Corn is definitely becoming the hardest thing to avoid, foodwise. Dairy is a lot at first, because you have to realize that products called “non-dairy” legally can and do mostly contain dairy in them, you have to look out for things like “whey” in non-dairy butter substitutes, even the non-hydrogenated ones like Smart Balance. (Pay attention, vegans, margarine is not safe!)
Gluten of course is even more widespread than dairy, but once you get used to avoiding it, it’s not too bad. You figure out where to shop, you read labels. Wheat is listed as one of the big eight that must be on labels, so eventhough you still have to look out for barley, rye and oats, that helps a lot.
But those are like freshmen 101 courses in avoiding foods compared to corn. It’s not one of the top 8 allergens were determined needed to be labeled, but I’m betting, from the other people I know that react to stuff, it could be the 9th one coming!
An aside on that issue is, however, that these top 8 allergens: Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Soy and Wheat are just the top things that people react to with the IgE antibody. There are four other antibodies that could register an allergic reaction, or you could simply have another reaction to a food, to honeydey melon, strawberry, rice.. anything. A food allergy is a type of food intolerance. Lactose intolerance is probably the best known intolerance.
Essentially, what is most important is not the science or if Ada is “allergic” or “intolerant” but that foods affect her and her immune system in an adverse way. Foods affect us all– I think most of us have a lot to learn about the extent to which they are affecting us.
Anyway, gluten and dairy are the two biggest proteins that cause people issues, and so they were the best place to start with Ada, and she did prove to have issues with both. But I haven’t had any reason to suspect fish or shellfish. Just because they are in the top eight doesn’t mean you or your kid will react to them, and just because they aren’t, doesn’t mean you won’t.
Ah, the point, and I did have one. Corn isn’t one of the big 8 and isn’t on labeling laws. This is making it trickier to avoid. It’s also incredibly pervasive in our food chain, like gluten and dairy. Maybe more so. It’s mind-bogglingly eye-opening how many things we eat in this country without thinking or knowing about it. No one, unless they are eating only meat and veggies and farmer’s market food and nothing boxed or processed at all, can say they aren’t eating corn (or gluten or dairy) on a daily basis unless they are painstakingly screening their food products.
I feel pretty sure that Ada’s behavior this week is attributed to some trace amounts of corn. She’s been up until midnight. She’s thrown up most nights this week. She is rashy and constipated (too much info!). She can’t seem to keep her legs still at night. It’s like she wants to sleep but can’t.
Some of that is most definitely attributed to the fact that she is learning how to get off the bed herself and walking. She doesn’t want to sleep because she is rapidly growing and excited about it– that’s happened to all of us moms.
But I’ve met several moms with food allergy kids who say that when their kid gets into corn or gluten or whatever affects them, their behavior in regard to sleeping and waking and even being a nice mood or a crummy one changes.
And we all pretty much know by now that food colors and dyes are linked to behavior and sleep issues. So I think corn is the next big one for Ada. And I think either a tooth or the walking thing is just putting her up all night this week. Atleast by all night I just mean midnight. It could be much, much worse. Atleast she’s only getting up a few timesafter she goes to sleep, and that’s because she’s coughing, poor little thing. Again, another complication– she gets a runny nose with a food reaction, but we’ve all been sick– she could be coughing and stuffy from that.
She’s practicing walking right now as I type.. She’s doing great. Starting to get farther and wobble less. My little angel!
So, yes, the pervasiveness of corn. It’s in salt. Dextrose– corn sugar– in salt? Why I don’t know. Then after I accidently ate some of that at someone’s house (we use Kosher salt at home) I took a vitamin I hadn’t taken in a while— checked the label later– maltodextrin. Trace corn exposure #2.
Then I made bread. Ate it. Looked at the yeast package. Citric Acid– corn exposure #3.
So it doesn’t seem like minute amounts would matter… but once you start adding it up. Maybe not so ltitle.
If you avoid corn, remember to look for maltodextrin, citric acid, ascorbic acid, dextrose, corn syrup. Or check out this website.