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hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 12/21/2008 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I know that itching in liver patients is from bile products deposited in the skin.  I really had not been bothered by this until last night.  I kept waking up all night itching like crazy.  Finally, 2 Benadryls got it to stop.  I had to search high and low for them, as I was out of the ones usually kept with other OTC meds.  Living alone, I can't scratch every itch and it was maddening.  I'm wondering if things we ingest might trigger the itching?  I normally don't eat beef, but Fri. night I made a beef stew--heavy on the vegetables.  I had it Fri. night and again last night.  I'm wondering if this might have caused the itching?  I also ate more citrus fruit than usual, and wonder if that might be the cause.  Or perhaps my cirrhosis is just progressing.
 
Has anyone had any experience with certain substances triggering the itching?
Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


cordovian
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 12/21/2008 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I personally do not know if any food group would intensify the itching.
All I know is that my husband scratches constantly. He uses my
long kitchen utensils to reach his back areas.

itsme
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 12/21/2008 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Connie,

When I first got sick I was itching like a fool.  So I can imagine how you feel.

I tried the following:  Soaking in the tub with Aveno oatmeal bath. Aloe, straight from the plant,(leaves kept in the fridge, the cold felt good)  Benadryl did not work for me, the Dr. gave me a prescription for Atarax, which I had used when I had hives, it knocked me out but it worked.

I was itching so bad that I even tried rolling on the carpet like the dogs do when they itch. yeah yeah

I  hope the itching stops.

Rhonda

 


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 12/21/2008 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the suggestions.  I have been using various long-handled objects to scratch my back.  My back is the only thing itching today.  I don't take baths, but will get in the shower soon and scrub well with my long-handled pouf and some Dove Pro-Age Body Wash, followed by Neutrogena Body Oil on moist skin and some body lotion.  I really think part of this is dry skin, which I have year-round, but particularly in winter.  I am not due to see my hepatologist until March, but I may try to move that appointment up sooner.

Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


exhaused
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 445
   Posted 12/21/2008 6:36 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Connie

about the itching.  My husband has tried 4 different medications (prescription) that has not helped for the itching.  We have purchased everything over the counter you can immagine!  I have even put corn startch all over him.  He looked like the pilsbury doe boy.  At one point I did corn starch and oatmeal.  If that wasn't a mess.  I will willing to try anything.  His back seems to be the worst!  Vanderbilt has now taken him off all but the Hydroxizine.  That does give him an hour or so of relief.  Crazy isn't it.  I have decided that the itching could possibly be a good form of torture!!!.  Sorry I couldn't help. 

JoAnn
 
Oh yes we thought at one point it might be diet but no luck!!!

Butterflythree
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 954
   Posted 12/21/2008 8:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Connie, My husband hasn't suffered from the severe itching yet, so I can't be of any help. I have exteme dry skin in the winter. I was skipping the moisturizer in the morning and I had marks on my legs from all the scratching I was doing. I know better now. My mother-in-law had problems with severe itching and the doctor told her it was dry skin. She was told to moisturize and not to shower or bath every day. I hope your regimine for tonight works.

I mainly just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you, and you are always in my prayers.
Butterflythree
 
There is always hope!


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 12/21/2008 8:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, everyone!  My shower regimen did help a great deal.  The only thing itching now is the middle of my back, which is difficult to reach.  I will just have to see how it does in the next few days and try to moisturize as much as possible.

Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


mer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 613
   Posted 12/21/2008 9:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey, Connie!! I am so sorry you are itching so bad.....my hubby has the itching issues, and Benadryl does the trick for him......sorry I am not much help!!! Hang in there!

frustrated_n_wv
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 12/22/2008 3:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Connie

So sorry to hear about your itching. I have had dry skin bad this year too, sometimes I look like I have had a "cat fight". I do think certain foods could trigger a reaction in you though since you do not regularly eat red meat it might have been more difficult for you to process causing your liver to work harder. You know how angry that ole' liver can get, can turn on us in a snap. Glad the shower helped. Hope you slept better last night.

Lucy

pscwife
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 12/22/2008 5:19 AM (GMT -7)   
My husband suffered the "Itching Stage" for a couple of years. I learned that the bile backed up in the liver enters the blood stream and irritates the C-cells. The is no topical relief and he would scratch until he bled.

In researching a herbal remedy, I came across a product from SOLARAY. It's called "Blood". The products main ingredients are Dandelion & Yellow Dock. It's purpose is to purify the blood. It cost about $9.50 from the local health food store.

My husband was very sceptical and didn't want to take any additional pills. He used it at my insistance. While it didn't relieve him completely, it did reduce the intensity of the itching. We ran out at one point and my husband told me that it wasn't helping. He said not to purchase anymore. After 3 days, he insisted I go buy some. He said he didn't know if it was phsycological or what, but he wanted to resume taking the product.

As his condition got worse, the itching subsided and we are dealing with much more horrible symptoms; i.e. esophageal varicies, ascites, and the like.

Hope this helps.

Penny

shadowsghost
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 12/22/2008 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Connie, I have a feeling Aloe is a good suggestion as the transplant center uses it on Doug when he is there and they send him home with some also.
Sue
When I started counting my blessings my whole world turned around.


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 12/22/2008 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, so far so good, guys.  I slept well last night and wasn't awakened by itching.  So I don't know what to think of my episode the other night, but I will keep all of your suggestions in mind.  Walgreen's sells aloe vera gel in a tube for a low price.  It's always good to have on hand, anyway, for burns and skin irritations.  Don't suggest a plant, as I have a "brown thumb."  rolleyes
Hugs,
Connie
 
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
 
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll


ryno
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 1/8/2009 8:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hep93, you present a good question.  It's possible (likely) that fatty food (ie beef) could cause an increase in pruritus.  Itching is cause by higher concentrations of bile salts in circulatory bloodstream.  fat intake stimulates gallbladder contraction (bile and bile salts) which are reabsorbed all at once in the ileum.  More fat = more bile = more bile salts (temp)
If benadryl works, keep using it.  Vistaril is an antihistamine (rx) which should work in the same way for you, only it's stronger fyi. 
Good Luck and Stay Well...
-R
MDchronie


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/8/2009 9:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, Ryno!  I've been moisturing a lot and the itching is only mild now, in the middle of my back.  My gall bladder was removed when the rt. lobe of my liver was removed (cancer.)  I thought I would have a problem digesting fats, but I actually don't eat much fat in any form.

I do appreciate all the suggestions.


hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis


ryno
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 1/8/2009 10:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I see. I still would not be surprised if fatty foods caused more itching. I believe the chemical released by the small intestine that causes gallbladder contraction also stimulates bile production in the liver. I cant really think of any other foods that would trigger pruritus in this fashion. Ill give it some thought though. Perhaps amino acid ingestion; taurine comes to mind.. I'll have to get back to you on that.
In many cases, the level of pruritus is associated with the bilirubin level (conjugated). I would only suspect cirrhosis if your liver enzymes are increased (including tbili). There is a blood test that directly measures the amount of bile salts in your blood; but it's not routine.
Itching definetly will dry out skin. I know how pruritus is, hopefully it will not plague you any longer.
-R
MDchronie


hep93
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 1/8/2009 10:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, MDChronie!  Did you change your user name?  Long time no see!  I do have cirrhosis, but my bilirubin levels are normal.
hep93
Forum moderator - Hepatitis

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