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Author Topic: Tested Positive for Corn + Other Allergies  (Read 570 times)

Description: freaking out, hoping the results were wrong

Offline bluesunset

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Tested Positive for Corn + Other Allergies
« on: February 07, 2016, 09:02:09 PM »
Hey all!

I have really bad anxiety and it manifested last May. When my anxiety started up, so did a lot of other issues. Acid Reflux, Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, etc. My health was just deteriorating and I also lost weight very easily. Prior to the anxiety I also developed mild alopecia on my scalp and slight dermatitis. Following that, I started noticing a pattern. My HR would jump (sometimes to 160!) after eating certain foods (usually sweets and heavy breads & noodles). I'd feel super super lethargic after eating bigger meals containing more bread and after eating sugary things my heart rate would feel very pronounced yet a normal rate and I'd have a general sick feeling for hours.

My mom thought I might have gluten intolerance, so she bought me gluten-free items, but I didn't keep up with the diet. I also didnt have enough symptoms to be gluten intolerant (in my opinion, at least). About a few weeks ago I came home from school and got sick. I had a post nasal drip amongst other symptoms and no one knew what was wrong. Everyone suggested that I had a sinus infection or allergies. We got a purifier and a humidifier which may have helped a bit, but I still took a while to recover and I still have a drip. Then for about a week I was drinking a lot of chocolate soy, and I'd noticed just one random hive pop up every day, so I googled soy allergies and realized it was in EVERYTHING. So I thought maybe that was the culprit of my sickly feelings. That's when I stopped eating things with obvious soy. I also didnt notice any random singular hives anymore. (I've had them before this time frame though, usually just one on my hand for no apparent reason, and it'd just go away in like 20 minutes, so I attributed it to dust or anxiety). After cutting the soy, I would eat a lot of sandwiches and such, but I started having bad constipation and undigested food in it. I've been constipated many times before, but this time it was different, I had lots of bloating and tenderness and I'd only use the bathroom like every 3 days and itd be a pale yellow. Then I cut out the sandwiches and cake doughs, and I was still constipated but with no pain or weird stuff. Then I randomly had a chocolate chip cookie, felt sick afterwards, read the ingredients.... SOY! So I scheduled an allergy test. In the first one, the doc said it seemed like I could be developing an allergy to salmon (I've never had symptoms). In the second, definitive hives popped up for berries, pork, and corn (very random too!). I think corn was like level 4? I never had any outright reactions to any of those, and I don't eat raw corn, so I just took it and left. Upon returning home, I realized that corn was in ALL the foods that I felt were making me sick. So I FREAKED OUT!!!

I bought all non corn foods (which pretty much just consists of yogurt, bananas, pasta, chicken, and chocolate bc I am a picky eater). I was terrified. Corn is in everything. I had a major breakdown and started freaking out about having some sort of severe reaction. Then last night, I read that corn was in cosmetics as well. Lo and behold, its in my toothpaste, face wash, and some makeup. My loose setting powder that I drowwwwwwnnnn my face in and literally breathe in is made of corn starch. Yes I have acne, but I've had acne for years. Sometimes I wake up with a swollen red, leaky eye (only like 4 times), or I have itchy red eyes (way more often), but I always thought it was due to environmental stuff. However, I've never had a rash from these products. So then how do I have a corn allergy? Ever since then, I've opted out of my face wash and makeup... but I don't want to accept this as reality. Its making my life so very hard.

I read online that skin prick tests can read false positives, but the higher the "level" the less likely it is to be a false positive.  What do you guys think? I will say after eliminating corn foods that I am using the bathroom regularly and have no stomach issues or that weird sick feeling. I got chocolate with no corn syrup (yet it has soy) and i can eat a whole bag without feeling sick & drowsy, which I cant do with most chocolates. But I am also eating a lot less, and a lot of yogurt, and I haven't had any bread, just pasta. Do you think my results were legit? Do I have a reason to be afraid?

I also heard undigested food can show up as an allergy in the test and the night right before I had a corn tortilla with bacon (two allergies I tested positive for) at a time in which I was having some digestive issues... I'm literally scared to go back on campus because all the food has corn in t. Should I get retested and see if a different result comes up (so I can pinpoint inaccuracy) or do you think the results will stay the same?

Sorry for the length but I'm only like 19 and this is making my life, esp living at a dorm with minimal food options and no kitchen, very hard.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 09:22:48 PM by bluesunset »

Offline bluesunset

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Re: Tested Positive for Corn + Other Allergies
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2016, 09:08:35 PM »
*to add on, I also wanted an allergy test bc I was out at a Thai restaurant eating curry & pancakes & garlic chicken and the back of my tongue felt like there was hair in my throat and my tastebuds were enlarged. My HR went really high and I had a panic attack (can't tell which came first). I went to the ER doc and they said my tonsils looked a bit swollen but it seemed to them I was just irritated from "spice" although it didn't taste spicy to me. They were pretty adamant I wasn't having an allergic reaction at all but it was still worrisome to me, being something I had never experienced before

*i just ate pasta and felt a bit of difficulty breathing (from the chest) and tachycardia again. the pasta is made in a soy and corn free facility... could this be symptoms of something else?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 09:31:25 PM by bluesunset »

Offline CMdeux

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Re: Tested Positive for Corn + Other Allergies
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2016, 11:27:05 PM »
First, I am SO sorry that life has been so incredibly difficult lately for you.  It's good that you're trying to get to the bottom of why you feel so rotten!


Secondly-- how well controlled is your anxiety?  If you have panic attacks, (and it sounds as though you have) please know that even for a person who has experienced severe anaphylaxis to a known allergenic trigger can EASILY mistake one for the other; it is not at all easy to tell the two things apart.

Thirdly-- if you were eating THAT much of something that you were truly allergic to, you would very likely not have been even remotely functional-- I would have expected you to have far more (and far more severe) allergy symptoms-- not just minor GI symptoms and a few nonspecific allergic ones.  JMO, but it seems WAY more likely that you're eliminating a lot of processed food due to the corn and soy, and maybe you feel somewhat better because of a placebo (nocebo, actually) effect, and maybe partly because you're more aware of what you're eating, and you're making better (higher quality) food choices most of the time.

It's really hard to say.  If you TRULY want to know whether or not you have allergies to those things that you've skin tested positive to, you'll have to undergo a food challenge to know for certain.  Skin prick testing is only about 50-50 in terms of reliably predicting a food allergy from a positive test, though-- do know that.  BLOOD testing (RAST IgE) is more reliable in that higher numbers definitely mean more likelihood of a real allergy. 


One other thing that might explain a few things--- do you have environmental allergies (pet allergy in particular)?  Does "home-home" have a pet?  This is a WAY common pattern among college students-- they may have tolerated a family pet that they've lived with for many years, but then they go away to college, and when they come home for Thanksgiving/Christmas break the first year, they realize that they are horrifically allergic to the family pet, and wonder what on earth changed.

Along those lines, ask what is at home that might have triggered the symptoms initially.

All of this assumes that it isn't a manifestation of your anxiety.  Please don't be angry at this suggestion, or think that I'm minimizing your distress-- but have you been thoroughly evaluated for disordered eating?  It often pairs with anxiety disorders, and some of what you describe DOES sound like it could be possible.   

I truly hope that something I've said here is helpful or gives you a new direction to approach the problem with the help of your doctor(s)-- if you don't have a good one working with you, it's time to find one ASAP.  Good luck!
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

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