The Celiac and Corn Connection: Should you eliminate corn from your diet?

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that despite eating gluten free for over a year now, I continued to struggle last fall with some symptoms. Despite my bowel problems significantly improving (if not disappearing) I continued to suffer from excessive sleep, exhaustion, moodiness, unexplained weight gain, severe joint/muscle soreness after exercising and an overall feeling of something not being right.

Finally in December I went and had my blood drawn again only to find that my gliadin levels actually have worsened over the last year. They should have significantly improved after strictly eliminating gluten from my diet and beauty products. Obviously I was concerned about this.

My doctor emailed me and said that recent studies have shown that corn and oats (even gluten free oats) are problematic for those of us with diagnosed celiac disease. The research was not done on people with gluten insensitivity or intolerance but very specifically for people who have been proven to have HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. I have both of these genes. You can read more about this study in the Plant Foods for Human Nutrition Journal.

Please do not take this the wrong way as I am not advocating for everyone who is gluten free to eliminate corn. For some people it is completely fine, but for those of us who actually cut gluten from their diet and continue to have ailments, this is something to research and consider.

Like many of you that are cutting gluten, you find yourself thrown into a world of corn. It seems that corn is even more difficult to eliminate than gluten. Corn is in EVERYTHING. I mean EVERYTHING.

I bought a bag of Lays Kettle chips – wrong – actually they are cooked in corn oil. You have to purchase the Kettle brand kettle chips for them to actually be safe for our consumption. Lesson learned.

It’s been exactly 2 weeks since I eliminated corn from my diet and I feel amazing. I am sleeping like a rock for 8 hours or so, I feel my head has cleared and I can actually be productive, I’ve done a couple of challenging workouts without any severe joint pain and muscle sorriness. I’d say overall this is a game changer for me. I am amazed that just after a couple of weeks, I feel this much better.

I see my doctor tomorrow and will update everyone with his comments!

Just something to think about when finding out you actually have the celiac genes and are still not getting well even after months of living gluten free. The things we find out day after day with this darn disease.


  1.  sarahporto says:

    Best wishes on figuring this out! Glad to hear you’re already feeling better. your quote “the things we find out day after day with this darn disease” resonates with me. Sometimes it feels like a never ending battle.But stay strong–as you already are–and you will get this figured out!


  2.  petitepea says:

    I found this article very interesting. I have had severe corn allergies (asthma, gastric upset, mood swings) and tested not only allergic to corn but the 90 some smuts(molds) that grow on corn. This fall i suddenly had all the joints in my body swell and become painful. My doctors wanted to do nothing until had this pain and swelling for at least 3-4 months but did get one to order ANA and RA factor blood tests which came back normal which means i likely do not have an auto immune disease or rheumatoid arthritis. So i began researching joint pain and swelling online and foods associated with it and it all came back to glutens. i went gluten free and within a few days saw improvement and after 3 weeks no more joint pain of swelling. Christmas came and i made the traditional pecan sticky buns and cheated by having some on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. by the night of Christmas Day I was miserable as all my joints were once again swollen and in pain. Returned to gluten free and after a few days subsided again.

    Due to a chronic leukemia I was diagnosed with a couple years ago, my body has increased histamines so things I was never notably allergic to before in the last 3 years I have developed numerous severe even anaphylatic allergic reactions. I had an anaphylatic reaction to sulfa antibiotics which has lead to severe reactions to sulfates which means i have to eat organic anything that grows in the ground (fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, grains etc) because non-organic farming methods use ammonia sulfate as a fertilizer and that is enough to cause my lips and throat to swell.

    My quandary is finding the combo of gluten-free, corn-free and organic – very challenging to find all three. i have yet to find organic almond flour. Anybody have any ideas?



    •  jacquiglutenfree says:

      I grind my almonds in the food processor to make flour. It is not as fine as some, but still works well for me. Have used it in breads.


      •  petitepea says:

        I was told that its hard to grind almonds without having them turn into nut butter which is why haven’t tried that. how long do you process them?


  3.  Sarah says:

    I have given up Gluten, Dairy and corn and it is life changing! Corn is not a good thing for me ether and I really think its worse for me the gluten…but I still need to stay away from all of the above. Headaches are gone, losing weight, less sleepy and things are moving along so much better!!