Corn allergy: Should I be worried?

Corn allergy arises if the immune system erroneously identifies corn as a threat. As a response of the body, antibodies are released to deal with the allergen. On the next exposure to the allergen, the immune system triggers the release of histamine and other chemicals that cause the allergy symptoms.

Nevertheless, this allergy is considered rare. It might arise due to cross contamination with a different allergen including soy. Even minimal traces of soy can instigate a reaction among highly sensitive individuals.

What are the indications?


Difficulty breathing along with nasal congestion or wheezing are indications of corn allergy.

An allergic reaction to corn tends to vary depending on the individual. In some cases, the reaction can cause discomfort. In others, the reaction can be severe and even life-threatening.

The indications might arise minutes or hours after ingestion such as the following:

  • Hives or eczema
  • Tingling sensation or itchiness in the mouth
  • Difficulty breathing along with nasal congestion or wheezing
  • Swollen lips, face, tongue, throat or other body parts
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness or feeling faint
  • GI tract issues such as vomiting, nausea or diarrhea

What to do during a severe allergic reaction?

A severe reaction can progress to anaphylaxis that can be dangerous. The symptoms that might arise include:

  • Rapid and irregular pulse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shock
  • Difficulty breathing due to the swollen throat and air passages

It is vital to consult a doctor right away if corn allergy is suspected or if any of these indications are present.

Preventive measures

Avoidance of corn might be hard since many food contain corn or some form of corn. In some cases, even touching the allergen can trigger a reaction.

An allergic reaction can be prevented by bringing your own food when travelling. When eating outside, ask the server regarding the ingredients used in the dishes being ordered.

In case the individual experienced a severe allergic reaction to corn in the past, a medical necklace or bracelet must be used. This will help others know that the individual has corn allergy.


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