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I'm in my forties; it took me this long to finally figure out that apparently I'm allergic to corn syrup. I develop a tremendous welt somewhere on my face within twenty minutes to three days after ingesting products made with corn syrup. It's painful, hideous, not to mention it takes weeks to reduce to a blemish, which then takes months to fade. Nearly everything is made with corn syrup. It's not easy to avoid, but I do. The allergist can't test for a corn syrup allergy and simply suggested I avoid corn syrup. This is a peculiar allergy but one that I wish I'd known I had decades before, when I was routinely told by physicians that food has no effect on "acne"; the same physicians who prescribed brutal skin scrubs and sun lamps/exposure. If I avoid corn syrup I don't have the welts. What's up with that?

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Food does effect ance - by way of effecting our hormone levels.

Most corn syrup in processed foods these days is high fructose corn syrup. HFCS is sweeter to the taste buds than regular corn syrup (which is composed of glucose) as well as cane sugar (sucrose), plus it's cheap. So the food industry loves it.

But in order for our bodies to metabolize fructose, insulin must break it down into glucose. When we ingest a lot of HFCS, like through sodas and candy, our pancreas pumps out insulin like crazy to moderate blood sugar levels. But overtime, your body just gets overworked by this sugar and insulin overload and stops using insulin efficiently. When this happens, not only do we have high blood sugar levels, we have high insulin levels too. This is called "insulin resistance" and it's a precursor to type II diabetes.

Another problem with insulin resistance is high cholesterol, a common comorbid condition with IR stemming from how your metabolism is out of whack from not being able metabolize sugars properly. Cholesterol is used by your body to make androgens, a type of steroid hormone that is the precursors of estrogen and testosterone. So when your body starts converting that excess cholesterol into excess estrogen and testosterone, then you see the acne.

When these high hormone levels become chronic, it's called hyperandrogenism, leading to further health problems, and in women, this can lead to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which presents with other problems like body hair growth, scalp hair loss, obesity, heart disease, reproductive health problems (ovarian cysts , severe cramping and heavy periods) and diabetes.

Anyhow, back to corn syrup allergies. I have one too - actually I'm allergic to anything corn, but curiously, with corn I get painful, inflamed joints, but with corn syrup, I have other symptoms. The first thing I'll noticed in my gums become raw, sore, even bloody shortly after eating anything with corn syrup in it. A second symptom is heavy mucus buildup in my trachea and bronchi, to the point I hock up phlegm with nearly every breath. Nasty, huh? I didn't figure this out until I was in my late 20's, when my reaction too corn syrup had developed to the point I couldn't ignore it anymore. So I cut all corn products out of my diet.

If you think avoiding just corn syrup's a task - try avoiding corn , period. It is literally in everything. This is why I had to learn to cook for myself.

I've seen the recent ads put out by the Corn Refiners Assoc about corn syrup lately and am pretty pissed by them. They're very misleading. Corn syrup is not naturally occurring in the corn plant - it is created by a manmade process of complex enzymatic reactions that break down cornstarch into simple sugars. The result is a highly saccharide-dense slop unlike anything in nature and with none of the fiber and other nutrients found in sources of natural sugars (like fruit and unrefined sugarcane) to moderate how quickly it's absorbed by our bodies. No wonder allergies to corn syrup are becoming more common - our bodies are rejecting it like a pathogen. But, like trans fats, it is the food industry's way of making a buck with byproducts, so they don't care whether it healthy or not.
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I decided to google corn syrup allergy today, and these discussions came up. I am also in my forties, and I have had a "weird seizure" for years, I finally figured out when I consume large amounts of corn syrup/corn starch, specifically after having a BBQ meal at dinner time I was prone to these seizures all night long. I would wake up exhausted in the morning from my body being so rigid from seizures all night. My step father who is a chemist, finally figured it out. I have seen numerous physicians over my lifetime and nobody has come to this conclusion...so as an experiment I decided to eliminate the culprit specifically after 5pm during the day, and wouldnt you know I have been seizure free for months now! Thanks everyone, I am not hallucinating!
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I commiserate with the previous writer's struggle with dietary related nervous system dysfunction. Corn and corn products (especially high fructose corn syrup) give me migraine and cluster headaches to a debilitating degree. As much as I wanted to disprove it and ignore it, I had to follow the advice the naturopath gave me to 'avoid corn'. A very difficult task. Even with an organic, healthy-conscious market two blocks away. My family and I are a lot healthier for the dietary changes, but some intake of corn in this country is unavoidable, especially when one travels. Very unfortunate.
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I am also in my forties and have the same problem you do with corn syrup. I develop a cyst that is large, under the skin, usually on my face when I eat corn syrup. I have known this for quite a few years and have controlled it with diet which is much better than having to use antibiotics to try to control it. However, it is difficult to avoid corn syrup and sometimes I miss an ingredient and then I pay for the mistake.

Right now I wish that I knew what it is about corn syrup that causes the problem. I'm not sure that I think it is the sugar content, because other sugar ingredients don't seem to be a problem. I do think it might be the chemicals used to turn corn into a sweetener.

I have not met one doctor who doesn't act like I'm crazy when I tell them this, even though I have known it for approx. 15 years.
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In my previous comment I stated that I didn't think that I had a problem with the sugars in corn syrup, however after further reading on the subject, I suspect that I might have a reaction to any fructose. Maybe to other sugars as well. I seem to exhibit some of the digestive symptoms as well as the cysts on my face.

Thank you for the comments from the writer of "Food does affect acne" - your comments were very helpful.

I've found a lot of information about Fructose Intollerances/Mallapsorbtion etc., however nothing specifically linking it to the cysts.
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I, too, am allergic to corn syrup, though not allergic to corn itself. I get the "muscus-y" throat and coughing fits when I have it - not pretty. I don't have symptoms with any other sugar, so I can only assume it is how corn syrup breaks down or the processing itself. For those trying to figure out what the are allergic to when they get a reaction to corn syrup, see if your doctor can test for a reaction to molds. During processing HFCS is exposed to Glucoamylase - which is produced by Aspergillus. I have not yet found out what type of Aspergillus, or even if that if what I'm allergic to. Thought I'd share that idea with anyone that is still following this thread.
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I too am highly allergic to high fructose corn syrup, and to a lesser degree corn syrup and cornstarch and even corn meal. My reaction is facial and body acne. I don't eat regular corn enough to tell if it causes a problem but I guess it likely does. It's gotten to the point that I travel with hamburger buns that are free of corn and I transplant hamburgers that I buy in restaurants onto these buns (so travelling and eating out is not that bad if you are prepared and willing to settle for burgers). It's a pain in the ass but necessary if I want to stay acne free and I am in my 40s! Anyway, my reaction to high fructose corn syrup is much more severe than regular corn syrup so most breads, ketchup (thank god for low sugar ketchup) and sodas have to be avoided at all costs.
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I'm also allergic to corn syrup, but not corn itself. When I eat/drink anything with it I get embarrassing sweating (in the ass, to be frank) that can literally show through the pants. It was just sweat and nothing else, but nonetheless could be very embarrassing as I was always worried someone would see, and actually had on a few occasions (and still self-conscious of it now even though I figured out the problem, still can't get it out of my head that it's gone). I literally had to craft a sort of diaper sometimes between my boxers and pants; which I know sounds far fetched but it's true... it wasn't fun. Also I would become constipated most of the time. Anyway after about a year of that hell I couldn't take it anymore and finally discovered it was corn syrup and have completely cut it from my diet, now the problem is gone as long I don't have any corn syrup... It's weird cause the problem literally came out of nowhere as I used to drink tons of Soda and whatnot, and I'm healthy. Anyway it was interesting to learn that it seems that other people are allergic to it but get all different kinds of reactions.
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My son is 29 months old and has been suffering from "welt" like blemishes on both of his cheeks. We have done tons and things to try and get rid of these, but they just keep coming back. I have been to a dermatologist on several occasions and have gotten no response. As a mother, I always had a inclination that he had an allergy of some sort, but couldn't tie it to one particular food item (ie: dairy, gluten, etc). Last night, he was eating applesauce and he started crying and saying "ouch my cheeks"... I checked all of the ingredients to the food we felt like were irritating him. Sure enough, corn syrup, but particularly high fructose corn syrup seems to be the culprit!
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Just wanted to add my experience to the discussion in the hopes that it will help someone else sort out their allergy. I too am allergic to products with corn syrup, as well as popcorn, but not fresh corn. (Get hives). MD figured out by having me do a fast, and then reintroduce the more common foods that trigger food allergies one by one, taking my pulse and recording symptoms. Solved a 15 year mystery in one week.
My theory is that it has to do with the corn itself- the corn we eat fresh is a different corn than they use for corn syrup. As is pop corn. Who knows? But I've experimented over the years and the results stay consistent, can have just a serving every 3 weeks or so of popcorn, a candy bar or junk food now and again before getting the hives, but can eat as much fresh corn as I want (and I love the stuff) without any effects.
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My reaction to high fructose corn syrup is a tremendous itch all over. I only have one other known allergy - penicillin - so I'm not one that reacts to many things. After leaving off one food after another, it was obvious that corn syrup was the culprit - like day & night difference. Fortunately I can handle a little so don't have to give up all things made with corn syrup. My fave drink is Dr Pepper, so glad they make a cane sugar variety. The ads we see now that say corn sweetners are handled by our bodies just like sugar are lies, at least to me. I wish you good luck on avoiding the corn syrup in your day-to-day life.
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I am highly allergic to HCFS. I have different symptoms, as they are all GI related. I develop terrible cramps and eventually have to spend some time in the bathroom. My doctor warned me to stay away from all sugar derivatives as I am also lactose intolerant. I haven't developed any dermatological symptoms, but as a result of eliminating HCFS from my diet, I have noticed I have more energy, I have lost weight, and I sleep better. Hearing that the body treats this substance as fat is troubling. Not sure why it is still legal to use it as the many health risks (similar to trans fats) outweigh it's usefulness. I think it may correlate back to the use of corn as a staple crop in America and the affordability as opposed to sugarcane which only grows in certain climates. Bottom line, read labels. Make sure you are not feeding your children this harmful substance. It is a sure fire way for your child to grow up unhealthy.
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I am suffering from a severe lip allergy, and I am miserable. My lips are puffy, swollen, and I have a sore on the top of my lip that comes and goes. It's not a cold sore or acne, but more like the top layer of the skin never completely grows back. Sometimes it feels like my lips are just very chapped. I have scoured the internet in hopes of trying to figure out what I could be allergic to. I have done everything from cutting out chocolate, dairy, nuts, etc. over different periods in the past year. I am exhausted, and trying to figure out what to do. I have tried medications to treat my allergies, but the redness, pain, and swelling of my lips never completely goes away. Does anyone else have a reaction like this to corn syrup? I am going to try cutting this out completely and see if it works, but I wanted to know if anyone else suffers from something like this...
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I am also allergic to high fructose corn syrup and when i eat any products with this in them my lips swell and become puffy and hurt for several days. My lips started swelling and hurting when i was in the fourth grade. I went to many doctors and dermatologist and none of them could ever figure out what i was allergic to. Then last year i went to a nearby chiropractor and he solved the mystery by doing a muscle test on me and the culprit found was corn syrup. (this also included high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup solids) I then completely eliminated corn syrup from my diet and the rash around my mouth went away although it did take some time.
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