A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Nickel Toxicity
I had a question the other day about nickel toxicity.
Nickel is a silver-white metal used to make steel, nickel-cadmium batteries, nickel plating, heating fuel, and ceramics.
It’s been described as a trace mineral, and is present in many cells within the human body.
Small amounts of nickel are useful in certain bodily functions.
For example, minute amounts of nickel are important in DNA and RNA stabilization.
Nickel may play a role in the metabolism of glucose and hormonal functions.
It also helps to activate certain important enzymes.
A nickel deficiency may affect iron and zinc metabolism.
But, too much nickel can be toxic.
Nickel carbonyl is the most toxic form of this metal.
Lethal exposure to nickel through inhalation causes nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, chest pain, weakness, and coughing.
Contact with the vapor can lead to brain and liver swelling; degeneration of your liver; irritation to your eyes, throat, and nose; and cancer.
Although toxic levels of nickel haven’t been established, the presence of excess amounts of nickel can cause skin rash and inflammation, also called “nickel itch,” and respiratory illness, and can interfere with the Kreb’s cycle, a series of enzymatic reactions necessary for cellular energy production.
Significant levels of nickel may also contribute to thyroid malfunction or heart attack.
Environmental exposure to nickel can happen by contact with automobile exhaust, cigarette smoke, manufacturing emissions, and airborne dust.
Skin absorption can come from coins, hairpins, jewelry, prosthetic joints and heart valves, and nickel plating.
Many foods naturally contain some amount of nickel.
These include bananas, barley, beans, buckwheat, cabbage, hazelnuts, legumes, lentils, oats, pears, soybeans, and walnuts.
Nickel can also be present in hydrogenated fats and oils, refined and processed foods, baking powder, cocoa powder, fertilizers, and tobacco smoke.
Using cooking utensils containing nickel may add unnecessarily to your dietary intake of nickel.
To deal with nickel toxicity it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily as it hydrates body and brain cells and flushes toxins (whether thirsty or not!). Also drink plenty of pure fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
*If you suspect you may have symptoms of metal toxicity, have a hair analysis done to detect toxic levels of nickel and other minerals.
*Avoid processed food products, as well as any products containing hydrogenated fats and oils.
*Don’t smoke, and avoid those who do.
*Beware of metal cookware, especially when preparing acidic foods, like tomato sauce. Use glass cookware instead. Also avoid using metal cooking utensils. Use utensils made from plastic or wood instead (wood is best).
*Ask your dentist about the metal content of the materials he or she uses. Nickel toxicity can result from nickel alloys used in dental surgery and appliances.
*If your job or hobby involves using nickel to plate metals, use a face mask while working. Inhalation of nickel can cause accumulation of fluid in your lungs.
*Chelation can remove toxic metals from your body.
*Aside from being potentially toxic, nickel is often allergenic. The nickel in watchbands, zippers, bra closures, pierced earrings, and other everyday items has been associated with many allergic reactions. A high incidence of allergic reactions to nickel in pierced earrings has been reported among children. Many earrings and posts contain nickel. Gold (14-karat or higher) is probably the safest metal for pierced earrings.
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