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Digestive Disorders

Unable to Digest Corn

04/04/2001

Question:

24-year-old female--About two years ago, I noticed that I am not able to digest corn. During my next BM (ie. next day or two days later) after eating corn, I notice yellow corn kernels in the stool. Few questions:

--What is going on? --Is it safe for me to eat corn? (I hope so, because I just love corn) --Is something wrong with me? --What problems could this indicate (if any)?

Answer:

I`m not sure anything is going on. I bet if you asked 100 people if they ever noticed undigested corn in their stools most would say they had. Corn is difficult to digest. However, I am not aware of any specific problem related to poor digestion of corn only. If you have an alteration of your bowel habits, like diarrhea, or if you notice other undigested foods in your stool, I would be more concerned.

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Response by:

John D Long, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati