If you are suffering from Nickel allergy, you may know how complicated it is to adopt a diet that doesn’t trigger your Nickel Allergy. In this article, follow Skintifique’s tips about how to adopt a Nickel allergy diet to reduce the amount of Nickel ingested.
What are the consequences of eating food containing Nickel when you are allergic?
When you think about Nickel allergy, what comes to mind first is the rash in a very precise area where your skin is in contact with Nickel. But, Nickel allergy is not always about allergic contact dermatitis to Nickel… Indeed, new studies show that Nickel consumption can cause systemic contact dermatitis.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “systemic reactions, such as hand dermatitis or generalized eczematous reactions, can occur due to dietary Nickel ingestion”. This means that eating food (for people with Nickel allergy) with a high level of Nickel can trigger generalized itching.
And this is something that affects a lot of people. Nowadays, we consider that in the world, 700 million people are allergic to Nickel. Moreover, a recent study has shown that around 20% patients with chronic allergic like dermatitis syndromes are allergic to Nickel as are some dyshidrotic patients.
What foods contain Nickel? And what should I avoid if I am suffering from Nickel allergy?
Nutritionists have developed low-Nickel diets, which cut out certain Nickel-rich foods. The NCBI report says that a “careful selection of food with relatively low Nickel concentration can help to control Nickel dermatitis”. But this is not so easy: Nickel is present in most dietary items. And food is the major source of Nickel exposure for the general population.
The main ingredients to avoid are:
- plant and animal foods, mainly because of the Nickel in the soil. Examples of Nickel-rich plant and animal foods: cereals (corn), green vegetables (asparagus, spinach, peas…), fruits (raisins, rhubarb), mixed nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts), potatoes etc.
- Other foods irrespective of soil content: cocoa, chocolate, tea, gelatin, baking powder, soy products, dried fruits, canned foods, beverages, and certain vitamin supplements for instance.
- Canned foods.
Besides foods, it is also very important to carefully choose the cookwares you use to cook. Indeed, some kitchen utensils contain Nickel such as stainless steel utensils that are Nickel-plated. Also, avoid using cookwares to cook acidic food, as it may cause them to release Nickel.
What can I do to soften my Nickel food allergy?
The first thing to do is to try to avoid Nickel. But we know that it can be very hard. As we have seen, Nickel is present in a lot of foods. As Christy Cushing says in her blog Nickel Food Allergy : “Living with food allergies requires constant awareness and persistence. Controlling what I eat is a continual challenge”. Her blog gives a very interesting testimonial of living with Nickel food allergy. You can visit it by clicking here. She also gives great Nickel free recipes, that you can see here.
Besides, you can protect your skin and body from contact to Nickel. For instance, if you have to cook with utensils that contain Nickel, try to wear gloves. Or you can use Nickel specific chelator creams such as Skintifique’s Protective Cream HPS or Skintifique’s Moisturizing Lotion HP.
As a way to determine if your cooking utensils have Nickel, you can do a dimethylglyoxime (DMG) test. The DMG test might be used to establish skin exposure to Nickel. Easy to use, you will see a change in the color of the DMG solution when it comes in contact with Nickel. To know more about where to fin DMG tests, please contact us by clicking here.
When you can’t avoid the absorption of foods that contain Nickel, try to prepare your body by eating Vitamin C and iron. According to a study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, “It has been demonstrated that vitamin C decreases absorption of dietary Nickel, as does iron”.
In very severe cases of Nickel food allergy, doctors can prescribe specific medicines. These medicines capture Nickel through a mechanism called “chelation”. Nickel ions are chelated within the body. This kind of solution has to be used under strict medical control.
You now understand the benefit of low Nickel diet in the management of Nickel eczema. If you have any question or need any extra information, don’t hesitate to drop a question by clicking here. We will be very happy to answer you!
Another great source of information is the Dermatitis Academy page on Nickel Allergy. Be sure to check it out!
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