What is the Connection Between Itching and Disease?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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Itching and disease can be linked with certain conditions, since many diseases can cause itching as a symptom. These can include liver disease, kidney disease, and lymphoma. Occasionally, medications used to treat certain diseases can lead to itching and skin rashes. Most diseases which cause itching are systemic diseases, which means they affect certain systems within the body.

Most times itching and disease are not linked. Skin itching and irritation can be caused by skin conditions like eczema or dry skin. These are generally located on the skin only and do not affect other areas of the body. Diseases which can lead to skin itching are oftentimes severe and may lead to issues within the other systems of the body.

Itching is usually not experienced in isolation in cases where disease is present. Most illnesses have other primary symptoms which are experienced first. The exact symptoms will depend on the condition. In order for a doctor to make a diagnosis, patients will need to give details information about other things they are experiencing a complete medical history.

Patients with itching and disease-related symptoms should seek medical advice right away. Lymphoma is one condition which may cause itching, and it is a form of cancer which affects the lymphatic system. Other symptoms can include fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and sometimes swelling in the affected area. Treatments can include surgery to remove affect nodes, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation.


Kidney and liver failure can also lead to itching. Additional symptoms can include jaundice, trouble urinating, burning while urinating, lower or mid back pain, and abdominal pain. Sometimes digestive issues can also occur. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of organ failure, and there are a wide range of causes and complications associated with kidney and liver disease.

Medications are often used to help with itching and disease related symptoms in most patients. Treatment for the cause of itching is also important, but steps are generally taken to ensure that patients are comfortable in the meantime. Additional treatments for discomfort and skin itching are maintaining a proper diet, getting enough fluids, and resolving any vitamin deficiencies. Patients should consult their doctors for advice on any therapies meant for skin itching and disease-related problems.


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