Featured Allergy Blog: Nickel Food Allergy, http://nickelfoodallergy.com/
Author: Christy Cushing
Christy Cushing, Blogger and Author for NickelFoodAllergy.com
Diagnosed with a nickel food allergy and atopic dermatitis, otherwise known as severe eczema, in 2009, I felt alone adapting and coping with such a unique food allergy. Blogging about my experiences since 2013, I find great joy connecting and learning from others – including those with eczema, nickel allergies and food allergies. When not blogging, I love to read, ski, hike, travel and tease my two cats Pepper & Gary.
What is your blog about?
I write about my personal experiences living with a nickel food allergy and eczema. The two are related, as when I eat foods high in nickel I experience eczema flares on my neck and face. My blog posts vary from nickel free recipes, what I eat on a low-nickel diet, challenges eating out, eczema and nickel free products.
My blog tagline is “Eating Thoughtfully.” Like many with food allergies, I must constantly read food labels and ask questions about ingredients in entrees. However, my food allergy awareness also involves knowing the cookware used to make the food I eat, since nickel is in stainless steel.
What inspired you to start your blog?
My supportive spouse encouraged me to start blogging. Excitedly I first purchased my domain name, but I didn’t write anything for about 6 months. Soon after, I graduated with my Master’s Degree and began sharing my story in the fall of 2013.
Enriching my life in so many ways, I cannot imagine blogging not being a part of my life. Writing about my experiences and connecting with others has been so rewarding! I’ve developed new friends that are allergic to nickel via contact and/or when they eat foods high in nickel like me. It’s also taught me the importance of reaching out and participating with the food allergy community, the eczema community and with other bloggers.
Navigating living with a food allergy and severe eczema is an ongoing journey. It is helpful to know I’m not alone and that my blog has provided hope and resources for others with nickel food allergies.
What is your most memorable allergy experience?
My most memorable allergy experience was when I was first diagnosed with a nickel allergy. My eczema had become so bad I could no longer deny its severity as it had started to negatively affect my quality of life. Setting up an appointment with a dermatologist, I participated in a week long scratch test, which identified my allergy to nickel. I was 24 with my family history of food allergies. Not wearing anything with nickel, my dermatologist gave me a 3 page list of foods that contain nickel. He suggested I could have a nickel food allergy and informed me about the low nickel diet. It’s nearly impossible to avoid nickel completely, as it’s found in our food, air, soil, water, homes, car and more! After eating a low nickel diet for 3-4 weeks nearly all of my atopic dermatitis or eczema had gone away. It was incredible!
Since I don’t experience anaphylaxis when I eat foods high in nickel, I will occasionally eat something, like a salad or peanut butter sandwich to challenge whether or not I still have a nickel food allergy. Unfortunately, I continue to experience eczema when I eat foods high in nickel. However, the severity of my nickel food allergy has reduced dramatically now that I only eat those foods once in a while, instead of all the time!