Liver Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Localized Itch and Liver Disease

I am a 45 year women. I have an intense itch up and down the length of both my arms (lateral side).  It resolves with OTC antihistimines.  I had it for 5 years before it went away after accupunture immedicately following knee surgery (she treated me for liver health and itch).  It started as a mild itchy spot on my right arm before spreading up and down both arms.  That was Nov. 2007.  The itch returned in September of this year, progressing from a small spot on my right arm to the whole right arm within 2 months.  I had been controlling it with benadryl, the way I used to be able to control it before graduating to OTC oral antihistimines.  These worked in the past, and they worked 2 nights ago when the itch woke me up in the night, just like the old days.  I took 2 Benadryl and went back to sleep.  It did not itch last night, I probably have another few nights before it returns.  I have also had hives on my neck and face 3 or 4 times in the last 2 months as well.  I don't remember having that happen before.  I don't suffer from environmental allergies as far as I know.  I am under a lot of stress. But I was under just as much stress this time last year, if not more (mom got ill and then passed away in the spring).   As far as I can tell, there is about that skin that looks or feels strange when the itch starts, it starts as a kind of tingly/zingy feeling.  Scratching causes small red bumps appear and the skin starts to feel a bit bumpy and rough.  I often scratch till I bleed.  

Could there be a connection between this itch and liver or kidney disease.  I have read that itching can be a symptom of primary biliary cirrhosis (I am in the right age group).  Some of the other symptoms I have are mild, these are fatigue, depression, obsessive/complusive, itchy hands and palms in the early years of the itch.But no other outward signs such as juandice.  

Does anyone have experience with this?  I am most confused about the resolution of the itch with OTC antihistimines b/c that really rules out Brachial Radial Pruritus.  

6 Responses
758338 tn?1235788602
Typically "liver itch" will also reveal elevated bilirubin, ALT/AST.  Also the dreaded "itch" that can make you wanna scratch harder than an old hound with 1000 fleas, usually is more generalized than localized - back, legs, arms, etc... A simple LFT would either steer your doc toward - or away from hepatic causes.

Avatar universal
Hy I too am deiling with a crazy  itching problim however I do have seasonal allergies for   The last four years I have had elivated billirubins three years ago I had kind of nervous break down and a week later my hole body begain to itch from head to tow as if I had the onset of poison ivy I've been forced to take antihistimienes if I go six days without I can't even function it's like torture can't realy get answers. Disturbing
627145 tn?1230309226
I don't have liver disease, but I did suffer for decades from terrible, deep itch.  Also tiny blisters on my arms.  It turns out I can't eat wheat!  The tests don't always work for celiac disease according to my doctor, so he has me off gluten and that's how I get relief of my itching and other problems.  Having celiac disease means you are likely to get autoimmune diseases down the road, and most people with celiac disease never figure out they have it.  It's estimated that 1/120 people have celiac disease.  
Avatar universal
I SOOO know what you are talking about the only difference IS I don't get bumps after the Itch. Instead I have sores from where I have Scratched the skin till its gone!! Then I scab up and Its very Embarrassing I have about 10 sores/scabs on my Left arm right now from this. I work at my Local Police Dept. and I see these type sores on ppl that use Meth, I fear my Small Town is gonna start thinking I'm useing Meth LOL

Ive had this for about 2 1/2 years and I've been to my family Dr numerous times, Allergist and a Dermatologist. I have another appt on July 12th with Yet another Dr. (Dermatologist) All the Dr's just look at me and Scratch their heads (No pun intended)

Ice does help but I want a CURE!!! I'm so Sick of Itching!!! I have spent Hundreds of Dollars on Medicine and Co-pays trying to get this diagnosed.

Avatar universal
BTW I have also had Hives in the past (2005) I am Under alot of Stress (I'm a Single Mom to 3 children, 2 of which are Twins) I have just in the last few weeks had itchy palms you mentioned. I too Have the tingly/zingy type feeling from where It itches...Just wanted to throw that in there ;-)
Avatar universal
I know this is an old post, but I'm putting this up anyway for anyone that comes along after this looking for relief from their itching.
I have dealt with this for many years. I found out in an indirect way that taking digestive enzymes will stop my itching. A friend was dealing with the same problem and her doc put her on Prylosec (sp?) for it, which is an anti-acid for indigestion, I believe, which she wasn't dealing with at all.  I was already taking digestive enzymes on occasion but hadn't made the connection that I wasn't itching while taking them. After I figured out that the enzymes were not only helping with my digestion, but also preventing the itching, they have become a daily part of my life.
I'm on here today because we have run out of digestive enzymes and the itch is returning, but I know not to scratch it because it will only get worse. Just did a Google search to see what I could find about the itching and digestion and found these posts. I hope all of you have found relief from this!
I am a 46 year old male, non-drinker, non-smoker, in pretty good shape.  Now, I'm of to the health food store for more digestive enzymes!
Brian in Indy
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