Just to let you know I've had horrendous itching in fingers and toes - coming from inside, not atopic like contact dermatitis or eczema or anything - for a few years now (in fact one of the first ever symptoms was like a red bump coming from inside on toes then fingers, under my skin, v, painful and sore) and was desperately looking for a cure, and I believe I've found it. My cure seems to be sugar! i.e. avoiding it completely. I also had huge splits on the skin of my fingers which have almost completely healed after just 10 days sugar-free.
It's early days so experimenting if have to cut absolutely all sources of sugar or not (e.g. I've had a small amount of fruit). But in the last 10 days I've had absolutely no itching at all!!!!!! Just a little hotness and swelling in the fingers when I eat which dies down after 2h max. I'm trying to stick to eating a lot of proteins (although I don't digest them well so still have to have carbs), as I find any carbs will set my hands off with swelling, getting really hot, skin getting tight and cracking again. But this is improving every day.
I always suspected sugar was the cause (I've been a sugar overeater for >50 years!) but couldn't understand why exercise would set it off too, and so thought it might be more complicated than just one food item. That was a red herring tho, cos exercise merely releases sugar into blood stream from stores in body, e.g. from liver - more research needed by me - but I’m so excited wanted to too.
Also apparently starvation (I used to go long periods in the day without eating so I could eat more at night) and possibly gall stones - again more research needed - causes the liver to kick out bile salts into blood stream which get into the skin and cause terrible itching.
So avoid all added sugar (even in prepack meals) and cut back on any other sources - e.g. honey, fruit, etc - also dairy acts a bit like sugar in body, so cut milk n' cheese too - just for a while to see if it works for you. (Eggs n' butter are fine though.) Also wine, any alcohol would set me off too - has a sugar effect in body.
I found choc was SO difficult to give up! but it's been 10 days now - yay!!! I could of course have 100% cocoa as a sub to get over cravings but gone cold turkey. SO worth doing and long may it continue! Let me know of your experiences if you can. Do you eat a lot of sugar? If you cut it out, does it work for you too?
PS I too have bad circulation in hands and feet, v. low blood pressure, so don't know if that's relevant too.
ddigger, this is really interesting. I have been suffering from almost-daily bouts of terrible, hot, prickly itching and I happen to have a diagnosed problem relating to sugar metabolism (impaired glucose tolerance). I used to be very careful with my diet but have gradually become increasingly slack with what I eat and indulging a lot due to feeling stressed.
I will try decreasing sugars in my diet and see if that makes any difference to my symptoms. It's all interrelated -- insulin, the liver and the whole metabolism-hormone relationship. I've become very anxious in the past few months and I wonder if this is also connected (and of course adrenalin is another hormone).
Thanks very much for your post, it's very helpful.
Hi PaulaC, so glad it may help you too. Interesting you've been diagnosed with "impaired glucose tolerance".
Since writing this, things really improved but then recently my hand started swelling again, argh, but I know that that's due to detox!
My hands really healed up so nicely, all the cuts and splits in the skin, after 6 weeks without sugar, altho my nails arel looking terrible now!, but I've read that you can lose your nails through extreme detox, so I suspect that's what that is. I'm having bits of sugar now tho (once hand completely fine), like in prepack foods - too busy to prepare own - but of course I read labels and don't go over 12g sugar per prepack, and only have those 3-4 times a week if pos.
Yes, sugar, stress, hormones defo all play a role. Seems to be for me finding that delicate balance between cutting sugar and eating clean/healthy and not overdoing it so I detox too much! Wish there was just one answer, or an easier answer but we are complicated beings I guess.
Nice to share and find support. Let us know how you get on. :O)
Hope you enjoy your Easter picnic! Yes, a balance is needed in these circumstances, so you don't get too stressed about what you're eating. I guess just try your best but also RELAX if you can, don't worry too much.
I'm lucky not to have to get involved with many things like that, plus I work at home, helps a lot! Little temptation around, except when shopping. (I always take water with me in case I get thirsty, cos that can trigger sugar cravings.)
Glad you're taking low-GI food at least. Hope you can enjoy yourself. :O)
Thanks for tip about cauli, didn't know that.
Keep me updated, and I will let you know if anything develops my end.
Best wishes, Debra