Corn-Tamination Alert Graphics

Slide 02/03 – Food… Well the first few things…

I wished I knew what I know now back when I started my corn allergy journey. Essentially discovered in 2014 but changes really didn’t start happening hardcore until about a year or so later when I began really learning from my corn allergy support group on facebook just how much corn was dusting me in every aspect of my life. I’d find myself overwhelmed with the responses in the group on questions or even just some of the answers – they were laden with not so pleasant undertones and how I was hurting myself with corn without knowing it. There are different levels of sensitivity listed out in the group, in which we’re supposed to read some lengthy articles and just get it as to where we fall on the spectrum of sensitivity.

It’s a rough ride learning some of the in’s and outs of this allergy and in some cases, depending on your sensitivity level, it’s completely isolating. Emotionally destabilizing and very hard to mentally wrap your head around when you’re used to fast paced social life revolved around work and drama. You’d had no clue about any kind of allergy life before this happened to you and maybe you yourself were a little insensitive to the sensitive people in the world. You’re about to be on a journey to humility my friend. The horror stories I’d read over from other people would send me into a panic – so many stories starting off like what I was dealing with at the time and where they ended up was just so scary to me. I’d spent my life getting a degree in an industry that really didn’t allow me time for food preparation homestead style…and it was really looking like that was where I was heading.

For me all the reading on the cornallergygirl.com site has been a bit overwhelming and I’ve mentally shut down due to information overload on several occasions, falling into deep depressions. While the information is very helpful in understanding the why it is still very overwhelming none the less for someone who struggled to retain information anyway all her life. The site was and still is laid out with wonderful and in depth explanations on a lot of things.

I think in the simplest of terms, what I’m about to lay out here would have really helped me avoid losing a lot of money and wasted energy, effort, and time. If I can help a few who are just starting out like I was and are social butterflies with a social life, work, school, etc. This allergy can come in like a wrecking ball and completely derail every aspect of your social life while you’re trying to figure out the plethora of anomalies and symptoms you may be experiencing, from hives and actual allergy responses to brain fog and mood swings all the way over to stomach upset and feeling like you’re just ‘off’ and out of it, colicky and plain out fatigued. Maybe even constantly getting sick and having to call out of work, like I did.

Maybe your circle of friends aren’t as great as you think they are now that you have this allergy. You might find you’re not surrounded with supportive family or friends that even believe you… Because you don’t need an EpiPen, they might mistakenly encourage you to have “A little, it won’t hurt that bad!”, when in fact, over time, yes it will! Trust me when I say this: DO NOT DO IT! Do not fall victim to peer pressure or even hunger pings that draw you to Subway or Chipotle even…especially if you’re seriously trying to get your health right and recover the damages done from developing the allergy and what it’s done to your gut health.

Your body cannot break down what it is intolerant to and it cannot process it either and even if it does, it may even do as my body does and still use the ‘building blocks’ from the corn derivative laden foods where then your body starts acting like it has an autoimmune disorder and attacking the very flesh and elements it’s just used those ‘building blocks’ in leaving you feeling like you have the flu and can’t move amongst a plethora of other inconveniences such as chronic yeast infections, inflammation, pain and so much more. Sinus infections left and right with a plethora of anomalies with your lymph nodes. These are considered delayed type reactions or biphasic from my understanding.

Sometimes it’s right away and other times I’ll get hives the next day after eating something and won’t have the food poisoning reaction until the next day as well. The symptoms are not always baseline textbook definition from your allergist. Take mine for example, he had me convinced I had some kind of lymphoma cancer before I figured out that all the corn laden medicine and foods were the real problem for me. Once I eliminated all medications and habits of eating processed, packaged and fast foods…my health flipped around really quick in a positive way.

All the energy in the world, no sleep disturbances and mental clarity occurred for me like never before in my life once I went corn derivative free. Topically (hygiene products/hair/etc) 85% corn free, and about 99% diet wise. I have my days where I’ll risk that *Asterisk ingredient item if I see that others in my Allergy Support group have had luck trialing that item with that ingredient in it.

So, with no further ado, I’ll elaborate on my next few slides with more elaboration from my angle. I must remind everyone who comes to my site for information graphics or to reference my story regarding this allergy that in no way shape or form am I a healthcare professional. This has been my personal experience, survival and journey with this allergy. I strongly encourage you to do in depth research and tailor your findings to your own unique situation. No two people are the same and no two people with a corn allergy have the same exact symptoms even though a lot of us can relate on many things such as brain fog, hives, itching, eczema, gut health balance issues, chronic yeast infections, migraines and headaches, amongst a litany of other issues we do share, the way they hit us individually can vary and differ greatly from person to person.

I simply wish to share my story, lessons and hope to help someone else out there save a few bucks and days out of bed. This allergy is expensive and short cuts are so tempting but so not worth it if you really want to get better and be your best self. I’ll be touching base on emotional health as well through out my posts on this topic – it has been a huge hurdle for me as well. I, after all, had to drop my entire life when I realized what all I really needed to do to get my health in order. I could not be working 60+ hours a week with no amount of future forecasting for my schedule available. I had to go from independent woman to asking for help on things I used to do for myself, and that got like that because I was being stubborn trying to maintain a lifestyle that went against the necessities of my health.

Eating out, this one is a tough one to drop when you develop this allergy. This is a total lifestyle changer when you’re working in the office environment or a fast paced high capacity and expectation job. Your meetings surround food, your team building events surround food. Your quick pace job requires eating on the fly with no time for your kitchen prep. Everything surrounds food. Food you can’t have if you want to be safe.

You might be blessed to have an understanding workplace who will try to make special accommodations, or you may not be so lucky and be the center of taunts or find yourself outcasted. What I really want to point at here is that the perspective chosen and how you manage the way other people respond to this change, can be a make or breaking point for you. No matter which end of the spectrum you’re on, the responsibility to safeguard yourself is truly your own.

At a glance, looking back on my journey in 2014 after discovering this allergy, I didn’t actually weed out all the corn. I used to be average and normal. I used to drink Foldgers coffee on the daily, maybe an energy drink here and there. I’d eat Wendy’s on the weekly, a salad or a sandwich. I’d eat Subway or Chipotle, even Taco Bell from time to time. Fancy restaurants were a must for me for the dating game too! After all, I was in my early 20’s when this all started to happen to me.

The bar was almost a daily place of worship for me too when I hit 21, and honestly I can remember that being when things started going downhill health wise. The hives became more apparent, rapidly as I turned 22 and 23. I just…didn’t quite put the dots together yet in 2014. I’d just found the support group in November that year, had found the corn allergy girl site a few months after that. I was living a fast pace life with my career at its peak for me to really go somewhere.

I’d just found an amazing place to work with benefits and amazing people, but little did I know that this allergy would literally ostracize me out over the course of the next few years…especially as I started really eliminating everything on the Corn Allergy trigger list I had found at the time. I wished I’d of started sooner on eliminating everything instead of being stubborn and keeping some things in for the sake of social settings. It did more damage than good, both for my mental and physical health.

Lets take a look at that graphic again about eating out below with the list next to it after I explain a few things I’ve discovered…Chipotle can be a safe place to eat for corn lite individuals, but cross contamination is always going to be there. Sensitivity levels vary and some people can get away and deal with their symptoms without backlash. I’m not one of those people unfortunately, and for me most of my reactions are biphasic or delayed but definitely not mild and not worth the exposures. I get brain fog which will result in mood swings and temperament changes due to inflammation that occurs. Not to mention the chronic pain can be debilitating for me. It will attack my nerves and inflame my back, aggravating old injuries and making me sluggish like an elder on their death bed. My lymph nodes will swell for almost a month before waning into a painless little nodule again, and that’s if I manage not to get corned again.

There is something called the “Bucket” theory with allergies, and this is where I feel I fall into a category that I can speak on. Let me run down a weeks worth of my journal back in 2014 in summary here: Let’s say you have something with corn in it on Monday, you feel fine that day. Nothing happens. You shrug it off and continue on your normal ways, thinking maybe the doctors tests aren’t so accurate…but to play it safe you just avoid anything obviously corn like pop corn and corn syrup.

Tuesday comes around, you have your coffee and international delight creamer, you feel a little off but nothing major, maybe it’s just dust in the air or bad air quality? Shrug it off and continue on your norm, stop by Subway for a quick sandwich on your way to work and later you end up in the bathroom a little more often than meets normal expectation later that day. Nothing abnormal right? (if I were paying attention to my stool, I’d have realized something was very wrong) Carry on, Wednesday comes around and you’re feeling a little under the weather, maybe a sinus infection is coming on? Pressure in your face and hard to breathe just a bit. A headache might be pressing on into a mild migraine and the bathroom trips are 5+ a day. You pop some OTC meds to help.

Thursday comes around and you’re doing your normal routine, drinking your Folgers coffee and eating that morning donut at the office with coworkers and friends. There’s no corn in a donut! Right? Mmm…everything you’ve been eating all week has had hidden corn derivatives in it. Even that Mucinex you’re taking to clear up that congestion on your chest and that Sudafed you’re taking to clear up that pressure in your face. It’s been slowly eating your stomach lining away all week…actually for a lot longer but you know…this is within a weeks worth of record keeping.

Once your ‘bucket’ is full, the real hive reactions start to set in.

For me, alcohol drinking was the cherry atop my reaction cake that would draw it out to a noticeable level as you can see in this picture to the left here. My friend at the time, now husband, stopped me and took a photo to show me what I looked like. He was concerned I wasn’t taking my allergy seriously – he’d seen some of the posts about beer too in the allergy group. after-all, the very same ones I’d disregarded as foo foo. No way! How stubborn I was and regret being.

I didn’t know that Blue Moon beer was chalk full of corn derivatives and fillers. Matter of fact, every beer I loved to drink was corn laden. My favorite mixed drinks, every bit of it was pushing me closer to an anaphylactic reaction. It’d be what caused my friends to notice and say something to me…and led me to quit drinking because it started becoming very obvious that the ‘bucket’ theory that I would see time and time again mentioned in the Corn Allergy support group…really applied to me.

The hives would take over my face, my chest, my legs, my arms, everywhere. They didn’t hurt or itch much and in all honesty, I thought they were normal because of my ‘fair skin & red hair’ as I’d been told growing up that I had histamine responses to excitement and emotions. This is very true, but for me when drinking, that was not the case. I would later find that food poisoning would occur almost every single time I drank.

Yes I get hives when I get extremely angry or upset but not when I’m just having fun – that didn’t make sense if I had really sat down and thought about it. I had to learn to listen to my body on this journey – and that is hard to do because your body does not speak english or in a way that most of us will understand unless taught to do so. It takes a great deal of time, effort and, self care to really learn your body and what it wants and doesn’t want. This also requires a crap ton of research from all kinds of different angles, no bit of information on diet and health out there is all inclusive.

I’ve found taking parts of western medicine science and eastern medicine in combination to be most effective in gaining control of my health over the years. Western medical science just doesn’t cut it and misses a whole hell of a lot when it comes to your overall wellbeing and longevity, a lot of ‘bandaids’ over things that need ‘stitches’ and lifestyle changes and adjustments, mental shifts, etc. A doctor who is throwing pills or prescriptions at a corn allergy persons symptoms without looking into compounding for them only exacerbates their situation and symptoms further over the course of time, this is something I firmly believe and have experienced.

My rule of thumb is that if a medication has more side effects than you have symptoms, your best bet is to step back and look at your lifestyle and how you can better change it. When I started taking medications to help, what I didn’t know is that the corn derivatives were aggravating my lymphatic system causing the fluid to get pooled up – it’s your bodies immune system and allergies actually affect your immune system too after all. I’d wake up with golf balls in my neck, armpits and other places. The body can really be weird sometimes.

While these lymph nodes would disappear by the time I went to an ER or urgent care, they were alarmingly painful – not directly. The entire area around and close by was though, especially any joints within the vicinity of a swelling like this – my neck was constantly on fire. I still deal with this today but not nearly as swollen and noticeable to the naked eye or pain wise for me either.

I recall in my journal here that the moment I stopped taking even my birth control in 2019 I noticed even more results for the lymphadenopathy to dwindle down yet again. Pain levels were less noticeable.

The plethora of pills I used to use to manage insomnia, upset stomach, allergy response, sniffles and colds…all of it…waste of time. Use herbal teas and tinctures, eat healthy and clean. That’s what I learned. Those pills are not worth your money in most cases and serious health conditions are more often than not, rare. Your lifestyle alone can be the root cause of all your ailments. Diet knowledge is so powerful for health management, you have no idea how much I wish I could stress this. People along my journey have taunted and ridiculed me for being a clean eater, saying I’m missing out on all this ‘good food’ and ‘packaged goods’ – from what I’ve come to learn over the years, I’m dodging things that cause cancer, alter the mind neurons and considerably alters the way you deal with things.

Some of these derivatives have been found to cause neurological consequences over time with frequent consumption. It’s absolutely insane how much micro-dosing people get of all these chemicals without knowing it between their packaged foods and hygienic products too. I used to be so clueless too. Loved my perfumes and what not…

Labeling laws are a problem especially for people like myself as it does not protect us, but the manufacturers from us suing them for damages done by their lack of proper and transparent labeling. We simply have to learn to do and make our food ourselves to truly be safe…unfortunately with such a heavily monopolized and corporate ran society, this is becoming difficult if not almost impossible to achieve without going homestead style with your life – and that’s expensive all in itself. You can waste lots of money trialing packaged foods trying to find something that doesn’t have cross contamination – if your’e that sensitive like me… This is why I feel education is so important about this allergy and the uses of all these chemicals in our foods, it’s now more than just an allergy ordeal to me.

Let’s take a look at that graphic again with the allergy list next to it – let the gravity sink in about how those crazy long lists with the hard to pronounce ingredient items are used in just about everything from hygiene products to food… step back to realize that this is industry standard at play and there is really nothing that any one or small group of allergy people can change. It would take the entire population to collectively reject and redirect our suppliers to a new demand and change of product processing and processes or labeling laws in general.

Over the years I’ve gotten caught up in researching why corn is so widely used and there are people advocating to get it recognized as an allergy by the FDA – I mean…children failing to thrive because there aren’t a lot of options for formulas for mothers with corn allergic babies…that’s a reality. Painful one. You see some of the stories pop up in the support group and your heart just bleeds all over, like, you want so badly to save those babies and help those mommas. What can you do though? We’re not all located in one area and there isn’t a corn allergy people town we all go move to. Laughable notion, but something someone’s said to me over the years…in all reality there is nothing really that you can do other than be a support, learn and spread awareness about our situations. They have to figure out what to do just like you will and I have too. Make suggestions and research with them for items to trial – the longterm corn allergy folks really come to aide us newbies to this allergy who are struggling. My gratitude is indefinite for all their help over the years, even through the frustrating and not so kind moments and comments from others dealing with this same allergy.

Here’s a link to a petition that is ongoing, a simple google search will bring up a few that are floating around. If you’re down with our cause, go sign these petitions and help us gain traction in getting recognition.

https://www.change.org/p/please-help-parents-of-children-with-corn-allergies-add-corn-to-food-allergen-labeling-laws

https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/declare-corn-an-official

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/998/513/909/require-labeling-of-corn-products/

Raising awareness about this allergy and sharing my story with it’s struggles is the best I can offer to those who are coming into this lifestyle now. I know this is a lengthy read and a lot of information, but hopefully it helps someone out there. I wished someone had told me what I’m saying right here in this article.

The real meltdowns happen when you stop going out with friends, begin rejecting the invitations. The mental taxation begins when you go from being that girl everyone loved going to the bar with to shoot some pool, to that girl who is always sick and never leaves her house. I’d get comments like “You just need your own little island.” or “How do you live like that?” or “We just need to get you your own little bubble suit.” or “Don’t they make medicine that fixes that?” or “Can’t your doctor just give you allergy shots?” or “C’mon, just a little won’t hurt!” and peer pressure…oh the peer pressure.

No, no, and no, no, no, and hell no. Shots I tried, didn’t work, made things worse. Medications made things worse. Eating boxed foods and healthy labeled foods didn’t work or help. Made it worse. What didn’t make things worse was taking absolute control of my diet, thoughts, choices, and lifestyle. Telling people “NO” and sticking to the cleanest diet possible involving specific rice, carefully sourced or washed vegetables,, carefully sourced or washed fruits, grass fed beef, wild caught fish and avoiding anything that sees a mill or big processing plant. I had to learn how to cook in ways I never would have ever fathomed had I not developed this allergy…and boy have I had to conquer my hatred of cooking and burning water.

What did and has continued to work was understanding how the food industry and even other industries used corn and to what extent and varying degrees that I could be exposed and to avoid as much of it as financially possible, weeding out more and more as I figured out alternatives for things like hygiene products and creating on the go snacks. Food prepping. What did work was taking the time to eliminate everything and slowly reintroduce food back into my life. Yes, I did starve for a minute. It wasn’t fun. It was necessary though. My lowest weight I clocked in at was 122 lbs. I’m 5’7″ so that was a little…low. Especially when I’m used to being a thick girl!

In the next post I’ll really dive into the list and grocery shopping… oh the fun of shopping with that list in hand. That one…Is a tough one for me to talk about even today. I’ve had some of my worst meltdowns realizing some of my absolute favorite foods will never be a reality for me and some foods I’ll never get to try. This one I do struggle with perspective wise. Sometimes I’ll still go out and look for new products to trial – when I’m feeling risky. I have to make sure my bucket is relatively empty in order to avoid major reactions. A single sip or nibble with something with absorbic acid can cause my mouth to swell and tingle – and at what point will that turn into a need for an EpiPen for me? That’s always my concern. Will it continue to become more sensitive as I get older? I don’t know the answer to that but will continue to safeguard my health with my own personal responsibility in choosing what goes into my body so long as I’m consciously able to do so. While there can be truth and benefits to something being heavily marketed and pushed on the public, a broad spectrum lie is often pushed forward and accepted as truth or common and socially acceptable behavior or management of a situation, condition or otherwise.

I want to end this post with one final note about doctors: They work for you. If they are not listening to you, FIRE THEM AND HIRE ONE THAT DOES. You hire them to guide you, test analyze and translate those tests for you. They should not be pill salesmen. Pills are not fix it alls and honestly should be avoided as much as humanly possible if you do not have a rare genetic condition that requires medication. Be very weary of prescription medications and their level of necessity in your life or how their level of necessity gets marketed. Anything that gets heavily marketed has a ploy for making money…I have a degree in visual communications and there is a hefty level of public manipulation that occurs in advertising and marketing – you’ll notice that on your own hopefully if you dig into the research the way I have or have any understanding of marketing and visual communications.

If what you’re dealing with can be managed with a few key lifestyle changes – save your money from the prescriptions and invest it in better habits and lifestyle choices. Get that discipline down and also learn how to stand your ground on any given subject in your life, food or otherwise. It’s so empowering to realize how much you can control in your life and it is so very important for personal freedom and health. Society can feel like they are out to be cruel to those of us who cannot fall in line with the mainstream popular activities, especially when that is what we were into before this allergy hit. It’s not society really, but your view on it. This allergy can be a real life saver and keep you out of a lot of trouble. Perspective and choices are key on everything.

I also want to close with saying this: All feedback, advise, corrections and criticism is welcome on any part of my site and in my blogs. Corrections are welcomed and I look forward to feedback. I am a work in progress and cannot get better without feedback and critique. I will repeat again that I am not a medical professional and am speaking purely from my own personal point of view and understanding of information I’ve gathered over the years. I am merely regurgitating my own findings and sharing my personal experience with this allergy. This I can’t charge for because it needs to be out there – people need to know our stories. The more we corn allergy people are heard, the more people might care to help us change the industry. Aside from an allergy reason, we all deserve clear and honest labeling and understanding of what they do to our food we consume.

One last thing too…if you’re living with this and have a story to tell…get to it!! Your story matters and you are not alone. There are a lot of us out here who are quiet about living like this – it’s time to speak up and really raise the flags about what is happening with our food and labeling laws and how it is affecting more than just our small percentage of corn allergic people. When you dive into the research and see the stories.

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Love what I’m doing here? Want to help me out with site maintenance and feeding myself too? I do a lot of stuff for free, I’m here to help where I can. My goal is to make smiles and to help and educate using my skills and knowledge attained over the years. If I make money helping people, great! If not, so what, at least I’m leaving a foot print to help someone else out there struggling too.

Make a one-time donation to help support my efforts and creations on Corn Allergy Awareness, keep my site going and my fridge stocked and filled.

I appreciate any and all feedback, support and more from who all visits here! Thank you! Also, don’t hesitate to reach out with feedback or comment!

Make a Monthly Donation if you Love what I’m doing here, are able to and really want to help me out with site maintenance and feeding myself too? I do a lot of stuff for free, I’m here to help where I can. My goal is to make smiles and to help and educate using my skills and knowledge attained over the years. If I make money helping people, great! If not, so what, at least I’m leaving a foot print to help someone else out there struggling too.

Make a one-time donation to help support my efforts and creations on Corn Allergy Awareness, keep my site going and my fridge stocked and filled.

I appreciate any and all feedback, support and more from who all visits here! Thank you! Also, don’t hesitate to reach out with feedback or comment!

Make a yearly donation if you Love what I’m doing here, are able to and really want to help me out with site maintenance and feeding myself too? I do a lot of stuff for free, I’m here to help where I can. My goal is to make smiles and to help and educate using my skills and knowledge attained over the years. If I make money helping people, great! If not, so what, at least I’m leaving a foot print to help someone else out there struggling too.

Make a one-time donation to help support my efforts and creations on Corn Allergy Awareness, keep my site going and my hobby to help funded here on this site.

I appreciate any and all feedback, support and more from who all visits here! Thank you! Also, don’t hesitate to reach out with feedback or comment!

Choose an amount

$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00
$5.00
$15.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s