Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Constant Itching
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Constant Itching

Six months ago, I had my first colonoscopy and a sphincterotomy (I'm a 46-year-old woman) after having complained for months of rectal itching.  Both procedures went fine; colorectal surgeon removed a couple benign polyps and a couple skin tags.  Itching subsided for a couple weeks, but has returned.  My internist has recently prescribed four medications attempting to clear up vaginal itching which has been bothering me now for three weeks (yeast infection test was negative), but I continue to itch inside my pants constantly.  I keep the area clean and dry; I've tried salt water baths and witch hazel; I've tried limiting my carb intake thinking I may have a yeast imbalance; I've tried colon cleansing with all kinds of crazy herbs; I've tried eating no processed foods.  What kind of physician do I see next?  Neither my colorectal surgeon nor internist are nearly as bothered by my incessant itching (and then burning and bleeding and massive discomfort) as I am.
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Difficult to say without an evaluation.  With an evaluation by a surgeon as well as a colonoscopy, obvious causes like hemorrhoids would be ruled out.

If there is evidence of vaginal itching, a referral to a GYN would be appropriate - to evaluate for vaginosis or genital conditions like lichen planus - that can cause the symptoms.  

Testing for various parasitic infections - such as pinworm - can also be helpful in diagnosis rectal itching.

If these options are non-revealing, you can consider a referral to a dermatologist.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
http://www.straightfromthedoc.com
7 Comments
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have you tried eating yogurt ??
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Thanks for the yogurt suggestion.  Yes, I've tried that too.  Any and all other suggestions are welcome!!
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have you tried douching with betadene??
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Hi! I have experienced the same incessant itching. I found relief consulting a dermatologist along with the GI and my Primary care physician. Itching has finally subsided following 2 months of Diflucan (for a vaginal yeast infection that could have traveled to the anal area and was being persistant), use of 2.5% hydrocortisone cream exteriorly and Anusol suppositories internally (x2 wks. bid). Hang in there! Be persistant, your bottom will thank you and the relief is well worth it. :-)
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I had acute anal itching that just popped up out of nowhere last year....I ended up figuring out it was because I had bought a case of diet soda which was sweetened with artificial sweetener and I was drinking 2-4 cans of it a day.  When I stopped drinking the soda, the itching stopped a few days later, never to return again.  My situation might be simpler than yours, but try removing artificial sweeteners from your diet if you are aware of any.

Good luck!
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Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions.  I have an appointment with a gyn this week (to be followed by a dermatologist if all symptoms do not clear up).  And just two days ago, I swore off the Splenda, and have actually noticed some relief!!

I have really found this forum to be extremely helpful.  Again, thanks for helping me find a fix!!

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Avoid sugars, especially refined sugars.  I use organic honeys and xylitol at home and at work.

Temporarily keeping carbs low is a good start, as would be a temporary cutback in sugary fruits.  If you crave sweets, try xylitol.  An excerpt that encapsulates why: "Xylitol is not ordinarily used by Candida and unlike glucose does not help yeast grow..."

My husband was diabetic until earlier this year.  He used xylitol to curb sugar cravings by mixing it with Cafix, cocoa, or lemon water.

Research "dentist" with "xylitol" and "therapeutic" or other keyword combinations until you find what dentists recommend.

If you haven't already, research "candida albicans".  For constant recurrence with other symptoms, try researching "leaky gut syndrome".
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