Recently I was asked about the statistics of nickel food allergies…The number of people newly diagnosed with my same nickel food allergy surprises me.
I don’t know how many people participate in the low nickel diet. Since the late 1970s, articles have noted the effectiveness of the low nickel diet as an effective treatment for those with severe eczema and nickel food allergies. There is scientific data all over about people allergic to foods that contain high concentrations of nickel. Countries include Sweden, India, UK, Denmark, Iceland, the US and others.
All the statistics I’ve read have said that 10% of women are allergic to nickel. Some statistics state that over 600 million people are allergic to nickel. However, it’s unclear whether or not those statistics specifically refer to people allergic to foods high in nickel and/or people allergic to nickel when they come in contact with it such a wearing cheap jewelry or rivets in jeans.
In many ways, living with a nickel food allergy is very isolating allergy because it isn’t well known or understood. Of the top known allergens (14 in the UK and 8 in the US), nickel is found in 6 of them – shellfish, whole wheat, sesame seeds, soybeans, peanuts and tree nuts. Many people don’t understand how so many “healthy” foods can be hazardous to my health. In addition, the diagnosis is typically from a dermatologist, not a food allergist or nutritionist.
I love connecting with others who also cope with a nickel food allergy. I have connected with so many across the United States, in the United Kingdom, in Australia, throughout Europe and China. It’s both unfortunate and beneficial that the number of people allergic to nickel in foods continues to grow. Perhaps the more people discover they are allergic to foods that contain nickel; the more the allergy will be researched and understood.
Connecting with others with my same unique food allergy gives me hope that I am not alone. Many of my connections have provided me tips as to what they do to avoid nickel and deal with a nickel food allergy. I truly appreciate all of your insight!