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Itchy Arms: Causes & My Cure
Below (in the coloured box) is a post from my old website that I wrote a few years ago. I’m revisiting it because the whole itchy arm topic got a lot of attention and I realised in the years that followed, that LOTS of people have problems with itchy arms.
My good news is that I don’t get itchy arms any more (a true blessing…) and haven’t done for quite a few years now. 🙂
But if you’re a sufferer, I sympathise!
I was plagued with this for over ten years and so now you have hope. If I managed to cure my itching, you can too. Read on… 🙂 I’ve just this morning come across some posts on a website which have been posted by people looking for answers to their itching arms. I remember searching for answers and posting on forums myself a few years ago, and I remember being amazed at how common this problem is.
Loads of people are suffering from this itchy arm syndrome and they’re looking for answers. I realised that I have to write about this because I found an answer. One that worked for me anyway, and if it worked for me, it might just work for other sufferers.
I had a problem with itchy arms for over ten years. It started just on the top, front of my shoulders and was initially a problem only in the hot summer months.
The itch would come on at night time when I went to bed and it would stop me from getting to sleep. It drove me nuts!
There was nothing to see on the surface of the skin. No lumps, bumps, rash or anything. The skin looked completely normal, but it didn’t feel normal!
It itched. Man did it itch!
The itch came from deep under the skin feeling like there were things under my skin pricking upwards – it was a bizarre feeling.
It continued to plague me every night during each summer, then gradually over the years, it started to affect more of my upper arms, and then finally, to my dismay, my forearms as well.
It also began to be a problem in the cooler weather as well as the during the heat of summer, and eventually it was a problem all year, during all seasons.
By the beginning of 2008 it was affecting me all the time (not just in the heat of summer).
It itched over both arms from my shoulders down almost to my wrists on the front of my arms.
It was really making me miserable. 😥
I was very conscious of trying not to break the skin and causing sores and I didn’t know what I was going to do – it had been a problem for over 10 years, it obviously wasn’t going away. The truth was that it was really getting worse!
Over the years I had searched for answers to this crazy itching and in my searching I came across postings online by many, many sufferers with the same problem.
Most found ice to be the only thing that helped to relieve the symptoms and they also discovered that their doctors had no idea as to what was going on apart from theories about some ‘itch scratch itch syndrome’!
It seems that many people are taking various medications, with some reports of relief but the medications don’t get rid of the problem – they just help to relieve the itching – temporarily – if at all.
Over the years, off and on, I’ve personally taken many different brands of probiotics, produced by many different companies including Mediherb & Dr Veras which are practitioner only products here in Australia and only available through Naturopaths and other trained therapists. These are supposed to be great quality products.
I’ve also taken various other probiotic products purchased in health shops and pharmacies.
I took them because I’ve had trouble with IBS over the years and food allergies etc and I’d hoped they’d help.
Well, in February 2008 a company who’s products we’ve been using (and loving) for over 7 years, released a brand new probiotic product.
We were told there was nothing else like it on the market and we were also told by the creator of the product (an expert with over 25 years experience in gut flora and the creation of probiotic products), of many amazing stories where people had resolved all sorts of health issues using this probiotic during the time that he was trialing this new product prior to its release.
With great anticipation (but absolutely no thought of it helping my itching arms as I was focused on the IBS problem), I ordered some as soon as it was available.
The little box of sachets arrived 3 days later and I took my first dose.
Now I know that this is going to sound unbelievable to those, who like me have suffered with this problem for years (I had trouble believing it!), but I swear to God it’s the truth – the next day there was no itch!
I seriously couldn’t believe it when I realised part the way through the day, that the itch wasn’t there and I honestly thought it was just a coincidence. I didn’t expect this little blessing to last – but it did.
I took a 6 week course of this product, once daily as advised by the man who created it, and I continue to take it off and on when I think about it, and I’m ecstatic to say that 18 months later I’ve never had my itchy arms back.
I am so incredibly grateful to the creator of this product and to the wonderful company who makes it available to us.
Anyway, when I came across the posts by people looking for answers to their itchy misery this morning, I realised that I had to share my story for those who are looking to resolve this problem because I know how miserable it made me for over a decade.
The cause of my itchy arms was obviously my gut flora being out of balance and I would hedge a bet that it is for others also.
The scientist that created this wonderful product, showed us that studies done here at the CSIRO in Australia have shown some of the bacteria strains used in some other probiotic products can actually make gut flora worse by causing an increase in the ‘bad’ bacteria. So while I thought I was doing a good thing for my health by taking the other brands of probiotics, it was possible that I was in fact making things worse!
This is a real story and for anyone plagued by this problem and searching for an answer, if you’d like to know more PLEASE get in touch with me, I’m happy to share.
More Thoughts About Itchy Arms
As I said at the beginning of this post, the article in the blue box was written a few years ago, and since that time I’ve received emails from many people looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, I’ve shared my solution to my itchy arms with mixed results, and I’ve learned enough to realise that I have other suggestions to make.
Possible Causes: My Suggestions
My personal “miracle cure” convinced me initially that everyone with the same itching problem as me, must share the same cause.
But sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case.
However, I do have some thoughts and ideas to share and here they are:
- The speed with which my cure took place may have been because I’d been working on my gut flora and digestive system for some time (years). Perhaps my super probiotic product was just what I needed to tip the balance in my favour. Others might take more time and more work to get results.
- I suspect that food allergies or intolerances may play a part (as they can in gut health and gut flora balance). Removing foods that you are sensitive to may help. If necessary, have tests to ascertain food intolerances.
- I also suspect that autoimmune disorders may play a part for some sufferers. When you have one autoimmune disorder, you likely have others and itching can be a symptom. I know that when I was hyperthyroid, I not only had itching arms, but chest, shoulders, face and head and it almost drove me mad. Again, there was nothing to see, but once I removed gluten and corn from my diet, I managed to reverse my hyperthyroidism and my itching went away.
- Mold and fungus could potentially also play a part. If you have had exposures to mold at work or home in the past, this could be something to be considered and treated also.
Don’t Give Up!
If you suffer with itchy arms, don’t give up. Focus on your health and in particular the health of your digestive system. I’m convinced that the digestive system plays a big part for most people with this problem.
Clean up your diet. Remove processed foods, processed sugars and additives, and focus on a whole food diet.
Take a good quality probiotic and eat fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi. Not for a week or two, but forever. Commit to getting your body (and in particular your gut) as healthy as possible. (I know from my own experience how much difference a healthier gut can make to overall health).
Also face the fact that there may not be a quick fix for this. Chances are it took a whole lifetime (whatever that is for you) to get to the point where your arms are itching, and it might take a while to get back to a state of health where your arms no longer are affected. That’s just the way it might be.
I wish you patience and good luck.