Can a food or food additive cause generalized itching?

in Bedbug Questions

Question by Bess2002:
Can a food or food additive cause generalized itching?

I’ve been having trouble with severe itching (creepy-crawly and pinprick feelings) for several months now. There is no visible rash (except where I’ve caused it by scratching). The doctor has treated for scabies (just in case) and my blood tests are normal. I use hypoallergenic everything (laundry soap, lotion, etc.), the pets checked out OK at the vets (no mites or fleas), I’ve checked for bedbugs (no signs), and can’t think of anything else that might be causing the itching.

I asked my doctor about food allergy, but he said that food allergies can cause shock but not generalized itching, and if I was allergic to a particular food I would be able to tell.

In animals, whenever they itch and parasites are ruled out, that a food allergy is often suspected. Why would a food allergy in humans only cause anaphylaxis, and not generalized itching?

I’m considering trying an elimination diet to check for allergies. Any suggestions/links?

Other serious ideas are welcome, too.
Thank you for all the suggestions!

To answer the bloodwork question, my liver values were checked and are normal. I appreciate the suggestion, though, thank you.

Best answer:

Answer by Michael Fougnie (ℳℱ)
An allergy can cause itching. But more likely, the food has triggered an immune response as part of an allergy making you allergic to many things, such as grass.

What do you think? Answer below.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

telluwat April 4, 2011 at 10:39 am

get a new doctor.

my husband gets hives after eating something like strawberries and even salad dressing cause of the soybean oil in it.

he can’t eat shellfish cause the inside of his throat itches.

try going to an allergist. he/she will take your blood and test it for all kinds tests for food and or plant allergies.


starkitty0707 April 4, 2011 at 11:24 am

i would say it is food allergies. my boyfriend get itchy when he eats fruit and his doctor told him it was because he is allergic.


Niklaus Pfirsig April 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm

This sounds like “flushing” which can be very uncomfortable. This is usually an itching or prickling sensation often accompanied by a sensation of intense heat. Flushing is mostly felt in the face and arms. The most common causes of this are niacin which is often added to bread, and MSG which is a common flavor enhancer. The symptom may actually indicate a vitamin deficiency.


smeagol_jr April 4, 2011 at 12:57 pm

yes, you could have an allergy – check this out – i onece broke out in a rash from my head to my waist and I couldn’t figure out what was causing it – i had never had an allergic reaction to much of anything. then, one day, i noticed “With Essence of Juniper!” on the bottle of shampoo I was using. I threw it out and the rash went away. check all your soaps and cosmetics for botanical ingredients. a good detox product – 1 or 2 weeks’ worth – is in order. good luck and I hope you get to feeling better. and get a second opinion.


mother_amethyst April 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm

You comment that your blood work was normal but you don’t say what was done. Make sure that your liver was tested since generalized itching is a common symptom of liver problems.


Robert T April 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I believe YES.

I also believe your body can start to be itchy, for no apparent reason, – it can become extra sensitive, if at any time, you have been exposed to a large dosage of some type of allergen. This happened to me several years ago, when I had a good portion of fried calamari for an appetizer. The next day, after a shower, I noticed that everwhere my bath towel rubbed left red welts on my body! I was diagnosed with dermatographism, which simply means the skin is so sensitive that you can lightly scratch it, and you will be able to “write” on your skin. I was on Allegra for about 5 years to control the itching, then I decided to get myself off drugs and was able to just shake it off.

I recommend you see a good Allergist. They should be able to help you.


crystalc419 April 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Have you tried changing your laundry soap? If not, try a brand that is for babies because it is for sensitive skin.

Good luck!


i'm ur daddy April 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Yes, it can. I hope this helps


·w¹ll¹ªmº April 4, 2011 at 4:18 pm

yes, food. drinks also.


Jan C April 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Try eliminating things one at a time that could be causing this. It is my understanding that you can have food allergies. It seems it needs to be a process of elimination. Good luck. Could you be having extremely dry skin. If so, try a good moisturizer.


Laika April 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Yes, food allergies can definitely create your sensations. Sorry your preferred MD is not aware of other consequences of allergic reaction. Glad you know how it manifests in animals and have made the correlation.

Recently, I have determined an allergic reaction to the milk products I have been consuming had created the skin condition I’ve dealt with for over 7 years with no MD helping me figure it out (thanks Kaiser Permanente – not!). So, by eliminating the milks, my liver calmed down, and voila – no more itching and other unpleasant skin eruptions. No need to put topical steroids on to handle the itching.

You are correct an elimination diet can determine what you have become allergic to. Sounds like you’ve got some info on how to go about that and know it will take time.

If you’ve had lots of antibiotics prescribed in your life, there could be a Candida issue. A diet outline for resolving that is listed at the website below. I am sure there are other outlines available on the web but this one lists what a friend had to do over 20 years ago.

If you are willing to step away from Western medical practitioners, and have access to alternatives, you can seek Acupuncturists, Natuopaths and certified herbalists for their assistance in solving your health riddle.

Good luck with your detective work. Thanks for asking for input from strangers here on Yahoo. May you get relief shortly!

Maluhia – peace.


keltillos April 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm



puddin April 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm

it could just be your nerves some time your nervous system can cause this


henry April 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm

I’ve just had all the allergy shots and test came back clean bill of health,but it seems like after I eat 15 min or so my head feels like its crawling with bugs not sure what it is, going to try drinking water insted of ice tea, and i’m going to knock off bread and anything made with white flower.
see what happen’s.


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