Recently, we had a comment by a GPA family member, Ambar. She wrote,
I used to take Zyrtec or Benadryl, but lately am feeling very bad when I do. In fact, when I ate corn chips, I felt just as bad. My twin sister (we are identical) is allergic to corn, and I’m suspecting I may be, too. Is there any way I can obtain allergy medicine that does not contain corn starch or any corn product? I’ve been reading about “compounding” or something like this.
The good news about most (not all) food sensitivities is that it is possible to “grow” out of them. The bad news is that most food allergies can not be “handled” by an antihistamine (Claritin, Benadryl, Zyrtec, Allegra). This means if you have a corn allergy and take a Claritin, you still can’t eat corn. So, my advice to Ambar would be, don’t eat corn chips! I know it sucks 🙁
What is a food allergy? It is an overactive response of the immune system. The immune system mistakenly identifies the food as a toxin that it needs to fight against. The reaction can include itchiness, rash, shortness of breath, congestion and stomach pains. Anaphylaxis is the worst kind of reaction. If you experience anaphylaxis to a food, that food should NOT be reintroduced.
The best thing to do with a food allergy is avoid the food! So, if you have a corn allergy, you should avoid all obvious foods like corn,popcorn, corn chips 🙂 corn bread, etc. It also means avoiding foods that have corn “snuck” into them -so start reading the labels and avoid anything with corn syrup (not easy!)
After avoidance of the allergan and under your physician’s supervision, it may be possible to start slowly adding the food back in to your diet.
Helpful Hint: If you do eat corn and an allergic reaction starts, take Benadryl . Although it will not “cure” the reaction, it will help and it works the fastest.
It is true that most drugs (including Claritin and Benadryl) have some form of corn in them. Although disturbing, the amount of corn found in tablets is usually minimial and will not cause an allergic reaction.
If by chance, you do react to the corn found in the drugs, you can have most drugs compounded at a compounding pharmacy. Compounding pharmacies are pretty awesome -they can prepare drugs in different strengths and without specific ingredients (i.e. corn).
Just a li’l note about food allergies. Most food allergies reactions will be an itchy, red rash. However, a milk allergy will often cause excess mucus and nasal congestion.
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