I Hate Dialysis Message Board

Dialysis Discussion => Dialysis: Home Dialysis => Topic started by: CTexas on August 05, 2018, 02:52:41 PM

Title: Relentless Itching
Post by: CTexas on August 05, 2018, 02:52:41 PM
I have been on PD now for 5 months. I have relentless Itching  on my back and legs. The nurse keeps telling me it will get better but it is so miserable. I  suffered a very bad rash  during the months  before I was diagnosed. While it has improved and I don't have near as many sores, I still never get a day of relief. It gets allot worse at night. It wears me down so much otherwise I would be ok with everything else.
I guess my question is does it ever go away???
Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: kickingandscreaming on August 05, 2018, 03:50:56 PM
Have you checked your phosphorus level?  Excess Phos. causes itching (among many even worse things).  I have had bad itching and rashes and it's from all the tape I wear--on my exit site and to hold up my PD catheter.  Turns out I'm very sensitive to adhesives. And the itching wasn't always right at the site of the adhesive either.  I used to wear a PD belt that involve elastic at the waist.  I developed a horrible rash and it wasn't anywhere near the elastic (it was only on my right leg).  Almost as soon as I retired the belt, the rash went away. Might that be involved?
Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: Charlie B53 on August 05, 2018, 06:46:28 PM

Even with well controlled phos I itch.  A couple of the Ladies in my clinic told me they found measurable relief taking one capsule of the spice Turmeric daily.

I was surprised that it worked also for me.  I just bought another bottle today.  Sticker shock, I had forgotten how much it costs.

$23 for 150 capsules.  These should last me 5 months, maybe I better start shopping now!
Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: CTexas on August 06, 2018, 11:07:08 AM
I have tried virtually every cream out there and nothing works. I am willing to try Tumeric.
Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: Robin on August 06, 2018, 01:37:22 PM
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Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: Paul on August 07, 2018, 03:23:06 PM
CTexas - As kickingandscreaming said, that does sound like too high phosphorus. I would make getting that checked out an urgent item, because what kickingandscreaming refers to as "many even worse things" includes such unpleasant side effects as; stroke, heart attack, death, etc.. You do not want any of those.


I was surprised that it worked also for me.  I just bought another bottle today.  Sticker shock, I had forgotten how much it costs. $23 for 150 capsules.

Seriously? Those things just contain turmeric and black pepper. If your prices are in the same range as the UK (and you are nearer the countries that produce them, so you should be paying less) a big bag of each in the powder form will cost you about four dollars. A teaspoon is as good a server as a cellulose capsule. If you really must have then in capsule form, then buy a capsule machine on Amazon and a bag of capsules. The machine (again going by UK prices) will cost about $30, so it will be about 10 months before you get your money back, but after that the capsules are a fraction of what you are paying.

Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: Paul on August 07, 2018, 03:26:05 PM
I have tried virtually every cream out there and nothing works. I am willing to try Tumeric.

If it is phosphate most (maybe all) creams will not work. Turmeric with a little pepper added, is a godsend. Not only stops the itching it is good for you in many other ways.
Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: iolaire on August 07, 2018, 03:51:21 PM
$23 for 150 capsules.  These should last me 5 months, maybe I better start shopping now!

That looks to be about the average price ~25 cents per capsule, but amazon has them as low as 4 cents per capsule on my first page of results for 4* products

I'm not familiar with this brand but it has an ok number of reviews @ 4 cents/capsule (add on item, no free prime shipping without other items)
https://www.amazon.com/Turmeric-Capsules-180-Count-500mg/dp/B009R8AG6E

Puritan's Pride is a brand I recognize  @ 6 cents/capsule
https://www.amazon.com/Puritans-Pride-Turmeric-Curcumin-Capsules/dp/B004R68S2K

Costco's price is as high as your used to but its 1000 mg not the 500 in the two examples above:
https://www.costco.com/Nature's-Lab-Turmeric-Curcumin-C3%2c-1000-mg.%2c-120-Vegetarian-Capsules.product.100088941.html
Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: Whamo on August 09, 2018, 04:06:43 PM
I take Tumeric almost everyday.  It makes dry skin look like velvet.
Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: Seaweed on November 02, 2018, 10:36:34 AM
Patients with renal failure, usually end-stage renal disease (ESRD), commonly are afflicted by severe pruritus. The pathogenesis of ESRD pruritus is unknown, but improving the quality of dialysis can reduce the prevalence and severity of ESRD pruritus. Topical and systemic agents as well as broadband ultraviolet phototherapy can be extremely beneficial. Gabapentin has been recently discovered as an effective agent for the patient with ESRD pruritus. Kappa opiate agonists are promising new therapeutic options.


Pruritus is a common symptom in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). In older series, up to 90% of patients were afflicted with pruritus, but now between 20% and 50% are affected.1-3 Pruritus occurs independent of the cause of the ESRD, and patients on both peritoneal and hemodialysis experience pruritus at similar rates. All races, both genders and all ages can develop ESRD pruritus.4 Nephrologists have recognized and documented significant impact of itch on ESRD patientsí quality of life. In addition, pruritus is an independent predictor of increased mortality, probably because of effect on a patientís quality of sleep.

The pathogenic basis of pruritus in renal failure is unknown. The renal failure must be severe to be associated with pruritus. The resolution of itch, albeit slowly in some cases, after renal transplantation suggests that a factor normally removed by the kidney but not effectively removed during dialysis is playing a role. Xerosis is common in patients with ESRD and may contribute to pruritus. ESRD pruritus is associated with elevated C-reactive protein and other inflammatory cytokines, suggesting there is an inflammatory component in this form of pruritus. The abnormalities of calcium metabolism that occur in the setting of ESRD may lead to formation of calcium phosphate  crystals in the skin. These crystals may stimulate itch receptors. As in hepatic pruritus, endogenous opioids may be important in mediating the itch associated with ESRD. Once chronic pruritus has occurred, there may be secondary changes in nerves in the skin and perhaps the central nervous system which enhance the perception/sensation of itch (central sensitization).

The clinical characteristics of ESRD pruritus are variable.1 The pruritus may be constant or intermittent. The back is the most commonly affected area, but arms, head, and abdomen are also commonly affected. Excoriations with no primary lesions, and sparing of the butterfly area of the back are typical. Patients with ESRD, especially if attributable to diabetes mellitus, frequently develop keratotic nodules that on biopsy show a perforating disorder. These represent prurigo nodules and are a marker for severe and long-term pruritus.


Adequate and effective dialysis is critical in alleviating pruritus in ESRD.10 Controlling calcium and phosphorus seems to be particularly important.11 In addition, treating the underlying iron deficiency may alleviate itch.12


What i found best is too wipe my back down with a cool wet cloth with two tyonold and the problem goes away for 3-4 hours
Title: Re: Relentless Itching
Post by: enginist on November 03, 2018, 12:05:28 PM
If anyone is still in predialysis but allergic to latex and developing an itchy rash wherever it touches the skin, relief can often obtained from pure aloe vera.  I don't know if it would help in cases involving ESRD.