Like most vegetables, corn is a healthy addition to your diet. But if you feel sick to your stomach after eating it, you may need take corn out of your rotation. Stomach pain from eating corn may be due to a transient condition such as food-borne illness, but it may also be the result of an allergy or intolerance. Consult your doctor for help finding the cause of your stomach pain.
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Irritable Bowel and FODMAPS
Sweet corn is considered a FODMAP, which stands for fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols. FODMAPS -- types of carbohydrates found in food that some people have a difficult time digesting -- may be responsible for some of the abdominal pain those with irritable bowel syndrome experience. Common stomach complaints after eating a FODMAP-containing food include diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating or cramping.
Allergy to Corn
People can also be allergic to corn, though it's not as common as an allergy to peanuts or wheat. Even so, a corn allergy may be causing your abdominal pain. Common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea. An allergy to corn is not limited to just the vegetable, however; it also includes any food containing a corn derivative such as corn starch of high-fructose corn syrup. A corn allergy is difficult to diagnose and may require an elimination diet to confirm. Only a doctor can diagnose a food allergy.
If your stomach pain is an isolated incident, it's possible that you may have consumed contaminated corn. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, corn may harbor salmonella. Cooking usually kills the bacteria, but illness can occur if proper food safety precautions aren't taken, such as hand washing and proper cleaning of cooking equipment. Common symptoms of food-borne illness include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever and vomiting, and it may last up to seven days.
Maybe It's the Fiber
The fiber in the corn may be the culprit. Although corn is not a high-fiber food, a medium-sized ear of corn has 2 grams of fiber. If you're not used to eating fiber or you eat too many ears of corn, you may experience stomach pain. The bacteria in your stomach and intestine aid in the digestion of fiber and need time to adjust to changes in fiber intake, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Eating too much fiber at one time when your body isn't used to it may cause bloating and cramping.
- Monash University: Examples of Low and High FODMAP Foods
- Stanford Hospital Clinics: The Low FODMAP Diet
- American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: Corn Allergy
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks -- United States, 2009-2010
- FoodSafety.gov: Salmonella
- University of Michigan Health System: High Fiber Diet
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Corn, Sweet, Yellow, Raw