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Diabetes and itching

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Old 10-02-2003, 05:59 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Phila, Pa. USA
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surpy HB User
Red face Diabetes and itching

Hi Karen,
Prior to being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I had the same sensation on both arms that was enough to make you want to scratch to the bone!
I have found that when my blood sugar rises I have more itching than when under control but still get the itching periodically anyway. Still looking for a solution or remedy...
Any input?

: About a year ago my right shoulder began itching. The itch was not accompanied by a rash or any other obvious cause. I visited a Dr. who told me it was just dry skin. He said he did see a rash and I pointed out to him that the red marks he saw were from my fingernails and the scratching that I had done. The itch feels like it comes from my bones. I call it a biting itch. It has progressed from my shoulder to my entire arm and armpit. I can put ice on it and numb the area and as soon as it warms back up the itch is back. I have a twin sister who has this same thing. It happens at night, it happens during the day. I find no rhyme or reason for it. I cannot connect it to my diet, soaps, sun exposure or even nerves. It is driving me nuts and I of course lose sleep most nights because I am up and itching. I read somewhere that itching can be a symptom of diabetes. My maternal Grandmother had diabetes.
: Can anyone help me please?
: Thank you,
: Karen

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Old 10-03-2003, 02:22 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: waterloo, ne USA
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horsejody HB User

High sugar dehydrates you. Skin can get dry and itchy when you are dehydrated. The best way to prevent this is to keep tight control of your blood glucose levels.

Old 10-09-2003, 08:58 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: OH
Posts: 11
dreamgirl138 HB User

Itchy skin is also a sign of kidney problems.

Old 04-03-2004, 07:33 PM   #4
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Location: Las Cruces, NM
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bredshaw HB User
Unhappy Re: Diabetes and itching

I am diabetic and I have the same problem with intense itching on one or both arms. Sometimes I just want to cut them off they itch so much! I have kept track of my blood sugar and it doesn't necessarily match up with the itching. However, I have found that stress seems to trigger the itching.

I was concerned it was from kidney problems but my doctor said my kidney function tests are okay. She is sympathetic (thank goodness) and has prescribed Tylenol 3's for me to use as a last resort; I've also gone to my dermatologist who prescribed an oral drug called Doxepin that I take every night. Doxepin is an anti-seizure medication that has also been found to stop itching but he said you have to take it once a day for several months before it takes effect. He also prescribed Elidel cream because he said that addresses itching differently.

Actually, I try just about everything including Benadryl, Diabetaid cream, Aveeno cream, wash with Aveeno, etc. It seems to be getting better but when I am stressed, it starts again. Good luck in resolving yours. If you have found anything else, please let me know.

Old 04-03-2004, 09:03 PM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 1,046
Mommyof4 HB User
Re: Diabetes and itching

You might also want to ask about a medication called Atarax. It is an anxiety medication but is also given for insomnia and itching. My son has severe eczema that Benadryl didn't help. We give him the Atarax at night and he is finally sleeping and leaving his legs alone. The Derm told us that he does most of his itching in his sleep. This medication is also for adults.

We tried Elidel and got no results but again, we are dealing with eczema. We do oatmeal baths, never allow him to air dry, put lotion on him while he is still damp so the pores are still open, don't use anything with dyes or perfumes, and put vasaline on his legs at night. Vasaline traps in the moisture and a thin layer does the trick.

I know he is young but I thought I would give some of the things that have helped us deal with all of this. Good luck and I HTH
Mindy (Type 1 Dx'd 11/94..Insulin Pump)

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