Perplexing medical problem...help please?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cc-rider, May 18, 2006.

  1. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    After another "attack" last night, I've decided I've had it with not knowing what is wrong with me or how to prevent it!!! So, of course, my first thoughts were to ask my friends here, who have helped me so much in the past.

    Before you flame me, I've been to a doctor, who told me that she was clueless, had never heard of such a thing, and it was probably all in my head.

    I get terrible itching all over my legs and arms. It usually starts in one area (my ankles for instance) and then works it's way up. When I was younger (maybe 25 years ago), the episodes would last for maybe 20-30 minutes, be only moderately annoying, and then go away.... now they are getting progressively longer, more intense, and covering more of my body. Last night's episode lasted at least an hour, had me writhing in pain the entire time acting like a crazed woman, and covered my arms, legs and lower back. That's the first time it has affected my trunk... usually just the extremities.

    Things I know...
    It happens WAY more often in the morning. Usually right after a shower. When I was really little, I thought that it was the water that did it. Now I know that I don't have to even take a shower to get "the itchies".

    If I get up at a normal time and follow a normal routine, I'm usually OK. If I sleep in and lay in bed for awhile before getting up, it'll hit for sure.

    If I try to put on pantyhose in the morning, it happens. Usually even just putting on my socks causes it. My routine is to take a shower at night, get up at a preset time, get ready for work, grab breakfast and do the chores.... and THEN put on socks to go to work.

    If I've been sitting at the computer or in the car for a long time, once I get up and moving again, sometimes I get it.

    If I get stressed, it is more likely to happen.

    When I was younger, it only affected my legs, and mostly in the morning. Now it is more commonly my upper arms and at night time.

    I have VERY low blood pressure, I think. Could it be a circulation problem? I know it isn't the water, it isn't an allergic reaction.

    Heck...sometimes when I go to the bathroom, when I'm done, the backs of my legs have "the itchies"!!! Nothing has changed in the last 10 minutes except maybe pressure from the toilet seat against my behind??!?

    Last night I was at a hotel a couple hours from home or I would have definitely gone to the hospital. I had spent some time in a cool (temperature) indoor pool, and then a hot tub. Then I took a shower and got ready for bed. Decided to practice some music for a bit, and WHAM, it hit.

    It had never been that bad before. I practically rubbed my body raw trying to make it stop. After about an hour, it calmed down some. By that time, I was trying to use deep, slow massaging to stop it (since I'd already scratched and rubbed myself raw). It eventually went away.

    And I really don't want to go through that again! The worst part is that I don't know what causes it. It was really embarrassing last night because I was with a friend.

    Thanks for reading this lengthy complaint! Any ideas????

    Chris
     
  2. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

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    There's no skin rash associated with the itching at all?

    You've been checked for the obvious causes of leg itching such as diabetes I take it?

    And you say you've had this to one degree or another for years? Does it seem to be positional, ie. comes and goes with a change in position from standing to sitting or vice versa?
     

  3. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    maybe it is related to a pinched nerve type of issue. do the attacks last proportionatly as long as any questionable posture that could cause it? for example, if you sit for five minutes in a bad way do you get 10 minutes of itching? if you sleep wrong, do you get an hour or so?
     
  4. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

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    I was reading about this a few months ago, If I remember what it was I'll post, unless someone else beats me to it. reese
     
  5. redflare

    redflare New Member

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    You may want to see a competent Chinese doctor (Acupuncturist/herbalist). It sounds like a problem they may be able to help with.

    Of course good doctors are hard to find, so keep looking if the first one doesn't work-out. Look for one who has at least 5 years of experience, more is preferred.

    It usually takes several sessions and a few weeks of herbs to make things better, but you might just be "cured" at the end. :)








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    Quality suppies for disasters big and small (June 2006)
     
  6. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    No rash whatsoever (but I know that I am allergic to many, many things. I had tests done a few years ago).

    No diabetes, and I watch that because of family history. I have a sugar problem, however, in that I have to make sure I don't eat anything sweet on an empty stomach, and I have to eat small amounts often or I get really jittery and bitchy. I hadn't thought about that link before, but I don't think eating has anything to do with it.

    I think I had it as a youngster, because I remember asking a cousin if she got "the itchies" whenever she took a shower, too. I must have been 4-5 years old at the time. Other than that, I don't really remember it hitting again until I was in my 30's.

    I haven't noticed that it was positional, although I do think it strikes more often after I've been stationary for awhile...either sleeping, sitting, etc. Although last night's episode didn't fit that. I'd been pretty active the whole evening. No warning.

    Lately, when I go to bed at night, after a busy evening, it strikes in my upper arms.

    Soooo.... I guess that makes it more confusing. Sigh.
     
  7. TnMtngirl

    TnMtngirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you ever had shingles?
     
  8. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    No, it doesn't seem to be proportional. Last night lasted an hour, and I hadn't done ANYTHING wrong previously. In fact, had been pretty active!
     
  9. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    First of all, relax, you are not crazy..it's not "all in your head"..you just need to see a Dermatologist, OR a good allergist.

    Over the years, I've seen numerous patients with similar complaints..most have hives accompanying the intense itching and some do not..Wish I had a nickel in some jar for every person that I've ever seen with the same history..
    takes a shower, gets out and has a bout of hideous itching..sigh

    anyway..NOT saying that you have this, because hey, I cannot diagnosis anything over the internet, can I ? Yet just as an example..there's a nifty little thing called " Dermographism"..it's a skin reaction which may or may not come with a rash..it has plenty of variable presentations..yet with everyone who does have this, the commonalities are that when their skin is stimulated, it itches, and itches a LOT..not always, but often enough to be terribly annoying.

    People with dermographism will often complain that this itching will occur after showers, high levels of stress, rubbing their arms and legs, and yes, putting on socks and stockings.also prolonged sitting..sound familiar to you?
    Some people have an immediate reaction, some have a delayed reaction, and some people have a combination of both..
    Most people with this have a rash which comes along with it..but not all..2% do not..
    Most people with it can take a finger and literally "draw" on themselves, hence the name which means "skin pictures"..but not all.

    And if you don't have dermographism, per se, you more than likely have something pretty close to it..an experienced dermatologist OR an allergist would have seen plenty of similar patients and be able to diagnose and treat these symptoms..
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Think about cleansers, for a minute.

    Do you use fabric softeners? That would leave a residue. How about bathroom cleansers on the toilet?

    Can you do without chemicals for a few days and see if that helps? After washing your socks in plain hot water for a few washings, perhaps you can put them on when you get up without the itchies?
     
  11. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    circulatory problems, liver and kidney damage can all cause the "itchy's". That is why diabetics get the itchies...
    If your kidney or liver is having problems getting rid of toxins, you get the itchies...
     
  12. Country Doc

    Country Doc Well-Known Member

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    Consider physical urticaria. Usually have welps. Treatment is zyrtec daily to prevent. If it stops with zyrtec , theres your answer.
     
  13. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Doc, hasn't that recently been found to be related to a wheat intolerance?

    Doctors are finding that so many illnesses are related to wheat/gluten. And that only about 1/3 of sensitive people have GI symptoms.
     
  14. Country Doc

    Country Doc Well-Known Member

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    Physical urticaria isn't, others may be.
     
  15. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    dermographism...

    I've just spent the last 10 minutes reading about this on the 'net! Thanks for the link!!!! I think that just may be it, but, of course, I'm one of the 2% that doesn't get hives...just the itching. I also don't get the "skin writing".

    I didn't think about it (or make a connection), but I've been on thyroid meds for the last 30+ years, too. Sometimes I feel that the dosage isn't right and maybe that makes me have more bouts than normal.

    Also, as CincyC mentioned, I've wondered about my kidneys. I don't drink much water - not nearly enough. I don't drink ANYTHING, as a matter of fact. Just never felt the need. But I noticed that my nails are getting ridges and I've never had "moons", and someone mentioned that could be a liver or kidney problem sign.

    Also, the website mentioned someone having the allergy testing done and being allergic to everything. Actually, he WASN'T allergic to everything, except the act of putting the irritant under the skin CAUSED a reaction. I think that's what happened to me a few years ago. One morning, out of the blue, I broke out in hives. I could literally watch them spread on my body. I rush to the ER and they sent me to someone that did the allergy testing. He said he'd never seen anyone so allergic to EVERYTHING. I think I tested positive on 80% of the stuff! Now, I think it was a reaction to the test....not the allergin. A shot of something, and some benedryl cleared it up in no time flat. In fact, by the time I went back to the office, you couldn't even tell I'd had a problem at all!

    If the allergy doctor here in this little town had no clue what was wrong with me previously (just thought I was highly allergic), how do I get a more accurate diagnosis? Do I approach them and ask them to "test" for it? IS there a test? Especially since I don't get the visible symptoms (hence the "all in your head" statements....)

    I've talked to my endrocronologist, too. She's the one that thought I was crazy.

    CC
     
  16. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have this too....and sometimes I take nyquil(or a beer or glass of wine) at night which ends up causing restless legs :shrug: Socks (even loose ones) cause me to have lines...carpet imprints on bare feet....I hate to wear shoes and socks.... if my blankets get wrinkled at night I wake up with deep lines that itch after I get up..

    I have the low blood pressure thing too...prickly and red spots where "pressure" was...

    My sister had a real bad spell with it a few years back and decided to have allergy shot therapy...it has helped her

    I have found that I am very allergic to Ibprofin....major hives from it.
     
  17. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    DD does that with exercise, but daily claritin (otc cheap version) stops it. I did it during the menopausal transition. It went away on its own when I started hrt.
     
  18. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    All that I can suggest to you is that you get yourself to a major medical center allergist or dermatologist..the value of that is unlike someone who practices in a small town, the people who are affiliated with major medical centers get to see pretty much everything on a regular basis..

    as far as your endocrinologist not picking up on it..well, neither would a neurologist or an ob/gyn..but a Family Practice physician certainly should..specialists are supposed to be very well-versed in their own field and not expected to extend that knowledge into other branches of Medicine. IMHO, it would have been more appropriate for an Endocrinologist to have said "Gee, I don't know what that is..but I do know it's not related to Endocrinology..you ought to see either a Dermatologist or perhaps an Allergist." :)
     
  19. lyteora

    lyteora Well-Known Member

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    I'v broken out in hives several times since high school, during school it only happened if I was working out in really cold or running in rain. The first bad cylce of times it happened was every evening after a bath, mostly on my legs, itched terribly and could not figure out what it was, not soaps or shampoos ect. Now 15 years latter I think I have narrowed it down to regular tea, hot, cold doesnt matter if I have several glasses a day for a few days I'll start breaking out in hives. I asked my family DR about it and he did'nt see any cause for concern that most of the time they can't even find the root cause for the hives...But I looooove tea, so I try to be carefull how much I drink.lyte
     
  20. nubiannana

    nubiannana Willow Pond Farm

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    My husband use to have a problem with itching really bad. We just passed it off as dry skin, altho we use homemade goatmilk soap all the time. But, just this year, we found that he has Diabetes and that was the problem. Since he's been on medication for the Diabetes, and taking cinnamon, he no longer has this problem. You might have your blook sugar checked. Just and FYI. :eek:)