Medical Questions > Mental Health > Addiction, Recovery Forum

Itching skin part of alcohol withdrawal? (Page 2)


January 4th, 2011
To RB2011
Hey rb2011

I also have the red dots on my chest (do they like tiny, tiny bites or zits?) and my nose is red and puffy and very itchy. My last drink was 3 days ago and I stopped because I have bloodwork coming up.

Im a 25 year old female who has been drinking heavily for the past 3 years. I would usually drink 5-7 nights a week, 4-6 drinks a night, sometimes, many more (binging on the weekend.)
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replied January 14th, 2011
Alcohol withdrawl and itching
I have detoxed many times in my life, I never thought I would suffer ill health, and believe me I drank alot. The top of my stomach felt like someone was sawing through it, it was so bloated after drinking daily for 5 years (vodka, high alc. content cider, 8-10 % beers etc...) my stomach felt like like it had ripped inside, couldnt sleep, blew out my stomach lining and frazzled all the membranes in side it...had pancreatitius also, so painful...can't sleep, or eat, ....never mind the paranoia because when you start 'Dying' like I did, the paranoia go right out the window as you lay awake 24-7 with acute pain...you cant think of anythng else...( I just wanted to have one huge fart and let the swelling subside...or take a big dump...never happened...horrible.

1 month later (and clean and sober) I still have the itches mainly in my feet and hands but also mildly on the top of my thighs and forearms and a bit on my hips and back...no rashes though. The are gradually getting better, stay away from coffee and caffiene, that just makes the body work harder to detox. Drink shed-loads of water if you can, your body is sweating and dehydrated = bad combo. Also SEE A DOCTOR, he/she might be able to help with pills for lining the stomach and stoppping the gas and " Yellow diarhea" subside, its acid by the way...

the red dots is where toxins are escaping your body, the smell is all the chemicals in alcohol coming through your pores, it's a stale musky chemical smell ask anyone else, you can;t smell it, your partner will...

I too was once a 'good time drinker' but daily use and all the stuff I've done and depression I had to stop drinking...it's just not worth it.

Good luck to you all, heres a link if you would like to read up on what alcohol and alcoholisum will eventually do to your body physically and mentally...

If your scared of whats happening this may help

God Bless, start a new life today...it gets better.
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replied January 18th, 2011
wow, I always thought the itchies had to do with my liver taking a break, now i know it is true. Cant go more than a few days without alcohol, sometimes the itches come when i drink too much too. so i dont stop i get them, i stop and i get them, oh well. I been drinking for 12 yrs, with only a few days here or there without. 5-10/night. I am 37yr old female, 3 kids. i wait till they asleep before i start.
we all have some similar physical experiences, i use sorbelene cream before bed, and just tolerate the insomnia till i can drink again, very sad. now i understand tho, and i appreciate everything i have read here today.
thanx all
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replied August 30th, 2011
I completely understand you, reading these posts explains a lot. I also am a mother, but of 4, 40 years old. I have been drinking for most of my life, just beer in the beginning. Would wait til the kids fell asleep then went to town. Then I got preg with my fourth and unexpectedly, at birth my appendix ruptured without anyone knowing. I went 11 days without treatment, which ended in neat loss of death, as well as complete removal of my large intestines, half of my small intestines, half of my colon, half of my colon, and 1 artery. It was said to be as if a bomb exploded inside of me. You would have thought that was it for my drinking afterward.....nope. Picked up again a few years later, and reached the point of a 5th of Jagermeister per day. Went to rehab last year more than 2000 miles from home. Nothing. Now I have this terrible itch and the sweats and the hatred of my family. I just wonder, am I on a deathwish? I love my kids and everyone has always labled me as an awsome mom.

I have heard though that with medical detox, you come home on so many pills, like I did, that you feel this horrible itch if you relapse for a long period of time.
Im so confused. Im no where near what I drank before, but Im no longer alcohol free either Sad Be proud of yourself for your accomplishments!

I have found that both Benedryl and melatonin make the itch worse Sad Gonna try an oatmeal bath now though and some witch hazel. Thanks to all my fellow suffers to this disease. Stay strong.
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replied September 25th, 2013
Wow, it sounds like Im not the only one! I am a 36 yr old mom of a 15 yr old. I went to rehab for alcohol,left then went to another and stayed. They let me out two days early due to convenience. The day that i was supposed to get out, i got a dui at 11am. Lost my license for a yr i got in an accident and was in the hospital and diagnosed with pancreatitis, i also was severely hurt in the chest area,which could've caused it,but i doubt it. I quite drinking for a few months. Then started but not daily, WELL....now I have a very good job( i wasnt working for Lmost two yrs beforehand and got a job in Jan.) Now in the pazt month i drink day and night! ALL THE TIME, I CAN'T STOP!) I was admitted inted the hospital a little over a month ago, with severe levels in my bloodwork for pancreatitis again! My levels were over 2,000(i think they're supposed to be under 500)? Now i wake up and i am drenched with sweat, have to change my clothes aand sleep on a towel, i am constantly itching my whole body head to toes and always tired! Im getting my license back in a few weeks and DO NOT WANT TO DRINK AND DRIVE, but dont know what to do cuz my body PHYSICALLY NEEDD IT! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ANYONE WITH SUGGESTIONS PLEASE HELP! Rehab is not an option i am a single mom and would rather go to counseling and AA. But its the physical withdrawal and i dont know whats going on with my body!! Please help!
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replied September 25th, 2013
Wow, it sounds like Im not the only one! I am a 36 yr old mom of a 15 yr old. I went to rehab for alcohol,left then went to another and stayed. They let me out two days early due to convenience. The day that i was supposed to get out, i got a dui at 11am. Lost my license for a yr i got in an accident and was in the hospital and diagnosed with pancreatitis, i also was severely hurt in the chest area,which could've caused it,but i doubt it. I quite drinking for a few months. Then started but not daily, WELL....now I have a very good job( i wasnt working for Lmost two yrs beforehand and got a job in Jan.) Now in the pazt month i drink day and night! ALL THE TIME, I CAN'T STOP!) I was admitted inted the hospital a little over a month ago, with severe levels in my bloodwork for pancreatitis again! My levels were over 2,000(i think they're supposed to be under 500)? Now i wake up and i am drenched with sweat, have to change my clothes aand sleep on a towel, i am constantly itching my whole body head to toes and always tired! Im getting my license back in a few weeks and DO NOT WANT TO DRINK AND DRIVE, but dont know what to do cuz my body PHYSICALLY NEEDD IT! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ANYONE WITH SUGGESTIONS PLEASE HELP! Rehab is not an option i am a single mom and would rather go to counseling and AA. But its the physical withdrawal and i dont know whats going on with my body!! Please help!
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replied February 20th, 2011
I found this place after a search, thanks for the info and here goes my story. Oh wow, I never thought I was an alcoholic Sad I can not drink anymore though.

It started with insomnia, bad dreams and this hot pin and needles on my fingers later on was inflammation of my digestive track from the mouth all the way to the end:-) after alcohol consumption. I did not clue in, part because I never overdid it or got drunk (well very rarely Smile) And then a year ago this itchy little red things appeared in the back of my hands they multiplied and my skin looked like burned. I did see the family doctor and two specialists they gave me all sort of crap nothing helped. at the end of the summer I figured out it was the alcohol. No more alcohol since September also a good diet with lots of green. My hands are clean again.

I am a 39 year old male. What helped me clear my hands was this cream my son has for his diaper rash. is called ratio- Ectosone. betamethasone valerate cream 0.1% Hope it helps someone.
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replied February 21st, 2011
I get the itching sometimes but it's only when I'm trying to sleep due to insomnia, and after I have taken several benadryl so I thought it was the drug causing it. When I don't take more than one benadryl I don't have the itching. When I start getting desperate and taking more, then the itching starts.

For me it's the shakes. Anyone else have this problem?
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replied February 23rd, 2011
Binge drinker here. Sometimes I quit for a couple of weeks with no symptoms (except maybe that depressing feeling you get after a bender... and needing sleep) I just recently had 10 days no alcohol then got invited to a concert followed by a weekend of brunches/parties etc. I am a flight attendant and had to leave for Japan the next day (I am there now.... from Chicago)and the flight over was okay until we were getting close to landing. This would be more than 24 hrs after the last drink. and the itching set in. From the top of my head to my feet. It was terrible trying to sleep in my hotel room. Hot and cold... tons of itching. bad dreams. Watering eyes.... no sleep. I have had this happen in the past. I was basically sure it was due to too much of a party so I decided to look it up and of course that is correct. The skin is the largest organ we have and of course poisons are exiting our systems so it is natural that this would happen. Detoxing from alcohol IS very dangerous. It is better to do it with the aid of health care professionals. maybe lots of water would help.... alcohol causes such dehydration. When this has happened to me it doesn't last more than maybe the 1st night. I hope that is the case this time... I still have to go to China, back to Japan and then back to Chicago. If you think about it, it is pretty sick that I would ever drink again but it is like you forget about the last time it happened and you never plan to drink so much to make your body ill. I can't even stand to feel my hair on the back of my neck so it is in a twisty knot on my head. Yuck. Thanks for all the tips... I guess the best thing is to relax even though I want to go to the gym and try to work the toxins through a little faster. hang in there!
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replied February 26th, 2011
I am so glad to know that I am not crazy. I laid awake last night for hrs just scratching and pacing, and it happens all the time. I scratch my neck so much, that it is sore to even touch, however, no marks on it. Its an "inside" itch you can't scratch. I know I need help. I have been drinking heavily for 20+ years...it's just gotten worse and worse. I have every "textbook" sympton of an alcoholic..I keep saying tomorrow..I will stop tomorrow...I just can't get there, even though I have lost my partner, alot of freinds, 2 jobs, and 2-3 great jail stays over alcohol. Dam, how strong is this disease???? I feel so weak against it. I am so glad to know other people feel weak too. Thank all of you for sharing your pain and triumphs...I hope you inspire me to get my butt sober.
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replied February 28th, 2011
Detox from alcohol
After reading all about the itchies I see it is just a part of normal detox. Day 2 and I just came off a 6 day bender. God help me if I ever touch the crap again.
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replied March 19th, 2011
25 year old - thank you forumn posters who have paved the way
I have an extremely sensitive reaction to substances. Alcoholism runs through the family on my Mother's side and when my own mother was taking antidepressants for about 6 months and also with oxycotin's (post double-masectomy), when she came off both the anti-depressants and oxy's she had HORRIBLE detox reactions... nervous breakdown, insomnia, couldn't drive due to anxiety, itches, mood swings due to coming off the drugs. She was very open about it all... well, I'm the same way.

I started sneaking booze at around age 13 when it only took 2 shots to get drunk, binge drank through highschool and university, bartending in pubs and later nightclubs only made the problem worse. I hit my "rock bottom" when I was sexually assaulted (due to being in a bad situation, due to being depressed cause by my bad lifestyle - AKA drinking was ruining my real life social network and responsibilities and I suffered very lonely low self esteem as a result). Anyways, in the same six months I drank socially all the time and about once a week for months on end I would black out, do or say something dumb, pissed in my own bed (GROSS), puked in my own bed and woke up covered in it - DISGUSTING... anyyyyyways... I got my act together... SO... we've determined I have my issues!! I got help from sites like this so I'm finally posting my story. ANYWAYS... ROCK BOTTOM: Getting pulled over cause someone called the police while I was driving drunk at 4am after getting off work at the nightclub (a posh nightclub I should mention). RESULT: GUILT GUILT GUILT, TAKING A VERY HARD LOOK AT MY LIFE AND GETTING HELP FROM GROUPS ONLINE BEFORE IT GETS WORSE.

Anyways - that little episode ended around age 22... I'm now 25... and usually my social drinking is under control. I was drinking about once a week or every 2-3 weeks in ranges from low (one-two) to high (three-four) ... I'm 5'3 - 110lbs.

Soooo... now I have a career outside of bars using my education and I bought a home and am getting married in 6 months... life is better. My social life is actually more rich than ever - more social engagements in the last couple years... and in the last 4months the drinking has caught up to me once again!!! Dammit! Social drinking happened more frequently... binge drinking got a little heavier...

Went partying with the girlfriends last weekend and drank all day on the ski hill and all night in the bar... drank at the chalet with the party till 4am... pissed the bed drunk... DAMMIT... out of control again.

Well now I've given up drinking for 40 days... I thought it'd be a piece of cake since I drink wayyyy less these days than I had before... I couldn't believe how many times so far (11 days in) social circumstances to drink have come up!! IE - friend pops by, out to dinner, celebrating work accomplishment with my fiance, dinner with the fam... Both me and my family have an appreciation for good food, good wine and good times... but for me (and my mother and sister in laws... and my uncle and aunt and 40 y.o. cousin... and other uncle... GOOD TIMES AND GOOD WINE can quickly become... TOO MUCH AND A REAL PROBLEM and for half of us... an ONGOING PROBLEM)... I empathize... because that urge... that love... that pull is in me too.


Soooo... tonight... went to bed at 10:30pm after a lovely dinner with fiance - he had wine... me, a yummy pineapple soda spritzer Smile Good practice for being preggy... HERE I AM.... SUFFERING INSOMNIA AND ITCHES....

Don't tell me you need to be a HEAVY HEAVY drinker to suffer withdrawl...

I had the same thing happen when I took oxycontins for ONE WEEK... two little pills a day after my breast implants this year... I was itchy and shaky and suffering anxiety and insomnia during the first night without oxy's cold turkey... the same thing my Mother experienced.

Call it a sensitivity or whatever. I was a low to moderate social drinker with an occasional monthly binge drink... I'm just less than two weeks off the booze for the first time in years and here I am, I can't sleep and am itchy to boot.

That's just another incentive for me to stay in control and make sure this creepy little habit doesn't get to the point of no return... I can see it... I'm a future alcoholic if I don't nip this in the bud and I have online forumns and supportive chat rooms to thank for making me aware, validating what I've experienced and being so kind.

Former alcoholics are some of the most empathetic and kind people I've encountered... no judgement just love... if the rest of the world had that kind of love in their hearts the world would be a better place.


"If we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class. There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant and warm-blooded to fall in to this vice. The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and generosity." ~Abraham Lincoln, address to the Washington Temperance Society, Springfield, Illinois, 22 February 1842
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replied April 10th, 2011
Itchies
Its all fun while youre drinking cause you dont feel nothing, but you dont realize what its really doing to your body until you stop! Im a 26 yr old female and been drinking heavily for the last 3 years. It took the E.R. and ICU for me to learn I had to stop or I was going to die from a liver that is starting to "not like me very much"!

I have been sober 10 days and the ITCHIES are driving me F'ing CRAZY! I lay in bed and my legs and arms have a mind of their own...they just spaz! This really sucks! If I am lucky and my body detoxes I might be able...maybe to eat normal food and BLESSED if I can even drink a beer one day.

Take care of yourself now!
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replied April 10th, 2011
5 days left to go on the 40 day detox and LOVING it!! I have more energy and am more responsible than ever. My moods are more stable and I feel so proud of myself.

This was a great move! Might not have a drink till my bachelorette in 3 months!

Soo happy I gave it up!
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Users who thank girlnextdoor25 for this post: sistersaucy 

replied April 19th, 2011
wow. I also feel the same. I have been drinking for 10 years now. In the last 7 years everyday with more than 5 drinks sometimes up to 15. I am a 34 female. I have driven myself to the hospital many times feeling like I was going to die because my detox was so painful. I found that for the the itchy skin nothing really works but my doctor prescribed me valium for the first few days. That really helped. It helped wit the sleeping pattern at least and me not havig to crave alcohol. I found it safe but I was really tired and I slept a lot. Today it is my second day of a detox (and only my 10 th time trying to stop drinking). I am starting to feel the shakes and my head feels very heavy like as if it had cotton or something in it. I also experience a very dry and funny tasting taste in my mouth (?). Wish me luck. If this doesn't stop I am making my trip to the doctors again to get more valium. I really want to stop this maddness once and for all. YOUR forum has really helped me/ thank you,
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replied April 19th, 2011
well i just love the hell out of you guys.I usually drink once a week about, but My dad died last friday (the 8th) and ive been drinking daily. i was seriously black out drunk for about five days,just wasted & smoked weed for the first time, had some vicodine the rest of the days. didnt drink sat the 16th for the first time. and any day i dont drink my skin has been itching so much that i got scared and obviously had to google this. i wasnt sure if it was the weed or the booze but i even got this weird sunburnish type thing on my chin. the only way to describe it is by saying its dry and peeling like a sun burn. so im pretty much done with my bender. its only about the 4th or 5th non consecutive day i have not drank since the 8th bla bla i could go on forever, point is the itching has lessend. im glad for all of you! now i know i dont have leprosy.
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replied May 5th, 2011
All this itching is because of the dehydrated body, Gatorade is not the answer, its only plain water.... Minimum 6 liters a day, I know its a lot and you will pee a lot but within a week you will see the result, it will also improve quality of any little sleep you get at night / early morning. Also try Vitamin B12 and Vitamin E tablets, one of each daily for a maximum of 15 days ...
But the problem is with relapse, because after drinking all these water and minerals, it flushes out the impurities of the body and craving becomes unbearable. I am not able to sort out how to deal with it yet, that is why I still go for binge drinking once in every ten days ..... although it was once in every three days for last 5 years but after following this water formula now I can stay sober for at least 9 / 10 days ......
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Users who thank neehal for this post: PuaTahiti 

replied September 5th, 2011
Itching
Congradulations! This is my first time on this fourm, I will give your information a try.
Thank-you,
Kitt
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replied May 21st, 2011
Alcohol use and related symptoms?
Nice forum, guys! I would like to throw in my experiences in hopes that finally confronting my demons may help someone else, along with actually making it "real" for me. This post will likely become longer than I know as I progress, so I apologize up front.

Along with many of the issues that most of you have described, I have the added burden of "guilt"(?) I have been a mental health professional for over 30 years and actually co-owned an alcohol/drug recovery center for several years. I should have "known" when things were spiraling out of control...but, it's different when it's you!

In college, I was a big-time party girl; if the bar was open, I was usually there. I married at age 23 and decided to start a family. Quit drinking, totally. Even at parties and get-togethers, I had no desire to take a drink. For 20 years, I never even thought about whether to drink or not, I just had no interest. Then, my first husband was diagnosed with cancer. I began to have panic attacks and depression. At first, I did the "right" thing. I went to the doctor, started an anti-depressant, and sought help through church groups and friends. After my husband died, I began to drink socially and that was fine for many years. My intake was minimal and I didn't seem to experience any noticeable side effects. I eventually remarried a "military man" and relocated to a new town, leaving behind my family and support systems.

That was 7 years ago. Within the first year of leaving behind my "prior life," I began to experience increased anxiety, more severe panic and debilitating depression. My doctor tried several different anti-depressants, none of them seemed to work as well as alcohol. As some of you have indicated, the alcohol had a very comforting, numbing effect. I could sleep again! When the panic or depression would increase, so would the alcohol intake. That pattern, unfortunately, progressed. I relocated again about 4 years ago to an even more remote location that is very isolating for me. I'm thousands of miles away from friends and family, it's a very small, clannish, exclusive (and I don't mean that in a luxurious way!) community, not very welcoming to "outsiders" and I self-medicated my loneliness, depression and anxiety with - you guessed it - good old alcohol.

So, almost 3 years ago now, the physical symptoms began to rear their ugly heads. It started with chest pain and right side pain. After a visit to the ER, I was referred back to the military hospital to have my gall bladder removed. Amazingly, after recovering from the surgery, I felt much better. I attributed this to having that nasty, offensive gall bladder gone! I now realize that I also was abstinent from alcohol for about 6 weeks while I was recovering. I didn't experience withdrawal because I was on oxycodone for the post-surgical pain.

Eventually, I stopped the oxycodone and began drinking again and within a few weeks was back in the ER again with chest pains. Tests were negative for anything heart-related, so returned home. After 4 more visits over the next 2 years, my doctor referred me to a Gastroenterologist. I was submitted to every test available, short of a liver biopsy. The only things out of "normal range" were Vitamin D and liver enzymes. I should mention that the liver enzyme tests had been up and down for the past two years. Of course, I always minimized my use of alcohol because I never wanted THAT to be the problem?

Well, this week, I finally admitted to my doctor and my husband, but more importantly, to myself, that alcohol is a real problem for me now. Like most of you here, I am now experiencing the itchy, irritated skin and the anxiety is difficult to tolerate. I have been alcohol-free for only 3 days and know by training and experience that it will likely be at least 4 more days before the symptoms will begin to get better. I am also mourning my loss of a "good friend" - alcohol. My "friend" helped me numb my pain, physically and emotionally and I miss it, but I know that nothing good will happen if I continue down that path.

I am extremely thankful that I have a very supportive husband and we are going to begin therapy next week to appropriately deal with the anxiety and depression. Because of my "illnesses", my husband has also suffered greatly. He's had to sit by and watch me writhing in pain, feeling helpless to provide any relief. Because of my professional experience, I know how difficult this road to recovery will likely be, but the alternative for me, at this point, is unacceptable. I have too much life to live to accept a death sentence which is what continued alcohol use is for me. And, I know that the only likely solution for me is to not drink...period. I crossed that line and, it's been my experience, that after crossing that line, "controlled" drinking is not an option. One or two drinks would not do anything for me because it's not the pleasure of having a drink that gives me joy, rather the escape from the pain of depression, anxiety and isolation.

I wish all of you the best as you proceed in your own way, in your own time. I believe there is more than one way to confront this problem and I pray that each of you finds a way to good health and happiness.
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replied May 22nd, 2011
Itching During Detox
It's been really helpful to read everyones' posts and know that this is a normal part of the process. After 14 years of heavy drinking, I am on my 3rd detox attempt. The insomnia is bad, but the itching is the worst. It makes me feel like I'm losing my mind. Hopefully I can stay strong and make it through this. I was incredibly tempted to mix a drink earlier when the itching was out of control. Luckily I decided to look up if this was normal and found this site. Thanks to everyone for posting. It's been the best thing for me.
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replied May 30th, 2011
Been There - Still There :-/
l ran a pub for 7 years where I drank daily up to 10 units, binging at weekends. Some weeks I'd consume over 75 units. This continued for a further 3 years after I'd left. I started to suffer abdominal pain and after a kidney infection, had my gallbladder removed thinking that was the issue. All my blood tests for my liver came back normal. The doctors said if it wasn't my GB then it was certainly IBS. I gave up smoking 3 weeks ago - so far doing just fine! The week before last I only consumed 20 units (about 2 bottles of wine) and this week nothing so far. I'm suffering pain again constantly just below my right set of ribs which radiates around that entire area, along with awful gas and a little dihorreah. My skin is itching like mad and I feel like I'm being bitten by insects all over - especially my feet. The skin on my face is bumpy and greasy and I've got dark circles around my eyes that are making me look like a panda!

So the question is - am I just in withdrawal / detox mode? Or do you think I have a more serious issue? The paranoia is starting to set in, and frankly - googling things just aren't helping. Some opinions would be good. Thanks in advance...
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replied June 4th, 2011
I thought i had some kind of disease. I never itched before but this itching is intense. But i don't wanna use alcohol to get away from this withdrawal symptom. I am itching all over the body and cannot sleep because of that. I have drinking heavily for past 8 years. I have tried several times to quit but haven't been successful. Every time I drink after trying to quit I always put insomia or something else as an excuse. i don't think turning to alcohol to cope with the withdrawal works. It
In my case it accelerates. It even worsens the next day because i go get my booze early in the morning and guess what happens ...i don't stop until i pass out...wake up and drink more. I got a lot of information from this forum...Thanks guys ...Reading other alcoholics comments did help me diagnose my problems. I am up for cold turkey method...sounds like that's the best way to do it.
mann
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replied June 12th, 2011
I have had this problem for a while now, I have just finished my second year at uni and just had to cut down, a life of excess alcohol could not work when I had to hand in assignments and do exams, but having cut down almost all of my body itches on a daily basis, my scalp, my back , but mainly my face. I have started taking vitamin B complex and just hope that flushing with water will help along with a diet of lots of fish, fruit and vegetables.
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replied June 12th, 2011
glad to know so many others have this symptom. i've been a binge drinker for 10 years, always staying clean for a few weeks, then going on a massive week-long bender from morning until night, until i just can't get drunk anymore, then stopping cold turkey again for a few weeks, etc. for the last two years or so, the hangovers (withdrawals) after each bout of drinking have become UNBEARABLE -- completely incapacitating for at least 3 days, with residual symptoms for at least a week. i've had every symptom short of a seizure/stroke. the worst is the weakness and mental confusion. my voice is as shaky and uncoordinated as my body, and when people try to talk to me, it's awkward and confusing for them because i can't speak properly -- they usually think i'm on some hallucinogenic drugs, but this is actually a sign of moderate delerium tremens -- which is extremely dangerous and people don't realize this because the term "DT'S" gets thrown around so much by people who simply have a little bit of jittery hands during a hangover. i have hallucinated during withdrawals -- not full-on hallucinations, but distorted vision with strange wormy 'squiggles' when i look at blank light or dark surfaces, spots on the walls that appear to 'move' from the corner of my eyes, etc. i've had heart palpatations so extreme they've made me have panic attacks, during which i would hyperventilate and then faint, and unable to walk or in some cases even stand or sit up, because i felt i'd lose consciousness.

and of course, the itching, FLAKING skin. it only occurs at the same time as the oily, stinky night-sweats do for me, so for about the first 5 days or so. it does subside along with the sweats. i've found nothing to help move this along faster.

generally there's no "cure" for withdrawals other than drinking more. however, there are a few things you can do to help things along tremendously, and to avoid the most dangerous symptoms:

Stay Hydrated:
this one is the most obvious, and the most common cause of headaches. personally i prefer milk for this -- as it settles my stomach -- but water, juice, or high-glucose sports drinks are the best. too much milk will give you diarrhea. drink 6 liters a day. do NOT drink more than a liter and a half in one go, or you CAN DIE (and many have died) from nitrogen bubbles forming in your blood and giving you a seizure/stroke. drink a little bit at a time, throughout the day. keep a bottle by your bed at night, especially if you've got night sweats.

N-Acetyl Cisteine Supplements:
i've found this is the SINGLE most effect ingredient in your hangover remedies, and will DRAMATICALLY reduce your symptoms. it's an active ingredient in eggs (which is why a fried egg sandwich often makes so many people feel better the next day). supplements contain MUCH higher concentrations of it, and it will actively cleanse your liver and kidneys, while relieving many other symptoms like nausea and difficulty breathing because it acts as an anti-inflammatory. i'd recommend 500-800mg per day, and you should take it together with twice as much Vitamin C as that, to aid absorption and because it slightly depletes your Vit C levels as well to function.

Protein and Fats:
again, eggs work wonders here, but greasy meats like bacons or burgers work well too. generally, a full english breakfast does the trick for me. you lose a lot of protein when you drink a lot for a long time, and the greasy fats help with stomach cramps, nausea, and diarrhea.

Glucose:
lots of sports drinks (NOT ENERGY DRINKS like Red Bull, etc)are good for restoring glucose, which will help your brain recover from the confusion and neurological damage (where the 'shakes' come from). can't stress glucose enough.

Vitamin B2, B6, B12:
again, very important for your brain. take in high doses if you have it available. at least 1500% RDA per day. too much can't hurt you -- you'll just pee it out and your pee will turn neon yellow =]

Potassium and Magnesium:
great way to relieve 'shakes' and muscle cramps, and in extreme cases, to reduce the risk of seizures. you CAN overdose on this so stick to the full recommended daily dosage.

Milkthistle:
if you're an alcoholic, you should take this daily anyway -- whether you've been drinking or not. over the long term, it cleanses your liver and helps it to restore damaged tissue.

Benzodiazepines:
in extreme cases, these will keep you from having seizures or even strokes. other than that, they'll help with insomnia and shakiness. obviously these are only for severe withdrawals and not something you should just pop the next morning instead of headache tablets. 10-30mg of valium until the shakes go away, and then 5mg at night until the insomnia subsides. obviously there are a lot of benzo's out there, but valium is the most used for withdrawals.

there's other things, but i've found a cocktail of the above is the most effective/important. hope that helps.

sadly, nothing ever helped me beat the itching or sweating -- that's just something you'll have to wait out. perhaps benadryl, but that would indicate you've got an allergy rather than signs of a bad hangover. i think some of the above posts were right, and it's a sign of your systems 'firing back up' again.
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replied June 24th, 2011
I'm right there with everyone! :(
Sorry about the long post but this is my first here.

I'd just like to say that this is a really great forum to find. I thought I was the only one. I've been drinking since I was 14 but didn't start binge drinking till 18. I've drank off and on since then (I'm 25) maybe stopping for a month once or twice or a week here and there.

I never had a problem just stopping until the past 3 years and I have usually tried to stop cold turkey but it never works anymore because the withdrawal effect are too extreme:
-Disorientation
-Sweating (astronomically) / Clammy
-Shaking... especially around other people.... i guess anxiety triggers that?
-Convulsions
-Temporary loss of use of my hands or neck movements
-Itching .... (THE WORST PART)
-The pins and needles in my ankles & scalp
-If something touches my skin I can't bear it!
-Sleeplessness
-Super Irritability!!!
-Night tremors
-The feeling of my lungs closing like I can't relax to breath
.... the list goes on.

Anyway... I'm not sure if anyone has had all of these side effects at once?

I just want to say that I'm working on my 5th day of weening. Mind you that I drank a half a litter on a conserved day before I started this and then went cold turkey... by day 2 the withdrawal symptoms made me think I was going to have to go to the hospital or something bad is going to happen. I have a 2 year old daughter that I have to take care of when I'm not working... so thinking about that scared the living $#!^ outta me. I knew I had to stop for real this time if I felt like I'm going to die. Besides drinking did not make me feel any better - it was just a way to get by day-to-day functionally.

So I switched to mixed drinks (4 or 5 ) on day 1. Then red wine(4 or so glasses) after that. Then beer (4 or so) the day after the wine was gone. Last night I had 2 glasses of arbor mist (6% alc.) and today has been the best day since. My whole plan was lessening the alc. content which I check. Also the consumption time because it takes longer to drink a mixed drink but that alc. content is higher than wine, the beer and so on.
I'm still sweating a bit but the shaking, disorientation, convulsions are gone. The itchy/pin/needle feeling is bearable. I don't feel like I need a drink at all but since I've cut down - I only drink at night. So we'll see what tonight will be like but I'm going to aim for not drinking it at all which will be hard since it's friday night. But I swear I will never go back to binge drinking, especially for my daughters sake.

I really have to thank everyone who shared there stories!!! PS.... I"m not saying weening is a good idea. The fact that this is what it's come to be for me to stop I'm willing to try anything and it's working!!! I commend the people who can quit cold turkey.
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replied July 4th, 2011
OMG Same!
OMG I am extremely glad to know that I am not the only who has experienced this, because out of all my friends of whom consume alcohol much more than me, do not experience extreme irritating itching! So I thought there must be something wrong with me Neutral but having read all the previous post has made me feel much more relieved, in some way. Well this itching has been my third time experience; though from my previous experience it only happens from an hangover, but the other night I drank after 4 months the itching kicked in on the same night, when I didn't drink much! Which was odd. However from my experience, the itching only lasts a week, maximum or less - I just hope it goes away soon because I cannot stand it! But I suggest to just keep hydrated by drinking water regularly and just cut down the amounts of alcohol you consume
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replied July 17th, 2011
I have been a binge drinker for many years. I have recently stopped drinking and going through the same issue of incredible itching. If I could, I would scratch with a wire brush. I drink as much water as possible and the one thing that really helps stop the itch is ICY HOT. It burns for a couple of minutes (I would rather have the burning feeling than itching.) Then it just feels cool and the itching is gone. Thought it may help someone.
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