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GlutenFreeManna

Corn Intolerance?

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I think I may be developing a mild corn intolerance. Lately I have noticed I have heartburn after I eat corn items--mostly corn chips or corn tortillas. Sometimes it is so bad I cough until I cough up what I have just eaten. It only seems to happen if I eat large amounts of corn like corn chips or multple sources of corn in one days (tacos, corn bread, etc). Strangely I have not had any trouble with popcorn or fresh corn on the cob. I was just wondering for those of you with a corn intolerance do these symptoms match yours or is this and indication of something else if I'm not yet reacting to all forms of corn?

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A study was done in the late 1970's that indicated that around 40% of celiacs react to corn, about the same amount as react to oats. Oats were out, but corn was not for some reason. (The corn lobby is a very powerful force.) My daughter and I both can not tolerate corn, but my daughter is corn-allergic. My reaction to corn didn't start until after I healed my intestine by going gluten-free. I do fine with oats however.

Intolerances have such a variety of symptoms, but what you are describing could very well be that. They are different than my symptoms, but the same as I have heard about from others. My corn-intolerance has gotten worse the more years I have been gluten-free. I also used to be fine with popcorn and cut corn or corn on the cob, but now, it all bothers me. The hardest part of being a corn-intolerant celiac is that so many gluten-free items use cornstarch as a substitute flour. That means a lot of gluten-free items are off our shopping lists. I wish manufacturers would take notice and eliminate corn like they do oats.

Michelle

Western Washington State

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A study was done in the late 1970's that indicated that around 40% of celiacs react to corn, about the same amount as react to oats. Oats were out, but corn was not for some reason. (The corn lobby is a very powerful force.) My daughter and I both can not tolerate corn, but my daughter is corn-allergic. My reaction to corn didn't start until after I healed my intestine by going gluten-free. I do fine with oats however.

Intolerances have such a variety of symptoms, but what you are describing could very well be that. They are different than my symptoms, but the same as I have heard about from others. My corn-intolerance has gotten worse the more years I have been gluten-free. I also used to be fine with popcorn and cut corn or corn on the cob, but now, it all bothers me. The hardest part of being a corn-intolerant celiac is that so many gluten-free items use cornstarch as a substitute flour. That means a lot of gluten-free items are off our shopping lists. I wish manufacturers would take notice and eliminate corn like they do oats.

Michelle

Western Washington State

Thank you for your reply Michelle. I have so many other allergies/intolerances I really hope I don't have to start avoiding corn too. I think i will just cut back on it for now. I have read many stories about how hard it is to avoid. Fortunately I already cook most everything from scratch, don't use regular table salt, and don't use very many gluten-free subs. However my husband loves his Mexican food and I have not been able to find a gluten-free brown rice tortilla that doesn't make me sick. Giving up tortillas, tortilla chips and popcorn would be the hardest for me but I would do it if I had to. This reaction is no where near what I suffer from gluten, however. Oats on the other hand do make me as sick as gluten. I can't even use any of the Bob's Red Mill products because they are manufactured in the same facility with gluten-free oats. A while back I answered a questionaire for Enjoy Life foods that asked if Oats were considered gluten-free and I explained no they were not tolerated by some celiacs. They seem to have heeded the feedback on oats but not all gluten-free companies are aware that oats can be a problem.

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My reaction to corn is the exact same response I have to wheat gluten. Except with corn I also get an allergic response like very itchy skin. My daughter gets severe hives. I've tried to cut out all forms of corn. A couple of weeks ago I was making some coconut flour muffins and decided to test baking powder. My daughter and I both came down with severe "colds" the next day with symptoms that lingered for a week or more. Coincidence? Who knows for sure.

As a previous poster wrote, the corn lobby is very powerful. I'm of the mind now that perhaps the original recommendation was that people who were diagnosed celiac should not eat any grains, and somewhere along the line that directive got watered down. I think we're up against some very powerful lobbies here that are drowning out some research. Here's what I do know...corn is one of those foods that a lot of people cannot tolerate.

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Within 30 minutes of eating something containing corn my stomach swells and hurts so bad I contemplate going to the ER, this lasts about 3 hours. Right after that my eyes and nose itch and burn and my throat feels sticky and I cough a lot. The next morning I will feel exhausted and like I have a cold, complete with runny nose, itchy eyes and sore throat. I will be extra sensitive to any scents (perfume, candles, shampoo, laundry soap) and the itchy bloodshot eyes will last a couple of days. I will also get a spot on my scalp that flakes and itches like no other. Yeah, I avoid corn at all costs.

Be aware: you might be reacting more than you know. Your rice flour tortillas probably have xanthan gum in them which is/can be a corn product. Citric acid can be derived from corn and is found in a lot of random things.

I'd be extra careful with it for sure. I went from reacting constantly to it for years without knowing it (who would have guessed corn caused "chemical sensitivities"??) to reacting so badly it was almost hospital worthy once I cut out gluten, dairy and soy. And honestly, you can still eat and eat good without corn. :) See my profile for a link to my food blog. Potato starch is a good sub for cornstarch in baked products btw. There are almost no gluten free products that I can eat because of the soy, dairy and corn stuff added in. (and Namaste insists that they're corn free, but I had a horrible reaction that could have only been their product....and I know others that have reacted as well.)

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Thank you both for sharing your reactions. Wow! Those reactions are how I react to gluten, oats and quinoa (my quinoa reaction is actually worse than a gluten reaction). I guess I should be thankful my reaction to corn is not that severe yet. Did you have the same experience with corn that many people have with gluten where your reactions got more severe after eliminating it? I guess what I'm asking is if I cut it out completely will I be more sensitive to corn cc? Because right now I do not react to small amounts. I'm sort of torn on whether to cut it out or just cut back on it or have it on a rotational basis.

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Yes; I knew I was corn and soy sensitive before I quit gluten, but it ws always an inconvenience, not a real bother. After quitting gluten, my soy and corn reactions have become much more severe, and I now am intolerant of nightshades and citrus too, as well as quinoa and other grains. The lectins in these foods now give me atrial fibrillation from the excessive gas and bloating putting pressure on my heart and lungs. I know, sounds crazy, but it is what it is :blink: Before that reaction developed the pressure used to make me faint (vasovagal syncope).

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I became corn-intolerant after I went gluten-free. My reactions are similar to gluten reactions. The hardest adjustment for me is that almost every packaged/processed food has corn as an ingredient, so I have to make all of my own food. It's time-intensive.

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>Strangely I have not had any trouble with popcorn or fresh corn on the cob

If you can eat corn on the cob, then it is unlikely to be a corn intolerance. It is more likely to be very low level CC with gluten or another ingredient in the processed food. It would be very interesting to use a home gluten test kit on the items that are causing difficulties. There are 3 different forums on the web that compile gluten test results.

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>Strangely I have not had any trouble with popcorn or fresh corn on the cob

If you can eat corn on the cob, then it is unlikely to be a corn intolerance. It is more likely to be very low level CC with gluten or another ingredient in the processed food. It would be very interesting to use a home gluten test kit on the items that are causing difficulties. There are 3 different forums on the web that compile gluten test results.

I USED to be able to eat corn on the cob when I couldn't eat corn chips or corn tortillas. Must have been something do do with the processing, I guess. Now - no corn at all.

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>Strangely I have not had any trouble with popcorn or fresh corn on the cob

If you can eat corn on the cob, then it is unlikely to be a corn intolerance. It is more likely to be very low level CC with gluten or another ingredient in the processed food. It would be very interesting to use a home gluten test kit on the items that are causing difficulties. There are 3 different forums on the web that compile gluten test results.

Thank you! Based on everyone else's descriptions of their intolerance I think your suggestion is most likely. I am very sensitive to gluten cc. The last time I got a large amount of gluten by accident I coughed until I threw up. That seems to be what is happening with the corn but it is more subtle and delayed. And I don't have any effects for days afterward like I do with gltuen. My last suspected corn reaction was to Fritos which are made of only: corn, corn oil and salt. They were the only thing I ate for a mid-day snack while running errands. I was heading home around lunch time about two hours after eating the corn chips when I started to have mild heart burn and coughing. Suddenly I could not stop coughing and I coughed the corn chips up all over myself while driving. It was aweful. Fortunately I was not far from home so I only had to drive a few blocks like that (no where to pull over and clean up). Anyway I have had similar incidents while just at home in which I had to run to the bathroom or a trash can because I was coughing so hard I coughed up the corn chips. It's not always with Fritos however. I have eaten Fritos other times and been fine. It has also happened with homemade corn muffins and Mission corn tortillas--which I know are made in a facility with no wheat anywhere. perhaps it had to do with my not having had anythign else besides the corn chips? Could it just be too much carbs or too much salt? I guess I need to stick with eating almonds and other nuts for my salty snacks instead.

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I USED to be able to eat corn on the cob when I couldn't eat corn chips or corn tortillas. Must have been something do do with the processing, I guess. Now - no corn at all.

:( I will keep that in mind. So sad to give up my corn snacks but if it will help prevent a worse reaction later I might have to do that. Thanks for sharing your experience Mushroom.

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.... It's not always with Fritos however. I have eaten Fritos other times and been fine. It has also happened with homemade corn muffins and Mission corn tortillas--which I know are made in a facility with no wheat anywhere. perhaps it had to do with my not having had anythign else besides the corn chips? Could it just be too much carbs or too much salt? I guess I need to stick with eating almonds and other nuts for my salty snacks instead.

I gave up eating Fritos a couple years ago. I don't have a corn intolerance, but they made me sick so no point eating them. The only chips I eat now are Food Should Taste Good chips. They have some flavors that are GFCFSF.

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I would also recommend Garden of Eatin' - they are the only chips my celiac niece will eat. I have eaten them in the past and they taste good.

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TY both for the reccomendations. I have eaten both of those brands of chips in the past and liked them. FSTG chips unfortunately are hard to find in my local stores, but Garden of Eatin I can find in several stores. I love the blue corn ones. :)

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I've been off off of wheat since 2001. In the last couple of years, I would occassionally have severe celiac-like symptoms, without eating gluten. At first, I thought it was from cross-contamination. But, then the pattern became clear that it happened whenever I ate corn. I'm so sensitive now that if I have six ounces of Coke, the corn syrup in it makes me stay up all night in excrutiating abdominal pain.

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are you sure it isn't the caffeine?  coffee destroys me - haven't tried any coke (don't like it anyway) since i have been gluten-free.  you could be right, though, many people are sensitive to corn.

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