Maize Allergy

What You Need To Know about Maize Allergies

A maize allergy is an allergy to corn products. Unlike a wheat allergy, a maize allergy is relatively uncommon due to the fact that corn is not a grain that is in nearly everything. However, it is very common for the sufferer of a corn allergy to suffer the same range of reactions including a severe one known as anaphylaxis (swelling in the throat which prevents breathing).

In order to establish a maize allergy, a doctor will test the patient for cereal grain related allergic reactions. This test may falsely show another type of allergy as well, when the patient only reacts to corn and corn products. Allergic reactions can result from eating both cooked and uncooked forms of corn. And some sufferers may react to corn pollen typically with allergic rhinitis or asthma attacks (if the sufferer is an asthmatic).

Items that a maize allergy sufferer should avoid include: Corn syrup, Corn oil, Corn meal, Cornstarch (some takeout containers and papers are coated in this, so it’s important to be careful), Vegetable oil, Maize, Popcorn, Grits, Hominy, Corn sugars (dextrose, Dyno, Cerelose, Puretose, Sweetose, glucose), Margarine, Corn chips (Tortilla chips, Fritos), Corn fritters, Breakfast cereals (such as corn flakes), Corn tortillas, Cookies, and some infant formulas.

Certain foods may cause a cross-reactivity. What this means, is that one may not be specifically allergic to those foods, but will also display mild symptoms of an allergic reaction (such as hives, itching, rash, redness, irritation). These include: wheat, barley, rye, oats, rice, millet, peaches, apple, apricot, bananas, carrots, walnuts, and hazelnuts.
Caution should also be exercised when choosing processed or commercially prepared foods, as many contain corn syrup, cornstarch, or vegetable oil. If you’ve been diagnosed with a maize allergy, it is important to check the ingredients on all processed food items to ensure that none of the ingredients inside have corn products or derivatives.
If the sufferer has severe allergies, it is important to keep an Epi-pen (an epinephrine injection that can be quickly administered in an emergency) in case of accidental ingestion of a corn product. And medic-alert bracelets are doubly helpful for emergency crews in the case that the sufferer has a severe reaction and becomes unconscious.

Once diagnosed with a maize allergy, your physician may recommend you see a dietician. The dietician will help you figure out what foods you can or cannot incorporate in your diet and give you support when it’s lamentable that your diet is so restrictive. It’s important to follow the guidelines given to you by a healthcare professional in order to live a healthy, full life.

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