Widespread Itching for Three Years

Patient

Q: I have had widespread itching for over 3 years now. I have been to my GP who's an Internist. She calls me her mystery patient. She has referred me to a Hematologist and an Allergist. All 3 doctor's have ran blood tests on me which have all came back within normal. I have had a chest x-ray. Also a CT of my abdomen and pelvis for lower back pains and blood in my urine. I'm worried that I may have lymphoma. The only symptom I have had is the widespread itching. The itching only occurs during the DAY. For a while there I experienced all over hives and swelling of my lower lip and part of my left side of my face. My GP gave me a steroid shot and my allergist prescribed me 2 epi pens and allegra which i take daily. Allegra helps with the hives. I guess I want to know if you think I should be concerned. I'm trying not to let this control my life. I do get some relief with Gold Bond menthol lotion. Please help me!

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question and sorry for your frustration.  The symptoms you describe are not indicative of lymphoma.  Also reassuring are the tests performed, they also help rule out lymphoma.
Two things highlight in your history. Firstly, you mention the symptoms are day time only.  Most serious or life threatening illnesses do not exhibit this pattern and are more constant.  The most common condition that simulates the pattern you describe would be environmental sensitivities or allergies. Secondly, the relief you receive with Allegra is also supportive of an external environmental trigger.
Please discuss this possibility with your allergist and he or she may recommend a stronger treatment regime so that you may perform daily activities with reduced or no itching.

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