August 7, 2013
It took Caitlin Shetterly almost four years to discover why she was suffering from frequent headaches, nausea, chronic fatigue, and insomnia, among other baffling disease symptoms without an overtly identifiable cause. But what this writer and mother eventually learned about her unusual condition has vast implications for the thousands, if not millions, of others out there who suffer from a similarly inexplicable fate: Genetically-modified (GM) corn and its derivatives are silent health destroyers that could be costing you, your health and quality of life.
After visiting every type of specialist for chronic symptoms that simply would not relent and taking all sorts of pills, including an array of dietary supplements, without any success, Shetterly was desperate for a solution. That was when she found Dr. Paris Mansmann, M.D., an allergist from Maine who helped her identify GMO corn as the primary cause of her ailments. What the best of conventional and even alternative medicine had failed to solve diagnostically, Dr. Mansmann was able to identify personally and most importantly, patiently.
“Mansmann explained that, starting in the mid-1980s, the biotechnology giant Monsanto began to genetically alter corn to withstand its herbicide Roundup — the goal being to eradicate weeds but not crops — as well as to resist a pest called the corn borer,” writes Shetterly for Elle. “These small changes in the DNA of [GMO] corn are expressed by the plant as proteins … that can act as allergens, provoking a multisystemic disorder marked by the overproduction of a type of white blood cell called an eosinophil.”
Things like wheat gluten, refined sugar, and dairy typically hog the allergen spotlight when it comes to the types of symptoms experienced by Shetterly — most people, in other words, recognize these food types as potential culprits, and thus eliminate them. But most people do not think of corn, and especially GMO corn, as being problematic. For many people, though, corn and its countless derivatives are essentially poisonous, causing a persistent and damaging immune response throughout much of the body.
“[A]n allergenic protein may prompt the immune system to release eosinophils,” adds Shetterly. “[E]ventually they begin to leave the bloodstream and may infiltrate and damage the GI tract, esophagus, mucous membranes, lungs, the fascial system (the layer of connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, blood vessels, and nerves), and the skin — hence, the avalanche of symptoms.”
Eliminating GMO corn from the diet is difficult but possible with dedication
Naturally, Shetterly decided to take the plunge and remove all corn from her diet, but quickly realized that corn comes in many forms these days, and is in almost everything. Besides the obvious culprits like tortilla chips and corn chowder, Shetterly learned that corn byproducts are also found in things like cheese cultures, the linings on “to go” coffee cups, frozen vegetable bags, tea bags, and even some juices.
“It came under the guise of dozens of names like ‘xanthan gum,’ ‘natural flavors,’ ‘free-flowing agents,’ ‘vitamin E,’ ‘ascorbic acid,’ ‘citric acid,’ and ‘cellulose,’ to name a few,” adds Shetterly about the prevalence of corn derivatives in food. Other major sources of corn derivatives, she found out, include toothpastes, dish soaps, and even some iodized salt brands with added dextrose, all of which had to be removed and replaced as part of her new corn-free diet and lifestyle.
In the end, Shetterly and her husband found a diet that worked for them, but it was limited primarily to grass-fed beef and dairy, wild fish, game, vegetables, and corn-free grains, almost all of which had to be prepared at home to avoid contaminants. But switching to this completely corn-free diet alleviated almost all of Shetterly’s symptoms, so it has been more than worth it in her case, despite the hassle.
Shetterly’s journey, which may reflect your own, is recounted in full at the following link:
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This article was posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:30 am