Metal Sensitivity and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Metal sensitivity comes from the natural corrosion of metals as they come in contact with organic matter. This corrosion creates metal ions, which can cause sensitivities in some people. Metal sensitivity is a concern today because of the increasing amount of metal used in medical and dental implants.

Joint replacement implants are more likely to fail in people with metal sensitivities. Metal sensitivity has many symptoms in common with Chronic Fatigue syndrome and some people may have both conditions.

Symptoms of metal sensitivity

Patients with metal sensitivities may exhibit a wide range of symptoms, from allergic reactions from contact with the metal, to autoimmune disease and Chronic Fatigue syndrome. Some symptoms are:

  • Skin diseases
  • Mucus development
  • Exhaustion
  • Cancer
  • Tumors

When you ingest metal or it touches your skin, if you are sensitive, you will experience:

  • Hives
  • Redness
  • Eczema
  • Itching

If you are metal sensitive, your body may react immediately or experience a delayed response. Reactions can be minor or severe.

Which metals are people allergic to?

Nickel is the metal you are most likely to be sensitive to. People also experience sensitivities to gold, beryllium, cobalt, titanium, chromium, vanadium, and tantalum. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of the population has a metal sensitivity.

In what materials will I find nickel?

People with nickel sensitivities have to watch out because nickel can be lurking everywhere. It can be found in:

  • jewelry
  • piercing needle
  • watchbands
  • the frames of your glasses
  • zippers
  • coins
  • belt buckles

Any metal item you come in contact with may be made or, or plated with, nickel You might also be eating nickel in your food. Nickel can be found in:

  • Chocolate
  • Legumes
  • Salmon
  • Nuts
  • Potatoes
  • Grains
  • Canned vegetables and fruits

However, doctors do not agree whether the nickel found in foods can cause an allergy or not.

Testing for metal sensitivity

One method of testing involves exposing your skin to a low concentration of an allergen. The potential allergen is placed on a bandage that you wear for two to four days. If your skin becomes inflamed, you have an allergy.

However, skin testing may not predict allergic reactions to implants. At the moment, there aren't any official tests to determine metal sensitivity to medical implants. Doctors also worry that skin tests may cause people to develop sensitivities to metals that they didn't already have. Proliferation testing (or LTT) and leukocyte migration inhibition testing are also available.


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