Corn is a fairly prevalent product, which adults and children consume with pleasure. It is rich in many vitamins and microelements, so it brings undeniable benefits to the human body, namely:
- Activates and improves metabolism;
- It has a high glycemic index;
- Improves mood and increases vitality;
- It positively effects on the cardiovascular system, refines brain function;
- Quickly and easily digested.
The use of corn is of great importance to the child’s organism because it helps to build muscle mass due to the high content of protein and various microelements. By the way, the corn porridge includes vitamins A, B, H, K; calcium, magnesium, iron. Additionally, the product is enriched with fatty acids, useful oils and has high nutritional value.
In spite of all these advantages, most often children suffer from corn allergy, which is regarded to be a quite spread problem but one of the most complicated. An allergy is a defensive reaction of the body to corn proteins, which are defined as invading bacteria.
Corn allergy may be of several types:
- Contact corn allergy is caused by cleaning products, toothpaste, powders, lotions, glues and bath oils, which contain corn.
- The inhalant allergic reaction appears after the inhaling of fumes of certain products, which may incorporate corn (perfume, vegetable oil, hair spray, mousse, and gel). Also, after the exposure to pollen and dust, corn dust allergy and corn pollen allergy may occur. Breathing in corn dust and pollen affects the lung system and bronchus. A person may face these allergens during the work in the corn industry. The most common situations are: while gathering and unloading corn and corn husk, during drying and processing, while grinding or mixing corn with other products.
- A food form of the allergy appears after the consumption of products, which contain corn (corn flour, corn flakes, corn sugar, corn oil, corn starch, corn syrup).
A high fructose corn syrup allergy is marked here. Fructose corn syrup is derived from corn, it is a sweetener, which is used in pre-packed beverages, foods, and sodas. According to the Cleveland Clinic, symptoms appear within several minutes after the trigger has been ingested.
Corn Allergy Triggers
There is a wide range of ingredients and additives, which may be derived from corn and cause an allergic reaction. Also, sometimes even corn-free products may be dangerous due to the cross-contamination.
The list of dangerous elements and foods is not exhaustive. A corn allergy food list is the following:
- Citrate – can refer either to the conjugate base of citric acid or to the esters of citric acid. It is found in salt, citrus fruit, raspberries, strawberries, as an additive in ice cream, sorbet, candies.
- Maltodextrin is a thickening agent, found in salad dressings, ice cream, frozen vegetables. It can cause a corn maltodextrin allergy.
- Acetic acid is found in vinegar, ketchup, mustard.
- Alpha-tocopherol is another name for Vitamin E. This ingredient is found spinach, tomatoes, pumpkin, almonds, carrots, olive oil.
- Calcium gluconate is a part of cheese, cabbage, broccoli, apples, peaches.
- Crystalline fructose is a sweetener, derived from corn and used in drinks.
- Ethyl maltol is a flavoring.
- Lactic acid occurs naturally or in a synthesized form. It is found in yogurt, pickled vegetables, wine, bread.
- Gluten is a protein, known as a part of most cereals (wheat, barley).
- Sodium Erythorbate is a food additive used in soft drinks.
- Dextrose is a corn sugar, found in ice cream, cookies. It is a cause of a dextrose and corn allergy.
- Xylitol is an ingredient in candies, chewing gum.
- Malic acid is found in such sources as apples, apricots, beans, potatoes, peas.
Corn Allergy Symptoms
Corn allergy appears both in infants and adults, symptoms range from mild to severe and they can be both immediate-onset and delayed.
The most prevalent immediate-onset symptoms are:
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, and face;
- Allergic rhinitis accompanied by nasal congestion and difficulty in breathing;
- Skin changes in form of rash, eczema, blisters;
- Disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract, accompanied by diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting;
- Anaphylactic shock.
Delayed reactions are usually adverse and may be chronic in nature. They include:
- A headache, which may develop into a migraine;
- Fatigue, joint and muscle pain;
- Constant mood disturbances;
- Upper respiratory symptoms (a cough, sneezing, fever, a sore or scratchy nose).
Children possess same symptoms as adults plus increased body temperature (usually it does not rise above 38 degrees); anxiety, irrational crying, irritability; flushing skin.
If an infant has these clinical manifestations, parents should forthwith call an ambulance or independently bring a baby in a hospital for survey and provide him with first aid, because the allergic reaction can quickly provoke serious complications.
In order to verify that the allergy was caused by the use of corn, a child or an adult are taken some medical tests to distinguish the presence of antibodies to corn protein and the increase of immunoglobulin which causes a pathological condition. For instance, a blood test and a skin test may be conducted. A blood test shows immunoglobin E levels. During the skin test, a small amount of corn extract is dropped on a scratched skin or a patch with an allergen is applied to study the reaction.
In the case when these analyses are not enough to certify the diagnosis, the patient may be sent to get additional tests. These tests may be the following:
- Analysis for antibodies to corn protein;
- Analysis of feces for dysbiosis;
- Ultrasound of the digestive system (pancreas, liver, intestines);
- A blood test for hepatic assays.
Corn Allergy Treatment
Usually, corn allergy treatments are made individually for each case and depend on the results of diagnostics. As a rule, allergy is cured comprehensively and the treatment includes:
The Compliance of a Special Developed Diet – Corn Allergy Treatment
It is essential to eliminate meals containing corn protein, even if it comprises a few corn elements. Corn is a part of many types of food, such as cereals, bakery products and a variety of sweets, ready meat products, seafood, starch, canned fruit, jellies, jams and so on.
Often it is used in the form of a salt, as it is a unique product, which contains many vitamins and minerals that are significant to the human body. That is why during cooking it is advised to use only sea salt.
Some alcoholic drinks may also contain a proportion of corn grain, such as ale, beer, gin, whiskey, vodka, and wine. Corn massively used as a thickener, so different filling, creams, sauces, spices, and marinades are banned.
Besides, the breastfeeding mother should also completely exclude food with a corn protein, as through the milk it gets back into the infant organism and provokes a new wave of allergies.
Also, it is useful to check the stickers. In order to fully understand whether there is corn in the product or not, you need to know its production data.
Medicine Therapy of Corn Allergy
The first thing the allergist draws the attention to are the symptoms of the illness and the choice of an optimal set of measures to eliminate them. He assigns the homeopathic medicines and antihistamines.
Most common are Fenistil and Zodak; they are able to remove the symptoms and relieve the general condition of the patient. If the baby has a severe reaction – anaphylaxis, then the first measure, which the doctor does, is administering an injection of adrenaline.
Overall Condition of the Patient
Most cough syrups, tablets and suppositories contain corn starch, which can cause allergenic reactions, so if you are sick, then you should inform the doctor about your allergy to corn and its components and he prescribes such medications in which no components of this ingredient.
If you know that some cases of allergenic reactions to corn in your family, check baby’s reactions to it but very carefully to avoid serious complications in the future. If the child does not react to this product, it can be included in a kid’s menu without fear for health.
Traditional Methods – Corn Allergy Treatment
Many people give preference to traditional methods of treatment of allergy but not modern drugs with the addition of chemicals.
Corn allergy treatment intends the use of many herbs and other ingredients. For example, there are some recipes, which contain mumie and egg shells.
Mumie solution: 1gram of mumie is added to 1 liter of warm water. A child up to 3 years is given 50 ml of this mixture; up to 7 years – 70 ml; from 8 years – 100 ml. The patient drinks it once per day in the morning.
In the case of irritation of the skin, it should be lubricated with a concentrated solution, which can be made by diluting 1 gram of the mumie in the 100 ml of water. Mumie should be taken within a month.
Egg shell powder: 2 drops of lemon juice is mixed with pounded egg shell. It should be taken a 1/6-1/8 teaspoon in the morning after the breakfast.
But before using traditional remedies, consult the doctor, because the methods which can be useful for adults can be inappropriate and dangerous for kids.
Thus, a corn allergy may be tricky sometimes, but it can be handled if you avoid allergens, take preventive measures, and timely seek medical advice.