When I first started the low-nickel diet I began realizing all the colorful foods no longer in my diet. I worried whether or not I was still getting all of the necessary minerals and vitamins in my diet. I started talking to nutritionists and discovered a disconnect between the dermatology and the nutrition community regarding nickel food allergies.
A dermatologist diagnosed my nickel allergy. I continue to find the best research regarding nickel allergies through dermatology focused journals. The disconnect between dermatologists’ and nutritionists’ understanding of nickel allergies has always perplexed me as the primary course of treatment is changing your diet.
My nickel allergy didn’t clear up until I started avoided eating foods with high concentrations of nickel. Many of the foods containing nickel include those richest in nutrition, including whole grains, nuts, soy, and leafy greens.
I admit, first I tried dietary supplements. Most of the dietary supplements proved more problematic as many of them include different derivatives of soy. It has taken me two to three years to learn how to adequately substitute nutritious foods I can eat rich in natural vitamins and minerals that do not have nickel.
I continue to try to balance my nickel food allergy and nutritional needs through raw foods.
One nutritionist gave me great advice. She recommended I keep a food journal. My nickel allergy does not tend to cause me an adverse skin reaction until 12-24 hours after I have eaten something I should have avoided. It is challenging to fully understand how I should change my behavior in the future when I do not remember everything I ate previously. It is especially difficult to pinpoint exactly what foods I ate and should avoid when I eat at restaurants.
My food journal has helped me identify foods I should avoid. This is especially critical when I eat processed foods. Manufactures continue to change the ingredients in processed foods. Not always diligent about reading food labels, my food journal has enabled me to identify cereals, chips, granola bars, and other foods I previously ate – that now contain nickel.
I hope that the topic of nickel food allergies will reach the nutritionist community. Myself and others with nickel food allergies could really benefit from their nutritional knowledge to help us continue to get a well-balanced diet.