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should I be worried about corn starch in medication?
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Author:  ficbot [ Wed May 16, 2007 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  should I be worried about corn starch in medication?

When I was tested for food allergies, I did not test positive to the chemical corn sample, but I did test positive to the real, actual corn. I asked my doctor about whether I needed to avoid corn starch, corn oil etc. and he said I did not, but then again he also said cooking the corn should solve the problem and it was cooked corn I reacted to. He said I should keep eating whatever I have been eating and not remove a food unless it's a problem.

Well, I have been finding corn starch, corn flour etc. to be a problem. I haven;t gone back because it's really hard to get appointments with him, and all he will do is tell me not to eat something if it bothers me. But now I am worried because I saw that Reactine has corn starch in it. I like Reactine better than Benadryl because it's non-drowsy. I don't know if there are non-drowsy pills which do not have corn starch. I wonder if I should just take them anyway on the assumption that the antihistamines in the medication will take care of the corn starch as it takes effect?

I use the tablets for minor skin reactions, to reduce bumps and itching. Also, during heavy pollen times. What do you think?

Author:  Eldi [ Thu May 17, 2007 10:40 am ]
Post subject: 

Medication is a huge problem for those of us with corn allergy. Many of the folks on another corn allergy forum I belong to get all of their medications made corn free through compounding pharmacists. BTW...benadryl also has corn in it.

I cannot believe that your doctor told you that cooking the corn should make it safe for you!
The next time you see him, please ask if cooking peanuts would also make them safe for people with peanut allergy...

Author:  ficbot [ Thu May 17, 2007 6:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

Eldi, I have found nearly all doctors I know to be really clueless about allergies. I went through nearly two years of the most horrible and painful Eczema Flare-Up That Would Not Die, and had several doctors tell me it was 'just' eczema, that there was nothing they could do, that it was stress, and that I needed to accept that I was one of those people that these things happen to. I knew it was not eczema. I have had eczema and I know what it looks like. I was 100% sure it was something else, and they were all adament that I was just over-reacting. My GP even told me, when I suggested many times that it must be food-related, that it is a "myth" that eczema is related to what we eat. Finally, after nearly two years of itching, swollen, painful bright-red rings around my eyes and mouth (the pharmacist at one store actually recoiled in horror when he saw my face) they decided it might be the preservative in the cortizone cream, and they switched me to an ointment which cleared it up. But it would come back. Thank goodness the allergist was a little more sensitive. He makes it a policy to test people not just with processed chemical samples, but with live foods too. I suspected corn after I had a major flare-up during a day when I had eaten nothing different, and he made me bring the bag of frozen vegetables in with me. Now, in hindsight, I am sure the flare-up was caused by corn because when I took antihistamines, it would get better and then it would come back, and the cream (which probably had cornstarch in it) would not help at all.

Even more shocking, my stepbrother recently married an ER doctor who has three brothers who are doctors, each of whom is also married to a doctor. And she? Is anaphylactic to sulphites. Does not carry Benadryl. Does not carry an epi-pen. Tells me that she just 'doesn't eat them.' Cause the convenient thing about food allergies is how you can always tell what's in everything, right? :) And this, from a doctor!

Author:  KarenOASG [ Thu May 17, 2007 10:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
... GP even told me, when I suggested many times that it must be food-related, that it is a "myth" that eczema is related to what we eat.


Out of all the things that go on with regards to allergies, this is the one that DRIVES ME INSANE! I cannot understand why some members of the medical community have this attitude.

I'm glad you finally figured things out... That is horrible that you had to suffer for so long, but I am not surprised. We went through a similar experience with my youngest, although for less time, and members of my local support group have also had similiar experience - some for years with their children really suffering while they tried to figure out what was the root cause of the problem (food allergies).

It really really upsets me.

K.

Author:  Eldi [ Thu May 17, 2007 10:49 pm ]
Post subject: 

I know what you mean about doctors. I finally ended up figuring all of this out on my own after the dermatologist I had been going to for almost 8 years suddenly just gave up on me and said there was nothing else she could do for me. I do remember trying to tell her that I thought it was something I was eating...and she did know about my corn allergy as well.

By this time my skin was such a mess...most likely because every soap/cream/antibiotic, etc. she put me on had some unrecognizable form of corn in it! I didn't even want to leave the house. Some mornings I would wake up and look in the mirror and not even recognize myself. Some of the ways that I have reacted to corn/corn derivatives include: swollen eyes/face; acne-like breakouts on my face, scalp, back and chest, sunburn look on my face; earlobs swollen to 3 times their normal size; allergic conjunctivitis...and the list goes on. Oh, and I can't forget the "Rudolph Syndrome" where my nose would be very red, swollen, and painful. We had a running joke about the rudolph syndrome on the other forum for quite some time...I guess it's pretty common with corn allergy! I also develop large, hard, painful cysts from corn that can take weeks to go away...yeah I know...hard to believe...

I'm old enough to be a grandmother now and I finally have clear (mostly) skin. I will still break-out from an accidental ingestion of corn. I do have pretty bad scarring which is a constant reminder for me to be extremely careful with what I eat. Sometimes though...it doesn't matter how careful I am I still get corned...i.e. unlabelled corn oil in milk and unlabelled corn derived citric acid on meat. I had to learn those two the hard way.

Author:  ficbot [ Thu May 17, 2007 11:48 pm ]
Post subject: 

I get most of my stuff with skin too. When I tried eating some dairy last week, I got breakouts and funny rough patches on my face. Small amounts of corn e.g. corn starch, I get flaking on one particular finger and also cold sores in the corners of my mouth, chapped lips that do not clear up no matter how much goop I out on them, red and itchy around the eyes and mouth. I have experimented a little and am 100% convinced that this is what the corn does. I also find my asthma less controllable when I eat things which I know are bad for me. Raw apples, I had a really severe reaction where I actually got bumps and sores inside my mouth, heart racing, itchy all over, almost took the epi-pen (but I am find with cooked apples). And I did have an actual anaphylactic almost passed out reaction once to some Thai food, but we never figured out what it was from. I have a family history of weird food things. We all live to be 90, but get chronic stomach stuff: Crohn's, colitis, ulcers, food intolerance etc. This is my thing, I guess.

Author:  Eldi [ Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Here is a very interesting blog about a corn allergic woman and her experiences with doctors and corn in medication:

http://cornallergic.blogspot.com/2008/0 ... octor.html

Author:  Eldi [ Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:46 am ]
Post subject: 

Here is a detailed account of someone's reaction to corn derived dextrose IV solution:

http://www.mdconsult.com/das/citation/b ... .html?issn

Author:  batabid [ Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

I hate that corn is in so many medications! for this reason I only take meds if I absolutely have to, but I will not use any pills that have corn starch (if I use something, it will be something obscure like mannitol). It took ages but I finally found a couple of corn-free toothpastes.

thanks for the link. I was put to sleep recently for something, and I made sure I asked about if corn was being used. it was just salt solution. I hope a situation where IV is needed never arises, til then I am too irresponsible and lazy to carry a medical bracelet.

Author:  Eldi [ Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

This issue of the College of Pharmacists (British Columbia) Newsletter posts the results of a questionnaire about the use of corn derivatives in medicine (page 3):

http://www.srce.com/files/College_of_Ph ... letter.pdf

I guess it's promising that 48% of BC's pharmacists have "heard" of corn allergy.

Author:  Eldi [ Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: should I be worried about corn starch in medication?

For the first time in about 20 years I find myself in need of some corn-free antibiotics for an abscessed tooth. I tried to contact the only Compounding Pharmacy in Sask a few days ago by e-mail and did not even get a reply from them. Luckily my dentist is going to go ahead this morning with a root canal without first treating the infection. It isn't severely infected...I don't have any fever or swelling.

I guess I could contact other Compounding Pharmacies from other areas of the country but what's the point...they don't appear to be too concerned about corn allergy.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: should I be worried about corn starch in medication?

Grrr

Author:  Momtobunches [ Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: should I be worried about corn starch in medication?

We have 1 patient in our pharmacy who cannot have corn starch, and we have ensured that we carry only certain brands of medication for him.

It did take us a while to find out the info from manufacturers, but it is possible. We are not a compounding pharmacy, but have been able to accomodate this man with his allergy. Shop around - eventually you will find a regular pharmacy who is willing to go that extra mile for you.

Author:  kmommy [ Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re:

KarenOASG wrote:
Quote:
... GP even told me, when I suggested many times that it must be food-related, that it is a "myth" that eczema is related to what we eat.


Out of all the things that go on with regards to allergies, this is the one that DRIVES ME INSANE! I cannot understand why some members of the medical community have this attitude.

I'm glad you finally figured things out... That is horrible that you had to suffer for so long, but I am not surprised. We went through a similar experience with my youngest, although for less time, and members of my local support group have also had similar experience - some for years with their children really suffering while they tried to figure out what was the root cause of the problem (food allergies).

It really really upsets me.

K.

Yeah, that one drives me nuts too! My youngest son's eczema is almost fully controlled right now because we have discovered what foods cause the reactions and taken them out of his diet. It's amazing how far he's come! He actually has a speech problem because of his face eczema... he didn't learn how to talk while moving his lips too much because it hurt. :( He's now 7 and has speech therapy to learn how to move his lips while he talks.

Author:  Eldi [ Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: should I be worried about corn starch in medication?

Unfortunately, corn starch isn't the only concern when it comes to medication. There are dozens of other "corny" additives used in medication....

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