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  • Writer's pictureKristina David

Metal Allergy Newsletter: Nickel Allergy & Wheat

This week's theme is a very hot topic within the nickel allergy community - wheat (gluten is a general name for proteins found in wheat). Some people with SNAS are sensitive to wheat; however, many of us are not (as long as it's not whole wheat). Personally, I did eliminate wheat products as part of an elimination diet before I knew about the low nickel diet. I did feel some relief after removing wheat during that time; however, 6 months or so after I adopted a low nickel diet, I was able to reintroduce wheat products back into my diet without any problem.


Contact Dermatitis Due to Nickel Allergy in Patients Suffering from Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity (2016)

D’Alcamo, A., Mansueto, P., Soresi, M.,  Iacobucci, R., LaBlasca, F., Geraci, G., Cavataio, F., Fayer, F., Arini, A., Di Stefano, L., Iacono, G., Bosco, L., & Carroccio, A.

Non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) is a relatively new gluten-related disease. It emerged from people who report having issues with wheat who don’t have celiac disease or a wheat allergy. NCWS disease process is unclear, some papers have reported immunologic activation and others have linked NCWS to FODMAP sensitivity (wheat is one of the richest sources of FODMAP). Nickel is also found in wheat and people with SNAS often have gut symptoms that mimic IBS.

The objective of this article was to evaluate the frequency of contact dermatitis due to nickel allergy in NCWS and look at characteristic of this population who are allergic to nickel.

All of the patients in this study were diagnosed with NCWS using a double-blind placebo-controlled challenge (gold standard). Unfortunately, they only patch tested the patients in the study who reported having a nickel allergy, not everyone with NCWS. The researchers identify this as a limitation. It would have been ideal to patch test all the patients diagnosed with NCWS to see if any participants unknowingly had a nickel allergy (not everyone with SNAS presents with a rash).

Out of 60 people, 6 (10%) with NCWS suffered from contact dermatitis to nickel. The control group had 80 people with IBS (without NCWS) and only 4 had nickel allergy (5%). 

They looked at clinical characteristics of NCWS who had a nickel allergy, in addition to 100% of the people with NCWS with a nickel allergy reporting a rash, 50% also experienced diffused itching and 33% hives after wheat ingestion (The researcher's did not specify if it was whole or white wheat).

The takeaway is nickel allergy should be evaluated in NCWS patients who suffer from rashes after eating wheat products.


Red Pepper Sauce


2 red peppers

4 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

salt to taste

Roast red peppers & garlic cloves in the oven on 425 for about 20 min. Blend ingredients together in a blender and serve over zoodles, spaghetti squash, rice noodles or your favorite pasta!


Whole grains are made up of 3 parts - bran, germ & endosperm. The bran and germ are removed during the refining process along with some minerals, nutrients & nickel.


enriched wheat

white flour

refined wheat

bleached or unbleached flour


whole wheat


whole grain

cracked wheat

wholemeal flour

Look for bread with basic ingredients such as water, yeast, flour, salt, & olive oil or make your own!

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