Because the human body depends upon glucose synthesis for cellular energy, corn allergies probably produce the symptoms of a perceived glucose allergy. According to the National Institutes of Health, most commercial sugars—forms of glucose—are derived from corn. Sensitized patients will suffer allergic reactions upon ingesting the glucose compounds in corn syrup, corn starch and more highly processed form of corn. Individuals who get allergy symptoms from glucose ingredients in foods will probably get them from dextrose, fructose and other types of corn products.
Allergic reactions to corn, glucose intravenous solutions and even skin care items may initiate the same symptoms immediately, beginning with itching at the point of contact. The NIH notes that eating corn foods may induce itching or tingling in the mouth. This may be followed by swelling that involves the lips, lining of the mouth, tongue and throat.
These allergy symptoms may then expand to include the face or eye area. A soap, deodorant or cosmetic that contains corn compounds, sometimes used as dyes, flavorings or preservatives, will cause symptoms where it touches the skin. Ingesting corn-derived glucose either orally or through the skin can produce a red rash or hives anywhere on the body.
Swollen tissue can become tender and rashes painful to the touch. The Mayo Clinic reports that inflammation from the histamines released during an allergic reaction can also result in headaches or migraine attacks. These allergy symptoms may linger after digestive problems have gone.
In some people who experience acute inflammation from corn allergies, respiratory trouble will occur. Irritation from itching and swelling in the mouth and throat can block the airways. The University of Maryland (UM) Medical Center relates that throat tightness may cause problems in swallowing or getting enough air into the lungs. A shortness of breath or wheezing may indicate the development of an emergency condition.
When cardiovascular changes accompany these respiratory disturbances, the most severe type of allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, has begun. Medical help should be requested by dialing 911, counsels the NIH. As blood pressure drops, allergy symptoms that include an uneven pulse and fainting may be followed by cardiac and respiratory arrest.
Within an hour or two after eating an irritating food or medicine, corn allergies will upset the digestive system. The UM Medical Center includes feelings of nausea, stomach pain and cramping among common symptoms. Patients may also have severe vomiting or sudden diarrhea until the glucose allergens have passed out of the body.