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Posted Jan 06 2013 1:25pm
In the past few weeks I've received a few emails from people just starting out on their corn allergy journey. While I don't wish a food allergy on anyone, I do get get the fun of sounding like a grumpy old timer.  I like to fire up the Commodore 64 and reply, "Back when I was diagnosed, there wasn't anything on the internet for people with corn allergies. Just advice from the allergist on not eating popcorn and corn chips! Get away from that processed food before you drop dead."  I usually like to follow up such sage comments by putting on mom jeans, black socks, brown sandals and yelling at those darn kids to get off my lawn.

In the interest of being a good corn-free citizen who has survived an entire decade with a corn allergy and is now enjoying a large corn-allergy and corn intolerant community on the web here are a few good spots to hang out while figuring out how to live a corn-free life.

FacebookCorn Allergy and Intolerance Group
I recomend this group as an interesting place to start for people with either a corn allergy  or intolerance. Lots of people with different levels and types of reactions and good discussions. The group varries from people with a strict scientific testing perspective to people who are willing to try anything labeled a cure so there are lots of interesting discussions. Very friendly and helpful members who share info and support one another. The majority of very active posters are from North America, but there are members from across the globe.
Some group jargon that will help you communicate and understand a typical phrase that would be put at the end of a post about a product. If I posted saying something was safe for me, I might write: "I am a swift reactor to contact, inhalation and ingestion, only allergic to corn. I'm corn free, I can't do corn-lite at all!"

 Corn Lite: You can eat some foods that are cross contaminated with corn in the processing or have a small amount of corn derivatives and are either ok or willing to put up with the discomfort. Mostly people with a food intolerance or a non-anayphyactic allergy.

Corn Free:You (try to) avoid all corn containing products. Usually due to severe allergies and/or anaphylactic reactions.

Reaction Levels: immediate or swift reactor  vs slow or delayed reactor -- this is the amount of time it takes you to develop symptoms to exposure to your allergen, it can be min. for an allergy or much longer in the case of food intolerances.

Sensitive to: Contact (skin), Inhalation (fumes/dust), Ingested (food)

Corn Allergy Awareness
Smaller group, more focus on Canadian products but lots of cross over with the Corn Allergy fb group. Same friendly and helpful vibe as above.

Corn Freedom
Take this page with a grain of salt -- this mom w/ a corn allergic or intolerant child is interested in advocacy, which is great, but is at the beginning of her food allergy journey and IN MY OPINION still is eating/feeding a lot of corn intensive products and mistakenly promoting them as corn free. It may be that her child is able to tolerate corn lite foods, but she sees them as corn free -- it is a typical part of the journey and she is getting more comments from people with more experience w/ corn allergy.  As with any food recommendation -- use caution. More interesting to watch than to participate in for me.

Good FB Info pages -- not all corn specific

Corn Free Foods List NOT all corn free, many products are just low corn/corn lite and are tolerated by people with a corn intolerance and need to be tested CAREFULLY by you! There are only 4 safes thing for me on the the entire list, so proceed with caution. This is a good place to start if you are trying to find safe foods, but may foods on there need to be retested.  There is a visual Pinterest board maintained by fb folks that is a little more up to date -- Assume EVERYTHING is corn-lite and test carefully. It is a good starting point but don't assume that anything is totally safe for you.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation   Good info feed.

Team Anaphylaxis   Mostly focused on advocating for children's issues, good info for communicating about threatening allergies.

Food Allergy Mom Doc   Interesting and thought provoking posts from a doc w/ two allergic children.

 American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology 
Good info on current research for people w/ a science background.

Outside of Facebook
Avoiding Corn Forum on Delphi --   The long running, sprawling and full of info forum. There is talk of the hosting platform transferring to a more usable format for mobile devices.

You are not alone! Feel free to send me an email (cornallergy at gmail (dot) com ) and go connect with some of your peers.
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