Sunday, October 5, 2008

Welcome to the Club / The Rules

I've gone for years without meeting, in person, anyone else with a corn allergy. In the past 3 months, a good friend of a good friend was diagnosed with a corn allergy, I met a woman a Whole Foods who was having a hard time the pastry counter try to find something corn free -- who was just diagnosed with a corn allergy, two weeks ago I met a waitress at the 1 restaurant I trust who was just diagnosed with a corn allergy, today I read at Everyday with Food Allergies that her friend's child was just diagnosed with a corn allergy too.

Welcome to the club everyone.

I'll teach you the secret handshake later, the first thing you need to know, everything has corn in until proven otherwise. Your allergist probably doesn't know this, because it is not a common diagnosis in the US and the list of things you need to avoid has the obvious things like popcorn and corn chips. What you may need to avoid is actually a much more complex list, depending on the severity of your allergy;there is a lot of hidden corn in foods & drugs that most allergists are not aware of unless they have corn allergic patients. The links you need are here: This is going to seem like a lot of info, but remember you will feel better as you eliminate hidden corn from your diet. Talk to doctor and go back to her/him with your info.

If this really was a club, our top secret handbook would start with these rules:
  1. If you don't know what's in it, don't put it in your mouth.
  2. When in doubt, spit it out.
  3. Say it loud and proud, "No, Thank You. I'm Allergic."
  4. Test new foods like they could be poisonous.
  5. Trust no one with your food, till YOU are comfortable they understand the consequences.
  6. Emergency Meds -- Don't leave home without them EVER.
  7. Have a safe place for your food - Make some space, be it your home or your room and a kitchen cupboard and a shelf in the fridge, an allergy free zone.
  8. If it goes in you, on you, or you touch it or breath it in, it must be allergen free. Check everything - food, drinks, medications, toiletries, cosmetics, cleaning products. You are not paranoid, you are smart and safe.
  9. Don't Panic -- staying calm during a reaction keeps you safe and helps minimize the reaction.
  10. Get a medical alert bracelet-- wear it (There are options for every style).
Welcome to the club. Keep talking about your allergy, I want to meet you!


Paula said...

I don't have a severe corn allergy but I've been wondering if I might be corn sensitive...I've noticed that eating things like corn bread or corn chips makes me feel really, really sleepy. I might have to do some further investigation.

Christine said...

Hi Paula,
I used to have a similar reaction to corn, the sleepiness made a co-worker suspect I had a problem with corn. My reaction to that idea was, "Corn? Who's allergic to CORN?."

Famous last words, huh.

Anonymous said...

What do you put on your medical alert bracelet? corn, dextrose, anything else?

Christine said...

My medical alert bracelet currently says:
SEVERE CORN ALLERGY -NO DEXTROSE or GLUCOSE IV, Unpowdered Gloves Only, Check inactive ingredients in ALL meds.
I've found a local engraver who can fit a lot of small script on a bracelet, so I am going to update with more info soon.

acpac said...

I just found your blog today. Thank you for your stories and for the laughter you are able to bring to what is actually very serious. My son is 3 years old and has anaphylactic food allergies to several foods. My daughter is 6 months old and only breastfed; however, after journaling and watching, I realized she reacts to corn via my milk. Very few will believe me, but I am certain of it. It has been fun and empowering reading through your page as I have to avoid corn as well.

discount scuba gear packages said...

I am glad that i am reading your article!!! The post is amazing and provides amazing information!