My Painful, Corny Awakening Part 4: Medicine is Suddenly My Enemy

So, we have gone over my initial journey to discovering my corn allergy, how detoxing the corn out of my system affected me physically and mentally, and how tricky it is to navigate the waters of the American food industry with a corn allergy. Now let’s talk about medicine.

I went back to the doctor after i realized I was allergic to corn. I was armed with a 3 page list of my reactions and full-life history of reactions. He looked at me like a deer caught in headlights.

“I don’t believe that a woman your age that looks as healthy as you do could possibly be feeling all of these symptoms.”

Then he tried to refer me to a psychiatrist, because obviously.. it must all be in my head. Right? Well, I yelled at him. Why in the world would I make something up in my head that would make my life a thousand times more difficult when all I really want to do is go to the nearest Mexican restaurant and have the biggest plate of nachos I can get my hands on? No one would do that.

He had no idea what to do with me, so he just wrote another prescription for adderall to help me keep that spunk, and wrote out a bunch of referrals to an allergist, gastroenterologist, and, of course, a psychiatrist. Now upon looking back.. I probably should have used that referral to the psychiatrist to better help me deal with medical disbelief the social ramifications of being corn intolerant… but that is for another post.

This is where I really became forced into unwilling hippie-ness. I soon realized that I can no longer take anything over the counter, or prescribed, without it having to be specially compounded at a compounding pharmacy. My best alternative, because there are not a whole lot of inexpensive options out there, is holistic herbal medicine. The reason why? Yep. Corn, again.

Every pill that you take that is in that chalky pill form? Cornstarch.

Those liquid-gel caps? Glucose. Corn.

Vitamins – liquid, pill-form, homeopathic, organic, blah blah blah. They all have corn.

Liquid cough medicine – homeopathic or not – all contain corn derivatives. All of them. That goes for children’s medicines as well. I literally jump for joy when I find a little something here or there for teething, or vitamin drops that are corn free.

If my poor little guy has an allergic reaction, giving him Benadryl makes it 10 times worse, and he will act like a crazy hooligan for days after. Giving him anything like Tylenol makes him cough, a lot, and has the same reaction.

What if we land ourselves in the ER? We have to let everyone know immediately that we are allergic to corn, and that means they will have to use all glucose free IV’s and so on, and so forth. Terrifying thought that you could actually be made worse by simply having an IV administered for something like dehydration!

This all being said, I stopped taking adderall the second I realized that corn was in all of the medicines. No wonder I was angry and raging every time I was “corned”. It was making me feel crazy. (Aren’t doctors supposed to know the ingredients of pharmaceuticals?)

Think of it like this: Imagine you are holding a bucket. Little amounts of corn, administered at regular intervals (pills) will slowly fill that bucket until it is full and keep it right there at the brim. Add more accidental cornings (“Corntaminated” food) the bucket overflows, and you are in complete, full-on immune system meltdown. Remove the regularly administered bits, and the bucket no longer stays full, and accidental cornings do not cause it to overflow, making the reactions less… well.. violent.

Now I know, which is why I am sharing my experience, in hopes to help someone not feel alone, or feel crazy, like I did when I was discovering my food allergies. If you have a similar, or different experience, please comment and share! Like I said.. it always feels great to realize that you are not alone.

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