Millions of adults and children have food allergies, and the number is growing.
Today, 32 million Americans have at least one food allergy, translating to approximately 6 million children and 26 million adults.
One allergen that is not as popular but is widespread is corn (raw or cooked).
While it's a common food, corn allergy is much less common than are allergies as wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, fish, shellfish, or eggs.
People who are allergic to corn don't always react the same way. Symptoms can range from itching, redness, nasal congestion, wheezing, throat swelling, and anaphylactic shock (anaphylaxis).
Even though corn allergy is rare, a reaction is almost immediate and can be severe.
The doctor's appointment
Keep notes about your reactions before your appointment with the allergist. Keep a food diary - write down what you ate and what happened, and bring the notes with you. Your doctor will examine you and ask questions about your health, your family's health, and any allergies you might have.
They'll rule out other health issues that may cause the same kind of reaction and then do a standard test for food allergiescalled a skin prick test or a scratch test. They'll put a drop of a solution that has a tiny bit of corn in it on your arm or back. Then they'll prick or scratch your skin a little to let a small amount of the solution under your skin. The test feels like a fingernail scratch and doesn't hurt or make you bleed.
Based on your reaction to the prick, the allergist can tell what you are allergic to. For example: if you develop a rash or become swollen on the place that they pricked you with an allergen/substance – then you are allergic to the substance. Another way to test is known as an elimination diet. You stay away from corn and corn products for a couple of weeks and see if your symptoms go away.
Prevention and Treatment
If you have a corn allergy, stay away from corn as much as possible. It's in foods you'd expect, like corn muffins, corn oil, and cornflakes. But it's also in foods that might surprise you. For instance, it can be found in deli meat, cereal, snacks, bread, salad dressing, and canned fruits and juices. Yogurt, cheese, and soda may also contain corn syrup. So, check food labels carefully.
Corn can be found in many other products that you might have, such astoothpaste, shampoo, vitamins, makeup, crayons, pet food, clothing, paint, and dishwasher soap.
Since it can be hard to avoid corn all the time, your doctor may give you an antihistamine for mild symptoms. They also might suggest that you keep an EpiPen with you always if you have a bad reaction.
Here are some tips for living with a corn allergy:
An excellent way to avoid corn is to buy fresh (not processed or packaged) foods. Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, 100% juice, and lean protein (chicken or meat). And be careful with these products that can have corn in them: baking powder, cornmeal, corn oil, vegetable oil, corn syrup, maize, and corn bran.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA
My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.
We are so lucky we found this company to help us while our son was traveling. They provided allergy-safe baked goods and delivered them to his hotel so he could have bread and pastries on his month-long Israel trip. It was very easy ordering and communicating his needs. I would definitely use the food allergy concierge again the next time he travels to Israel.