By now, you have most likely heard about gluten intolerance and have seen many lists of symptoms floating around on the internet, but did you know that corn intolerance can have exactly the same symptoms? I have read that corn intolerance mimics gluten intolerance, and I have also heard that gluten and corn intolerance can actually go hand-in-hand because corn also contains gluten – corn gluten. So, if someone is very sensitive to gluten, they very well could be sensitive to corn gluten and be completely unaware.
I figured out that I was gluten intolerant a while back, and like most others that make the same discovery, I started eating a lot more corn products to satiate my cravings. I very distinctly remember saying “well, at least I can still have my nachos and tacos!”. Boy was I wrong. After a few weeks of indulging in more corn products than usual, I started to feel even worse than I did before. I was having some incredibly weird neurological symptoms, such as uncontrollable shaking, muscle spasms, brain fog, and almost passing out every time I stood up. I ached to the bone from the top of my head to my toes. It was terrible. Then, after loads of research, I came across numerous articles that stated corn intolerance can mimic gluten intolerance.
So, I bit the bullet and stopped eating my favorite foods. After a couple of weeks of what I can only describe as a massive detox, I struggled to keep the darn stuff out of my system, because corn derivatives can be found in everything. Check out this list of corn allergens, and you will get the gist.
What exactly are these symptoms? There are quite a few, as you will see below. I have personally experienced almost every single one of these – minus asthma and extreme anaphylaxis. (Thank GOD)
- hives, eczema, or a skin rash
- tingling sensation in the mouth
- metallic taste
- canker sores, mouth sores
- intense cravings for the exact things you should avoid
- excessive sneezing and/or runny nose
- watery eyes
- edema (swelling in extremities)
- diarrhea and/or constipation
- indigestion/upset stomach, feeling “pressure” in your lower abdomen
- excessive trips to the bathroom – multiple bowel movements a day and possible UTI (peeing a LOT)
- brain fog – having a hard time concentrating, feeling “spacey” or “high”
- difficulty speaking – getting your words all jumbled up and pretty much sounding like a bumbling idiot (I have embarrassed myself with this too many times to count)
- pain – a deep, horrible ache that can be confused with fibromyalgia. Can feel like your bones are aching, or like you have arthritis in your joints. Some say that rheumatoid arthritis is actually caused by food sensitivities
- muscle spasms – uncontrollable twitching
- muscle weakness
- tinnitus (ringing in ears)
- TMJ pain (jaw pain and tightness)
- headaches and migraines
- chronic fatigue
- lightheadedness/ fainting/ blacking out/ seeing “stars”
- difficulty losing weight
- hair loss
- dry scalp/ dandruff
- dry/splitting/bleeding cuticles, white streaks or spots under nails, weak/flimsy nails
- super extreme PMS – including massive cramps, severe moodiness, etc.
- uncontrollable anger/ mood swings (corn brings out the “meanies”)
- asthma or difficulty breathing
- swelling sensation in mouth and throat
- anaphylaxis shock (extreme allergic reaction)
You may experience all of these symptoms, or only some of them. Nonetheless, life is much more enjoyable when you experience none of them after removing the nasty little culprit. Unfortunately, there is not a pill that can magically cure this sensitivity. The only course of action for healing yourself is to avoid the foods causing the sensitivity altogether.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a scientist. I am simply a person that has to live with gluten and corn intolerance. My purpose for this blog is to share my experiences in hopes of helping others that find themselves in the same boat, struggling to figure out what is causing them to feel unwell. If you are experiencing these symptoms – consult your doctor and allergist – but beware, most are not understanding of corn intolerance as it is not currently recognized as a common allergy. Hopefully that will change soon!