When Eating Healthy Can Come Back to Bite You

Uploaded by osumedicalcenter on 29.02.2012

>>Narrator: Sara Plumby says for years shes made a conscious effort to lead a healthier
life by exercising and eating nutritious foods. But instead of enjoying the rewards of being
fit, Sara found herself in excruciating pain.
>>Sara Plumby: I experienced a burning tongue. My muscles would twitch, I had sleep disruptions
and I would wake up in the morning feeling like I wasn’t rested.
>>Narrator: It turns out, the foods Sara was eating were high in the mineral nickel. Things
like oatmeal, beans, and Whole grains, which may be contributing to a rash of new allergy
>> Matthew Zirwas, MD: And the reason, we think, is that there’s been a shift in dietary
habits. As people are trying to eat healthier, they’re actually eating more nickel.
>>Narrator: Doctor Matthew Zirwas is a renowned allergist at the Ohio State University Wexner
Medical Center. He says some patients can go for years with
itchy, painful rashes - often on the outside of their elbow, or on their palms - and never
know what’s causing it. Partly because nickel allergies don’t appear immediately.
>>Matthew Zirwas, MD: So, if you start eating more nickel, it slowly builds up in your body
until your immune system get stimulated enough that you start to break out in this rash.
>>Narrator: Even then, diagnosing a nickel allergy can be tough - because it’s in so
many things - like soy and dark chocolate - and can even be released from stainless
steel pots and pans when you cook acidic foods like tomatoes.
Sara went to Doctor Zirwas and Today is nearly symptom-free, thanks to a nickel-free diet.
>>Sara Plumby: I was shocked. Because I was eating a healthy diet, but the healthy diet
was making me worse.” “I’m so happy that he found out what the allergy was.
>>Narrator: At Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, this is Clark Powell reporting.