Itchy skin can drive us crazy and we would do anything to get to the bottom of the cause. It’s very easy to get fixated on what you think may be the cause and to not look more widely for the real culprit. In this video, I discuss two different kinds of itching and the possible causes of each kind.
Transcription of The Causes of Itching
Today I want to talk about itching. There can be two sorts of itching. There’s the itching where you feel it on your skin and you get some relief from scratching it, and there’s also an internal itching. I want to talk first about the external itching, and of course there are a myriad of reasons why you could have itching – including the medications you’re taking, many of them have side effects of itching. In fact, I remember once when I had a really bad back, I was taking Ibuprofen every day for several days and I broke out in a rash.
There’s also external causes like plants and the pollen in the air. The fabrics you wear touching your skin can cause itching. Your cosmetics that you could perhaps have a reaction to and the soap that you use. Another thing that can cause the external itching is stress. That’s one you might not even think about. But think what situation you’re in when you get that itching – who you’re with – and try to work out what that stressor is. If you can eliminate that stressor, you would, of course, eliminate the itching. There are also skin diseases that can cause itching.
We also know that food, if you’re reacting to it, can cause your skin to itch and maybe even break out into a rash or into hives. There are many different foods which could cause this reaction depending on your reaction to it as an individual. Anything from the salicylates in nuts and seeds, which I have mentioned before or it could be the oxalic acid in something like spinach. There are various different things that could cause the itching, as far as food is concerned.
Let’s look now at the other kind of itching, which is an internal itching which, it doesn’t matter how much you scratch, you can’t even touch it. Again, there can be various different reasons for this, but one of the main ones is to do with your liver function and how well you’re dealing with the bile from your gallbladder also. Because we know that there is a connection between the gallbladder and IBS – and many people with IBS have had gallbladder issues and often have had them taken out – let’s look at that one. Your gallbladder produces bile, and when we eat too much fat, that creates more bile, and that bile has to be released out. If everything’s working perfectly, there is no issue. But if you have any sort of problem with the gallbladder, perhaps gall stones or a little blockage, then that bile might not be getting away freely and it could be backing up into your system. That bile backing up into your system will cause itching – the kind of itching that you can’t scratch, you can’t get at, that will drive you completely crazy. And that normally means that you’re going to have to adjust your diet to a much lower fat diet, because it’s the fat that creates that bile. It also means that you should be going to visit your doctor to have a little chat with him about this internal itching to see if he can nail down the reason for it because I am not a doctor and I’m just throwing out ideas. I know about the internal itching to do with the bile because my mother had an operation on her gallbladder and they made a mistake and nicked her bile duct. They had to reconstruct everything so that her bile could get away using a different method. That meant that there was scar tissue that formed around what they did, and every now and then that got too much and created a blockage and her bile would back up into her system and cause unbearable itching. Then they would have to go in and stretch out the scar tissue again. She is now 89 years old, so she’s actually survived this operation – many people don’t – but if she eats too fatty, too rich foods, she will get this problem of the bile backing up.
So there are just a few thoughts for you. If you do get any itching at any time – I hope you don’t – but if you do, those are some of the possibilities, but definitely go and get it checked out by your health practitioner.
Thank you for watching, and goodbye.