felt like I had a reaction after having hummus from whole foods. I thought maybe it was the canola oil. As I looked further, I saw citric acid and what that is today and that it’s derived from corn. Could something like that cause a headache and issues in a person who is allergic to corn and mold? Not to mention, it’s really gross how they make it. Thanks for all of the incredible information and resources I this site! I appreciate all of your time and effort.

    • Hi Carole. Short answer: yes citric acid can. I don’t know too many corn allergic people who use rapeseed/canola oil. If you seem to do fine with it, then by all means continue.

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