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Itchy legs at night
Hi. I hope someone can help. I'm an American that has been living in Qatar for the past eight months. This problem I have has been bothering me for most of this time. My wife isn't experiencing the same symptoms.

I often wake up at before dawn with extremely itchy legs. It usually happens at that time, and only when I'm at home. Only my legs display these symptoms. They do feel itchy sometimes after a shower, but not as severe (almost like an after-effect of whatever bothered me at night). I am a deep sleeper, and this itch on both my legs doesn't fail to wake me up night after night, month after month. I use moisturizer hoping that it helps (it doesn't).

I recently came back from a visit to the US, and I can say I never woke up from itching while there. A few days after getting there, I forgot that I had the problem at all. When I got back, I was going to sleep around dawn each night. Interestingly, the problem didn't come back until tonight. I went to bed earlier, and woke up with the same intense itching as before about an hour and a half before dawn.

I thought it might be bed bugs because of the timing of the itch, but as I understand it they leave visible bumps. I have none (just intense itching at that time of night).

Dust mites might be present here, and I may be allergic. However, I don't display any other symptoms of being allergic to something right now. And why is it only my legs that are itching? And why only intensely an hour before dawn?

It's not soap, detergent, or the fabric I wear (I've tried eliminating those things already). What am I missing?

Just in case someone thinks I may be crazy, I can now prove I'm not. I just talked to my father who was here for a visit, and he admitted to me that he had the same exact symptoms while staying here in my house an few days ago.

Please help...
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Does no one have any serious ideas or suggestions? If the doctors don't know then I guess I'm out of luck. Although annoyed by my difficult situation, it is interesting in a way.

Regards



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16682065 tn?1450491174
I'm sorry for what you're feeling & going through.
I too get this & it's not mites or bugs of any kind.

I too get this itch or twitching for no reason, (my father too...)  Neither of us has diabetes. However, both of us fight cholesterol (however, this was not an issue for me before 3 yrs ago, & this leg thing has been going on over 15 yrs.)

I do know...
The only 2 things that have helped is;
Getting up and walking if only briefly, (however, if the floors are cold it will worsen the effects soon after I lay back down... No clue, just the way it is.)
The other, (strangely enough) I noticed after my husband started working early mornings & I always sprawled across the bed as he'd get up...
This too, being able to lay slightly on my stomach with knee out n upward helps control it & I started noticing that last couple of hrs of sleep were my best hrs...

Dr offered to put me on meds for RLS but, my dad was on this & from what I've learned, it's just another treatment that makes you sleep heavier...
Don't know about you, but...
I don't want to sleep heavier or longer, just sleep better...
Sorry if this isn't an answer... Just thought sometimes it's good to know, "you're not the only one..."
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hi atassi
i dont think it is anything to do with the bed or where you are, but just incase have you got another room you can sleep in for a trial to see if the same thing happens?
the reason i say i dont think it is this is that i have suffered with itcy legs mainly at night for years and i have moved in that time an nothin aliviates it.
you seem to have the same sort of symptoms as myself and i have ruled out just about everything that it could be to do with the environment. i have read on one website that it could be pressure hives where it starts as an itch and the more you itch the more intense it gets. people have suggested antihistamines which i will be trying soon you can either try them to or wait for me to try them and write back.

hope this helps
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Hi

This may be dust mites or bed bugs .However , you do not show any visible rash on the skin. Bed bugs would present with dark red , tender to itchy spots. They may also be terribly itchy. Dust mites may also present with itchiness. Do you have any known allergies?

Itchiness may also be a sign of an underlying disease condition such as liver or kidney disease. You have not mentioned of any associated symptoms in your post. This is likely to be an external trigger here as you have noted your father experiencing the same symptom also.  You may seek a complete physical examination with your doctor. Blood tests to determine kidney and liver function may be helpful if indicated.

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Have you ever been checked for type 2 diabetes. I am a type 2 and when my sugar levels get high I get exteremely itchy legs. I sometimes scratch them until they bleed. I also get twitchy legs. These conditions subside when my sugar levels drop - medication Metformin. Red wine is helpful as the alcohol lowers the sugar level.
Good luck
Mike
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Thank you very much to everyone who responded. I thought I should leave an update to the condition.

I am still in Qatar. I still don't know exactly what caused the extreme discomfort I had before, but I found that it is some sort of allergy. Maybe to dust. Maybe to something else.

How did I fix the problem? I took a Claritin 10 mg tablet by chance. It's obviously not just for runny noses and other allergy symptoms. It allowed me to sleep without discomfort.

Shadowtear, you were right.

I didn't need to take one each day. Amazingly, the harsh itching I had was completely controlled with just one 10 mg tablet every 7-10 days. Recently I have started taking 5 mg loratidine tablets (Claritin is the brand name) with the same results.

Responding to Dr. Lacuesta and to Muttley, I am pre-diabetic (not yet thankfully although it runs in my family). I am assuming that the effect of the antihistamine shows that I (my legs) have some sort of allergy in this country I'm in. However, I will keep your information in mind for the future.

Thank you all.

Atassi
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hi everyone.

My name is Miguel.I'm from Spain and for the past 2 months I've been experiencing the exact same symptoms as the creator of this thread described. Extremely intense itch in my legs at night, especially a couple of hours before dawn. For work reason lately i've moved to Brazil from Spain and i've been sleeping in lots of hotel rooms with different types of sheets but unfortubatelly the problem persists. I've been doing some research online and i've come up a couple of articles explaining that chronic leg itch is something quite common for elder people or people with allergies or suffering from some kind of infection. In my case im only 26 years old. I've never had any known allergies and the only symptom of a potential infection is the itch. I don't suffer from any medical condition, that im aware of.I should have gone to see the doctor when i was in Spain but since now Im in Brazil and i dont have easy access to quality healthcare (im not covered by my insurance here) I would be so greatful if someone knowledgeble could advise me on what i could do to aleviate this unbearable itch??i can't sleep at night. thanks  in advance

Miguel
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I have had the same problem for several years. Doc no nothing but hot water on the area for a time will stop the itch for at least 24 hrs or more.  They say it may be sometimg to do with nerve endings.  Is worse when sweating.  Is more a young girl condition than a man thing.  Said to be on trunk area and legs of girls.  Until a Dr gets the condition, we may never get a cure.
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I have atopic dermatitis on most of my body (full legs, hands, elbows, back of arms, bottom of back). Atopic dermatitis is a dermatitis/eczema. Lots of people have it and unfortunately don't realise they have it and/or don't know how to treat it. I struggled with it for 8 years before a doctor finally gave me a punch hole biopsy, took a sample of my skin and sent it away to be examined. Extremely easy procedure (20 min) that can be done with any GP. Results came back a week later and I was diagnosed with Atopic dermatitis. Sounds simple but I was at the point where I had barely any skin left on my legs because I had scratched it off (was alot worse when I'd try lay down and sleep). When it's on such a large area of the body and it pops up randomly one day (not since birth) most people put it down to dust mites, shaving or ingrown hairs ect. Once I knew what it was the doctor put me on a high dose of oral steroids for about 3-4 weeks. This completely cleared my skin and any infections from the scratching (my skin was so inflamed and torn it was extremely painful and uncomfortable, felt like I was burning from the waist down). Unfortunately you can't continue taking oral steroids as over time it'll give you much worse, life threatening health conditions like brittle bones, thin skin,  gland shut down and withdrawals could send you into shock. Once I had come off the oral steroids the dermatitis began to return so the doctor prescribed me a steroid cream called betnovate ointment 0.1% 30g. I use it sparingly, rubbing it into my skin in circular motions. I do my entire legs every morning or second morning and I moisturise at night. My legs are completely healed and clear, with only scars left over which will fade over time. Make sure to use steroid cream sparingly as if you use too much too constantly you will get hives which disappear within hours but still better to avoid them. I always thought I had a ingrown hair problem because it honestly felt like when the hair would grow back it was unbearable and I thought maybe my hair is too thick for my pores. But even when the hair had full grown out it was still itchy and was always worse when id try relax or sleep. There was always blood on the sheets from me scratching in my sleep. It was so embarrassing and put me off going on dates and wanting a relationship. I was still struggling with it when I met my partner now and he has been by my side and extremely understanding the whole time. In fact if it wasn't for him I probably would have gave up and never fixed it. It was so exhausting trying to find answers and getting the same unhelpful responses. Anyway long story short, go to your GP, request a punch hole biopsy, if results come back positive, begin treatment :) hope this helps somebody, im sure it will. I know it seems like alot but once you get into a routine and just take that 10mins every morning to rub the cream on, you'll feel like a new person :) good luck.
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Hi,

It is SCABIES.  Pure and simple.

You need Permethrin 5% cream. Wash clothes and bedding in HOT water.
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Taking 50mg of Benadryl at night may help. However, you may have restless leg syndrome, which sometimes happens to people who are diabetic.  If you do have restless leg syndrome, the Benadryl could intensify your symptoms.

You might want to try wearing silk long underwear to bed.  Perhaps that could block you from any allergen you May be coming into contact with.  

I don't think it is scabies.  That's highly contagious and your wife would have it too.
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Lanacane often helps the itch go away too.
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I had the same thing happen to me. I went to an allergist. After taking a test to see what I was allergic to, I was surprised to find out I wasn't allergic to anything. The doctor told me that I came into contact with a virus that caused histamine to be released in my body. Thus, the itching. He said it was an autoimmune condition and it would stop in time. He was right!! It stopped almost completely. I experience a small episode once every 2 or 3 months.
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Benadryl! Good answer. That's what I was going to say.
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