Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome (SNAS) & the Thyroid
For this newsletter, I dive into an article about systemic nickel allergy syndrome (SNAS) and chronic autoimmune thyroiditis. There are two research articles that link nickel allergy and thyroid disorders, below is one of them. Thyroid conditions can develop very slowly over a long period of time. Abnormal thyroid markers, such as thyroid peroxidase antibodies, can be detected in a person's blood before they experience any symptoms. Common symptoms of thyroiditis include fatigue, constipation, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, irregular periods, dry skin & exercise intolerance. Speak to your primary care physician about this correlation so you can proactively monitor your thyroid health. Personally, I get my thyroid checked every year during my routine physical.
Systemic nickel allergic syndrome as an immune-mediated disease with an increased risk for thyroid autoimmunity (2015)
Andrioli, M., Trimboli, P., Maio, D., Persani, L., & Minelli, M.
Chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT) is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in areas with sufficient iodine intake. CAT is characterized by high levels of antibodies against thyroid antigens and lymphocytes in the gland which causes abnormal ultrasound pattern and gradual thyroid dysfunction. A combination of genetic and environmental factors is thought to be associated with CAT.
The researchers describe SNAS as a chronic inflammatory disorder that has been defined only recently as a condition. It occurs in about 20% of patients with ACD to nickel and is characterized by eczema and extra-cutaneous symptoms (respiratory, GI, and neurological symptoms). Like CAT, immune dysfunction and environmental factors seem to be involved in SNAS. Intrigued by this similarity, the researcher set out to estimate the risk of CAT in patients with SNAS.
CAT was defined by elevated serum thyroid peroxidase antibody and/or thyroglobulin antibody and/or ultrasonographic pattern compatible with chronic thyroiditis. SNAS was defined by: 1. Typical skin and systemic manifestations 2. Patch test positive to nickel sulfate 3. Placebo controlled oral challenge 4. Clinical improvement after low nickel diet for four weeks.
The researchers examine 239 patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases but normal thyroid function. They performed labs and a thyroid ultrasound on every patient. Out of 239 subjects, SNAS was diagnosed in 136 (SNAS group). The remaining 103 people were placed in the non -SNAS group with other immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. CAT was found to affect 12.7% in the non - SNAS group and 26.5% of the people with SNAS.
In conclusion, this study shows a twofold increase of CAT in patients with SNAS compared to those patients affected by other immune-mediated disorders. This finding is significant. More studies are needed to confirm this finding and explore the relationship between CAT and SNAS.
IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS FOR THYROID HEALTH & LOW NICKEL SOURCES
IODINE (RDI 150 mcg/day) - COD, DAIRY, IODIZED SALT, SHRIMP, TUNA & EGGS
SELENIUM (RDI 55 mcg/day) - FISH, PORK, BEEF, TURKEY, CHICKEN, COTTAGE CHEESE & EGGS
VITAMIN D (RDI 400-800IU) - SUNSHINE, SALMON, HERRING, SARDINES, COD LIVER OIL, EGG YOLKS & MUSHROOMS
**Think of Goldilocks with iodine and selenium, too much and too little can be harmful. Speak to your doctor before supplementing.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Zucchini & Goat Cheese Omelet
· 2-3 eggs
· 1 small zucchini
· goat cheese
· salt & pepper
1. Crack and beat eggs in a small bowl.
2. Saute diced zucchini in butter with pinch of salt until soft in a small pan over med/high heat. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Over medium heat, pour egg mixture into greased pan. When egg mixture is firm cover half with zucchini and goat cheese.
4. Fold unfilled side over top of filled side. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and serve!