Do You React to Corn?
Better Nutrition|March 2020
This common veggie is hidden in multitudes of food products, and if you’re sensitive to it, you can experience everything from rashes and abdominal pain to cravings and binge-eating
Melissa Diane Smith

Q My teenage daughter figured out that she develops gas and bloating every time she eats something with corn in it. I, on the other hand, love corn products and crave them, and end up bingeing on them. Does that mean that both my daughter and I have an allergy to corn? And, if so, how can we avoid it?

It’s possible to have a true allergic reaction to corn—where the body releases immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies—which manifests in dramatic symptoms such as hives, skin rashes, asthma, or labored breathing. But this type of reaction is very rare

More common are food sensitivities, also called delayed-onset food allergies, which are immune responses that involve the release of immunoglobulin G (IgG), not IgE. Symptoms may not appear until hours or days after you’ve eaten the offending food, and can include headaches, joint and muscle pain, upset stomach, fatigue, nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Other people crave and binge-eat corn, likely because corn is a high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic food that causes blood sugar spikes followed by blood sugar lows that can lead to cravings. Another possible reason might be because of a poorly understood phenomenon called food allergy addiction, in which the body becomes addicted to the allergen’s presence and starts craving it.

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