The TPV Podcast, Episode 220: Nickel Allergies

Ep. 220: Nickel Allergies


In this episode, we question an issue Stacy’s mom has about nickel allergy. Can an allergy to a metal cause severe systemic dermatitis?

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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 220: Nickel Allergies

  • Intro (0:00)
  • News and Views (0:40)
    • Simpsons did it.
    • As Sarah always says, what’s the use of her degree and research acumen if she can’t use it to help her friends?
    • Our topic today is nickel allergies, thanks to Stacy’s mom!
  • Are nickel allergies a thing? Not topical allergies, but food allergies to nickel. (4:38)
    • Stacy’s mom, Carol, has a skin rash that has been around for years, but with no known cause.
    • Stacy has been encouraging her to stop eating corn and nightshades
    • Carol found an article that linked these kind of allergic reactions to nickel allergies, and they started after she wore a ring that contained nickel.
    • Topical nickel allergy is very well established. People have reactions to nickel jewelry and such
    • Not well established is systemic nickel allergy, the kind that could happen when you ingest it.
    • Nickel is a trace mineral that we do need in small quantities.
    • Helps with bones, iron absorption, DNA synthesis and gut microbiome.
    • Affects 10-20% of the population
    • Some get dermatitis of the hands and feet, some have whole body excema
    • If you give people a dose of nickel, they’ll react to it, but this is much more than the dietary recommendation
    • Some small studies have done elimination diet of nickel with some success.
    • There are things you can do to counteract nickel sensitivity. Vitamin C reduces absorption and high phytates as well, though that has its own problems.
    • High nickel foods: Grains, beans, fish and seafoods, soy, oatmeal, nuts and almonds, milk, chocolate and canned foods.
    • Some of these are from the processing and the growing conditions.
    • Systemic nickel hypersensitivity: all the bad things
    • Skin issues, GI symptoms, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, headaches, cold sores, respiratory disorders may be linked, but evidence is very scant at this point.
    • Some nickel is used in black and red tattoo inks too.
    • Cosmetic products and smoking as well.
    • Nickel is an extremely common metal as well. Exposure could be from zippers or coins or keys as well.
    • Vegetables: Spinach and lettuce and gelatin, but not well established
    • And studies are not clear on how many people can be helped by a low nickel diet
    • Mom needs to give up the corn. For real.
    • Skin barrier function is helped by Vitamin A and D.
    • Should you get a tattoo removed? Probably not. Work with a health professional to increase liver and kidney function, then reduce heavy metals in the diet generally and up the Vitamin C
  • Outro (31:58)


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