I got better from going wheat free. After a couple of years, maybe three or four, I dared fate and ate some bread. (I just couldn't resist it.) I didn't have an immediate reaction, so I kept eating it. I gradually built up a reaction again. This began first with lots of gas, and then later on the cramping and diarrhea. And of course I had to go off of wheat again.
Then, maybe a year later, I had a sudden full-blown gluten reaction. That for me means terrible cramping, some incredibly painful pooping with yellow poop, that eventually turns into total diarrhea and what seems like a complete emptying of my guts. It takes a while, like an hour or two, but it is then over. Usually. That would be if I have just eaten something at one meal or something like that.
I went to a new GI, as I didn't really have one. I told him I was completely perplexed, as I had given up wheat, gotten much better, then eaten wheat, gotten sick, then given it up again, and gotten better. And then, suddenly, in the last week I had had what I considered to be a full-blown gluten reaction, while I had not touched anything with wheat gluten in it. I did mention that I had been eating lots of popcorn, which was one of my all-time favorite snack foods, and that I had always snacked on it, with lots of butter. Yumm!
Without missing a beat, basically, he said my problem was probably corn, that there was a protein in corn that physically resembled the protein in gluten, and that thus there could be a "cross sensitivity" in some people.
Elsewhere on this site I have read that there is no such thing as a corn "cross sensitivity." But I cannot eat any corn products, whatsoever. And when I do, the reaction I get is not just a food allergy type reaction, where I might get hives. No, it is a gluten-type reaction, where my guts go crazy and I have tons of gas and agonizing poops that turn to total diarrhea.
I don't always get the hives, but sometimes I do. This could be from eating a food product that has maltodextrin in it, or any other such corn-derived substance.
From what the doc said, I have the impression that a) this is indeed a cross-sensitivity; and it is not at all uncommon.
Is it not a cross-sensitivity? If not, what would be the difference? Why do I have a gluten-like reaction to it? And while I say it is the same, it is not quite as bad. I think it might be, say, 80 percent of the horror of a reaction to wheat gluten. Which, by the way, I do not have when I stumble, as I am very good at avoiding wheat, but not nearly so good at avoiding corn. So a little bit of a corn-derived product will make me sick, whereas a similar wheat product will not immediately make me that sick, as I do not have those antibodies running around anymore. It took me a while to figure this out. but I finally did, when I ate some real wheat quite by mistake, with no reaction. I now know from experience that I would eventually react, but it does take a while if one has not had any wheat gluten in a few years. But since corn products are EVERYWHERE! it is much harder to avoid, and thus I have immediate reactions to it all the time. I just cannot seem to get it out of my diet altogether. I mean, it is in everything.