Life Journey Lessons & Corn Allergy Life, Life Journey Shares, Real Life Journey History

Allergy vs. Intolerance Discussion Topic

I have to start off by stating that I am no medical professional on any level nor should any of the content of my article be taken as medical advice. I am not responsible for your choices and actions in association to reading this article or the information that it provides, however, it is food for thought. I believe what I have to share here has some grounds to be heard and carry some level of benefit for others struggling with adapting to a life with adult onset corn allergy or intolerances. Whether you’ve been told you have an allergy or an intolerance, what you’ll likely come to discover is the same as I have: The two ultimately need to be treated the same for best overall health results. The groups can be confusing when trying to identify what ‘level’ your allergy or intolerance is because some people can eat some things while others cannot. Allergies and intolerances aren’t fully understood is the bottom line. We learn best from others and their experiences. My goal here is simply to share my experience and findings in hopes that it will benefit someone else. I wish I knew what I know now, when I started this journey. My health would be in such better shape. I feel if everyone in the world that had this intolerance were to come together collectively and had some legitimate support from their family and friends on the notion, that a change in the industry could be made to provide us a little breathing room and less confusion.

The medical community is a complex network intertwined with making profits and helping the public manage their health. Once upon a time, being a medical professional was more or less being an educator and guide for those seeking medical guidance for ailments and ongoing issues. A real doctor or healers goal was not to see you back ever so often to re-prescribe or ‘up’ and adjust medications, but to help find and eliminate the cause of ailments. Medications were only used in absolute necessity and in temporary bouts of time for most issues. True life long medical issues were relatively rare back in the day – times however have changed. So has our food, our social lives, our industries, everything. It has all shifted. The show “House” is not how medical communities actually operate today, if they did, our individual health would be better cared for in my opinion. Doctors don’t look at your diet under a microscope, nor do they look at the medications they rolodex you on after running blood tests on you to find an allergy or intolerance. Many medications have the very allergy or intolerance triggers you should be avoiding and therefore continue adding to the plethora of issues your body is having. This was my discovery with my doctors over the years. The medications were contributing to the issues I was having, because they had the allergy triggers in them. It was leading up to me not being able to function at all basically. Muscle seizures and temporary bouts of literal fog and falling out were happening. They thought I had MS or something along those lines. I tested negative for absolutely everything other than a corn and pork allergy IgE wise – later on when IgG tests were ran, I found a litany of other things I needed to be avoiding too, or at least minimizing my intake on.

I think it a valid point to say that science and medicine go hand in hand. The human genome is not entirely understood and still being researched to this day. The discovery of DNA was short come and the evolution of medical science has rapidly taken off. There have been many things in many other areas such as the food industry and pharmaceutical industry who have taken delight and benefit in many discoveries. While all this can appear amazing, the reality is that DNA was never fully ‘decoded’ or understood by scientist and is still being discovered and studied today. Topics like GMO are often a debacle of a debate but this can’t be denoted as not a important highlight. Messing with something we don’t fully understand, making vaccinations for things, the questions and debate is endless in potentials and possibilities. Setbacks are just as many as jumps in this area in the medical and science fields. It is ever evolving. 

With all that being said, it is my bottom line to point out that Allergies and Intolerances no matter what substance or food it is to – is not fully understood, medically or scientifically and the questions are out on the table to be had for us with the anomaly situations. I’d say the numbers have grown and it’s high time that we collectively speak out as a change is really needed, either in public responsibilities or in the industries we rely upon. We also need to individually and personally understand that while there are people out there dedicated to living their life on a research cloud or being a doctor, studying whatever it is they specialize in on what is available and supplied – there are a litany of things these people doing the research do not know outside their studies. There are things not documented in studies because they’re not repeated enough to document. 

We on the ground, living life firsthand with certain conditions, are all too often unheard by these people and we go unstudied. Us with the corn allergy, we’re considered anomalies. Science tends to record repeatable trends, not anomalies. Medical science would be no different than regular science. Seeing what I’ve seen in the last 7 years living with this allergy, I must say, especially after 2020, that I have a lot to say about health and personal responsibility. I’ll keep it simple as this though and get onto the topic at hand about allergies and intolerances. It is our personal responsibility to learn and understand things like food, medication, resources, our health and body, then take the actions and discipline necessary to safeguard our health. Mentally, physically and otherwise. To rely on anyone else outside of ourselves to take care of us and our issues 100% is just absurd, and to push that notion on society that we need to rely on someone else to feed, clothe, provide for us – is a problem. Not knowing where your food comes from or how it grows, is a quick way for us to lose our rights to even do so and the fact that it has been proven that what you eat directly affects your health – there’s a lot of grey area here for the public to be taken advantage of. It’s unfortunate but it does go back to the fact that people don’t know what they don’t know and can’t know what to ask if they don’t know to ask things. However, not knowing how leaves you open to being manipulated or taken advantage of. 

It has been baffling to me to watch what I did in 2020 during the pandemic, everything that would safeguard a person’s immune system sat overstocked on the shelves while toilet paper got wiped out and your poison ladened canned and microwave ready meals. All those things detrimental to the public health, nobody is batting an eye at and getting pushed more matter of fact, but we want to shut everything down? It was insane to see this. People like me got really screwed because small ma and pa shops that produced our food resources were shut down. Entirely. My garden at the time wasn’t producing either, so food became a problem. Intolerance or allergy aside, not having options and not being understood put me in a position to really want to scream and shout. Not just for myself, but  others I saw pouring out their stresses in the only place we can pour out our stresses and seek support and understanding about our unique situations. 

Convenience was already not part of our lives and this pandemic shut down was the nail in the coffin one way or another for many, I’m sure. We’re a bunch of anomalies spread out and the only place we’ve been able to connect even before covid was online through facebook and other platforms. Look up groups for Corn allergy and we find each other and those who have had this for a lot longer, they’re not so lonely anymore. The numbers have grown exponentially. This leads me to the topic of discussion at hand. Allergies vs Intolerances, what’s the difference? Is there one? 

To me, there is not a difference between an Allergy and an Intolerance. I believe there are different levels in which each person can individually tolerate any given allergy trigger. A person can have seasonal allergies to pollen per say and never need an Epi-Pen. The immune system is a complex system, still being studied mind you, to this day. The human genome is not 100% understood, we’re better now than what we were in the times of Lobotomies and exorcisms for sure, but there’s a lot more ground to be discovered. As I stated before, science tends to only encompass the repeatable and trackable. Anomalies and one offs, that are spread out and not consolidated enough aren’t going to get tracked as well, much less understood. You also have the scope of quantum science and subjective theories, I won’t go jumping down that rabbit hole but I’ll throw it in here for the research junkies. Quantum science and health – that’s one to blow your mind for sure. 

An Allergy is commonly understood in regards to food as something that triggers Anaphylaxis. Someone with a shellfish or nut allergy – that is typically and commonly understood. The image that might come to mind is someone choking and turning purple and needing to be stabbed with a pen of lifesaving liquid. Immediately. People have died from these kinds of allergies, which is why FDA regulations are out and laws are laid down to protect some of these common allergy folks. An intolerance is similar in the understanding as an allergy although it is pictured to be something along the lines of IBS or food poisoning responses. Lactose Intolerant will be what is most commonly understood as there are a plethora of options on the market for that particular intolerance. Nobody really asks why these are better understood than anything else, I won’t delve into it but I think a lot more should be asked. The fact is, these industries are profiting off of the publics’ health anomalies that are well tracked, why are they well tracked? Food and Pharma kind of go hand in hand in their profit margins in my opinion when you step back and look at the bigger picture of things. 

After all, nobody asks to be an anomaly. The way things are today though, options and resources are set in such a way that really push for you to absolve yourself of any personal responsibility in raising your own food or even paying attention to where your food is coming from. The way our system and society is set up – it really does gaslight us on a lot of levels as to what, when, where, how, etc. Not many people are even remotely curious enough to ask these questions nor would they care to. Unfortunately, the consequences are reflected through mass health issues that have become too common nowadays. The debate is there, but the point at hand is that common allergies are labeled for. The not so common is not labeled for.

I can only speak from my personal perspective and how I’ve come to understand things, this too is evolving as I learn new things every day about these different industries. Developing a corn allergy jerked me right out of the society that gets to absolve themselves of these kinds of questions, and take part in the modern conveniences of fast foods and boxed goods. I’ve had to literally stop eating and learn how to make my own way, ask where my food comes from on a whole different level, and it’s not a virtue signal anymore of “I eat healthier than you and maintain my weight” kind of competition with my siblings or proving point to my grandmother who is concerned about us developing diabetes. I apologize if this article comes across really abrasive with the opinions, but they’re just that. The questions I think are better worded by others that might understand what I’m trying to get at here under all this rant between the points. 

Regular people hear me talk and they think I’m just uppity about my food and want to be a survivalist – this is not the case. I want to see honesty and thoroughness from everyone on all levels in all industries, but this is a world run by humans, not angels. That’ll never happen! Laughing point here! Back to the topic now!  

Allergies and Intolerances both affect the immune system in different ways. Allergies are understood on different levels by different medical professionals. In my experience over the years in discovering my allergy, I’ll simply explain that allergy tests are not reliable or the same across the board. Science has many avenues and debates going on, medical science no different. A doctor’s choice in what testing methods to use is subjective to their education, experiences and resources they’ve picked up along the way in their life. I’ve had several doctors over the years with different approaches to the same problems and symptoms I’ve had. For a long time many doctors would just pill rolodex me to treat my symptoms, but would never search for an underlying cause. As time progressed and my issues got worse, it became apparent to me that the pills weren’t working and I needed to ask more questions.  This led to doctor hopping, specialist seeking, and many, many different kinds of tests. That’s where I learned that tests aren’t reliable. 

Your immune system is responsible for a lot more than just protecting you from getting sick and managing viruses laying in your system. I’ve touched on EBV before in a previous article but there are a plethora of viruses not fully understood or studied in the medical community that just about everyone in society comes into contact with. Your body is constantly suppressing these viruses, they never actually go away. Some viruses and illnesses there are vaccinations for and they are absolutely effective, that is not even up for debate for me. I’m no anti-vaxxer by any means but I will say vaccines need to be researched better and the understanding from society needs to be known that anything like that for public good can also be used in reverse – going back to: We don’t know what we don’t know and can’t ask what we don’t know to ask. Don’t let our education get diluted and too misinformed and don’t let our freedom to ask questions become illegal due to political correctness or whatever the case. I have a lot of animosity with the way the COVID pandemic was and is still continuing  to be handled. Joking point in regards to the comments I’ve received on my respirator mask because of the corn allergy airborne triggers: Mask debate me not, I will slay you with my respirator on. LOL you don’t know what filters out a virus and what doesn’t folks! You really don’t! 

Explaining immunoglobulin to the average person is like speaking in chinese to someone who only speaks english. Even for me, I have a hard time understanding it all. Allergies and intolerances play off your immune system basically, and there are different things with your immune system such as IgE, IgM, IgG, IgA, and IgD. Some immune responses will affect the gut flora over time, doing damages slowly. These damages will be reflected in your body in other areas such as skin, hair growth, digestive irregularities. In the simplest of terms, your lactose intolerance, if left unchecked, could be doing more than just causing extra runs to the bathroom, if it’s even causing those kinds of reactions in your immune system. It could be causing that patch of eczema on your left leg that won’t go away no matter how many prescription lotions you put on it. 

I don’t even fully understand the immune system and how it works, I just get the gist and basics and am regurgitating it the best way I know how, my references are below for anyone wanting to get more involved in understanding this stuff. I highly recommend it. Don’t take what I have here and just run with it. I’d be highly disappointed with you if you didn’t take some time to look into this yourself and take some time to understand it for yourself. 

The different Immunoglobulins are found in different areas of the body, IgA for instance is in the lining of your gut, respiratory and saliva. IgM is mainly in your lymphatic system, in lymph fluids and what your body’s first line of defense is against new infections. IgE is found in the blood and is the body’s initiated response to allergens and also the one that overreacts causing anaphylaxis in response to certain triggers, venom, or infection from parasites. IgA is found in the mucous membranes. If your heads not spinning and all this makes sense to you, great! My head is spinning as I type this out, lol. As I re-read and regurgitate over my articles, immunoglobulins such as IgD are not entirely understood, and are still being studied. As you can see, this area is very cloudy for anyone trying to actually help you with your condition with any kind of allergy or intolerance. The information taught in medical schools are often provided as hardline guidelines to be followed within set parameters in the industry. This makes it very hard for us to make any headway to have convenience in our lives like those who have more understood and recognized allergies. 

The allergy immune response that is severe enough to cause anaphylaxis is not the same as the body’s immune response to something it lacks enzymes to process. An intolerance is understood as something the body doesn’t have the tools to process properly, therefore causing damages in a litany of ways I don’t really feel necessary to get into. It’s everything from having irritable bowel syndrome or food poisoning and days of inflammation. 

Some of us in the corn allergy community also have multiple chemical sensitivities on top of an allergy or multiple allergies. They have a more in depth understanding on this than I do. I simply have an IgE and IgG response to corn. Albeit, according to doctor blood tests and what not, it is, and I quote “So low, it shouldn’t be causing you issues. It’s like having an allergy to pollen.” as the doctor had declared, and I should be able to take zyrtec and be okay but low and behold that has corn in it too, triggering not only my bodies IgE but also IgE responses. Doctors don’t realize that my immune system is being constantly bombarded on all levels by this allergen trigger. It’s in literally EVERYTHING. Toilet Paper, Foods, Medicines, Textiles, Clothing, Fragrances, Cleaners. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.  It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to say that miscarriages and newborn deaths could be associated with allergies that aren’t fully understood or recognized. Nobody would even think to ask this question or analyze this, I don’t think anyway. How could we know when the immune system is offing you before anyone has a chance to ask what it’s responding to and it’s to a substance that is literally used in every aspect of our society today. There could be a number of other things this same notion applies to, but we’re talking about corn allergy here so that’s the point here. Corn is in everything, there are a lot of people with this allergy/intolerance and their immune system doesn’t process it. It’s causing a litany of health complications and the bottom line is these things are fully understood enough to really have a wholesome approach from the medical community. Hence the reason for the groups and why we come together to try and find products that don’t make us sick. 

So understanding your immune system and how it affects your systems in the body and their functions is the crucial point of discussion in all this mess I’ve typed up here. This literally is a topic for discussion within our community, and hopefully offers some insight and understanding as to why it is so confusing to figure out what level you are. 

So this leads me to the conclusion of this article: Allergies vs. Intolerances, are you corn lite, corn moderate or need to be corn free? I don’t think it really matters as any level of exposure over time to the immune system is either going to do damage or it’ll work itself out over time. Allergies do come and go as life goes on for people, some people are born with an anaphylactic level allergy to something such as shellfish and then one day when they’re 25, suddenly accidentally have shellfish and discover they can eat it whenever they like with no issues. There are a lot of anomalies in life that aren’t well understood. With a corn allergy though, we don’t really have any options from society, we’re looking for an industry to start up that recognizes our needs. From toilet paper, medicine to food and other things such as hygiene essentials. 

It’s broken my heart and humbled me, developing this allergy. I’ve seen stories in these groups that make my heart bleed for children and adults alike. I, myself, becoming isolated and having had issues prior to the development of this allergy with handling and managing stress and traumas – have discovered a whole new level of challenges in managing and handling stress. Being overwhelmed has become a state of normalcy for me, as everywhere I turn I am faced with both a financial challenge and an allergy trigger challenge. I am fortunate enough not to need an epi-pen and understand that if I eat too much, go around without a respirator on and had continued smoking regular common branded tobacco: I’d need an epi-pen and a wheelchair to get around. My life has completely changed for the better in many ways since developing this allergy. My health has certainly improved in many areas, while I’m battling nutritional deficiencies and triggers on the daily, other things such as hypoglycemia are not an issue in my life anymore. My thyroid tests normally when I go to get it tested now. The immune system affects your different systems, adrenal and otherwise. To constantly be bombarded by something you’re even intolerant to can have major setbacks for you down the road. It’s like a diabetic who constantly eats sweets, it’s eventually going to be costly. 

My allergy response isn’t the standard streamline response that is commonly understood by the medical community, it affects me on every level from neurological to muscular to, well, yes, runny nose and puffy eyes, and the response is low enough to just cause enough damage over time to break me down faster than if I didn’t have the allergy or if I had options available to help me get the nutrients I’m missing because there is nothing available for people like myself, not affordable enough anyway. 

Prior to developing this allergy, I was well on my way in an established industry on a career path that I was fully focused and involved in. The lifestyle changes and total isolating factors in realizing the triggers are everywhere, no matter where I go, and things such as the respirator mask or lack of certain typical hygiene product tolerances, displace me socially. Even now with the mask mandates, it creates an awkward conversation and social dynamic. I walk into a store who expects everyone to touch the sanitizer wipes and squirt some purell in your hands – I’m allergic to the unnecessary ingredients in those items. I get the meanest looks sometimes. It’s just sad and baffling how things are at the same time, but it is what it is and we have to make the best of it with what we have. 

I’m trying to make a difference by providing the graphics here and my journey shares. I don’t know what impact it’ll have, but hopefully it’ll raise some questions and provide some guidance and insight for others dealing with this allergy/intolerance. You’re not crazy, the doctors don’t listen, and the situation is not understood. Those are the facts. Tests are not consistent, and science is not a hard line, black and white. Ever. We need recognition as a community I think, seeing as we’re so spread out and isolated, we still deserve to have some options the same way those with a gluten, lactose, nut or otherwise labeled allergies. If not just that, I also want to point out that special cases shouldn’t have to spend more money. Our lives are hard enough not being able to go with the crowds, why make it break our wallets and potentials as productive society members too?  

I fully encourage doing your own research, to start here are some of my research References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3109135/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/allergy-tests/about/pac-20392895#:~:text=A%20positive%20skin%20test%20means,allergic%20to%20a%20particular%20allergen.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1354570/

https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergic-reactions#:~:text=Your%20immune%20system%20overreacts%20by,chemicals%2C%20causing%20an%20allergic%20reaction.

https://www.immunology.org/public-information/bitesized-immunology/receptors-and-molecules/immunoglobulin-iga

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=Immunoglobulin+G

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4201912/

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/immunoglobulins-iga-igg-igm

https://www.mayocliniclabs.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/8156

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