Nickel can irritate those with celiac disease and often cause gastrointestinal symptoms in those with intolerance; how to diagnose food intolerances; the dangers of self-diagnosis
Nickel is a metal that bothers an increasing number of people: coeliacs, who are intolerant to gluten and must eliminate it from their diets, due to the different composition of their diet, may have a higher than normal nickel intake and this can lead to a greater probability of irritable colon, with symptoms that lead one to believe that it is refractory celiac disease, while it is only the effects of this metal on the intestine. This was suggested by research by the La Sapienza University of Rome, according to which important to evaluate the nickel content of the celiac diet and in general to study better and better how this metal affects well-being.
Systemic nickel allergy syndrome is in fact a fairly common food intolerance, occurring in about 20 percent of those with nickel contact dermatitis. In this condition there are probably immunological mechanisms not mediated by immunoglobulins E, those involved in classic allergies: after the consumption of foods that contain high quantities of nickel (such as cocoa, walnuts and almonds, legumes and so on) gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating and colic, associated with skin symptoms such as eczema and hives. Diagnosis is made by trying nickel-poor diets and evaluating the reappearance of symptoms upon reintroduction of the metal in the form of tablets with variable doses; also exists a desensitizing treatment possible for those who have had a precise diagnosis.
How to diagnose intolerances
Nickel is only the most common of many other intolerances, other than lactose and celiac disease for which there are specific diagnostic tests. The diagnosis of these intolerances for which there are no validated clinical tests is usually performed by exclusionfor this reason when you have symptoms compatible with an intolerance you should contact a specialized doctor, for example an allergist or a gastroenterologist. You need to keep a detailed food diaryin which to enter everything you eat and any symptoms, also noting how long it takes to emerge.
Already this can help identify a suspect food, which will then be eliminated from the diet for two, three weeks and then reintroduced (thea so-called exclusion and provocation diet): if the symptoms first disappear and then return, there may be a food intolerance to that food. The path, which usually also includes undergoing allergy tests to verify that the cause is not a real food allergy, it must always be performed with a doctorwithout relying on the many tests for intolerances that have no clinical validity or scientific demonstrations of their reliability.
The dangers of self-diagnosis
According to estimates, compared to two million true allergies and another ten million intolerant to lactose, gluten, nickel or other substances there are at least eight million imaginary allergic and intolerant people, convinced that they can’t tolerate tomatoes or yeast, milk or wheat but that in reality they could eat anything without any real problem. All this is not without risk, especially for the little ones: in children the disturbances due to incorrect nutrition based on supposed intolerances are worse than the symptoms that are tried to be alleviated with an exclusion diet and a high nutritional risk, because by eliminating foods or even entire categories of foods it is possible to encounter a deficiency of essential nutrients with impact on growth and development.
However, adults are also at risk: eliminating some foods for no real reason leads to imbalances in the intestinal microflora which can then be paid dearly in the future, given that microbiota alterations are connected to countless pathologies such as obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases. Moreover, often with the non-validated tests for intolerances a very long series of positive results emerges and patients are recommended to eliminate a large array of foods, starting from those that most often cause gastrointestinal discomfort without necessarily inducing real allergies: anyone who reduces the consumption of Food at first has a feel-good feel to it and this can convince some that they are allergic or intolerant when it is not true. The result that by removing important products from the diet, such as dairy products or meat, one is exposed to a greater risk of deficiencies in essential minerals such as calcium or iron.
June 3, 2023 (change June 3, 2023 | 06:55 am)
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