Allergic symptoms of a corn allergy develop when a person’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts after eating corn or foods containing corn-based ingredients, or after being exposed to corn pollen. Corn and corn-derived products are used in many processed foods, as well as in many other everyday items.
A corn allergy can be difficult to diagnose using standard skin or blood tests because it is difficult to differentiate from allergies to grass pollens and to other seeds and grain. A food elimination diet, in which specific items are removed from a person’s diet for a period of time to see if symptoms improve, is one way to determine whether a corn allergy is present.
Corn Allergy Symptoms
- Hives or a skin rash
- Nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion, vomiting or diarrhea
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Anaphylaxis (less common), a potentially life-threatening reaction that impairs breathing and can send the body into shock
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Corn Allergy Triggers
Most corn-derived products, like cornstarch and high-fructose corn syrup, do not contain corn protein. If you have a corn allergy, you do not need to avoid these products.
Corn Allergy Management and Treatment
- Avoid corn and corn-derived products.
- Administer epinephrine (adrenaline) to counter a severe reaction.