Cirrhosis Support Group

Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liver disease, most commonly caused by alcoholism and hepatitis C. Ascites is the most common complication of cirrhosis and is associated with a poor quality of life, increased risk of infections, and a poor long term outcome. Liver damage from cirrhosis cannot be reversed, but treatment can stop or delay further progression and reduce complications.

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treatment for itching

My mom has cirrhosis and has severe itching. She is being treated by her new pcp, but they gave her otc claritin and then atarax. Both did nothing. I think it has to do with her liver from what I have read. I heard cholestyramine can help. My questions are; 1. Who should she be going to get help for this? The liver doctor or her pcp, or maybe a dermatologist. 2. What treatments are out there and how fast do they work. Thanks for help Jeff

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deleted_user
deleted_user

Weird.
Definitly she should be seeing a hepatologist or a gastroenterologist with experience in treating liver patients, unless her liver doctor refers her to another type of doctor.
Sorry but I cannot help you with the rest of the informatio.
However if you search this groups threads you will find out that a simular question was posted a few months ago.
deleted_user
deleted_user

My husband has awful itching as well. When it gets really bad he takes benedryl. Other than that, diet and suppliments are essential to help the liver work as efficiently as possible.

The itching is caused from too many toxins in the blood. Since the liver is not working up to par, the body can't rid itself of waste like it normally does. Drinking LOTS of water helps this process along and dilutes those toxins.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hubby has had the itching problem for a long time. It has gotten much,much worse. We just saw his liver specialist, and he said this was something different because it involved a rash and told us to see a dermatologist. My employer just changed my insurance and I have to find a doctor that is on my plan(what a headache).But we are thankful we have some sort of insurance. Does your mother have a rash??? I will let you know what the dermatologist says. I'd get a first opinion from her liver specialist.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hey Jeff... My hepatologist prescribed me the cholestyramine for itching. Luckily I only had to use it a few times because, be warned, it's kinda nasty. It's a powder you are supposed to dissolve into drinks and, though tasteless, retains an oh so yummy chalky texture. I was told it was only elevated bilirubin that causes the itching and, hence, benadryl didn't cut it for me. My itching was resolved when I had the pseudocyst on my pancreas drained - apparently it was pushing just enough on my liver to whack out my levels a bit.

Nicole
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks for your advice and help. My mom got a rx for cholestyramine once per day to start. She is seeing a Liver specialist at a transplant hospital next week. Hopefully the cholestyramine will work if not I hope he can help her with the itch. It is very severe. Thanks again
deleted_user
deleted_user

One more thing I remembered when I had the horrible itching... I was just ripping my legs apart from it and I found that if I got the bath water super hot and put a wash rag in it, then put the rag on my legs a few times (to avoid direct burn) it would help for a few hours and when I slept. Certainly not medical advice, but it kinda 'numbed' my legs making it better.

Nicole
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hello! I wrote earlier about my hubby having horrible itching too. We went to the liver doctor and he said the itching didn't have anything to do with his cirrhosis. Hubby's itching is accompaned with a rash. The liver doctor sent us to a dertomoligist. The dermo. said it was something they call winter itch that older people sometimes suffer with and gave us 2 perscriptions for itch creams and a cleansing lotion and a gerneral all over cream. The cleansing lotion and general cream I bought off the drug store shelf. Wonders among wonders!!--They worked!! Also he said that we HAD TO RUN a HUMIDIFER ALL THE TIME. Whatever he said,we did and it worked. Does your mother have a rash with her itching? I wish we had gone to the determologist long ago,but I too thought it was from his cirrhosis. Why not give it a try,going to a dermatologist? It may be the cirrhosis,but it may not be. Good luck and God bless.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks, I will see if she can see a dermatologist. I had a similiar problem about 10 years ago, my pcp tried all the lotions and it didn't work. He finally sent me to a dermatologist and she gave my allegra 180mg and triamcinolone topical and it worked! I don't have liver disease, but my pcp was going to check for liver disease if the dermatologist was not able to fix. Never had the problem again. Thanks for advice. She has been taking questran for awhile now with no luck!
deleted_user
deleted_user

You must be extrememly careful and modeerate in this, but the only thing that ever helped me and was recomended by a dermatologist is uv rays.
I would suggest a tanning booth for about 6 minutes 2-3 times a week. Do not increase or over do it due to skin cancer risk.
deleted_user
deleted_user

my doctors at the clevelnd clinic told me to go to a dermatologist who finally perscribe me something that works in just a couple days it made me feel normal.the medication is called triamcinolone0.1% cre ask about it .its great and helps alot. jimi jimmajors@yahoo.com contact me if you like
deleted_user
deleted_user

Your doctor can prescibe a powder that you ingest called Prevalite. It mixes with any liquid and helps with the itching. My G.I. doc prescribed it for me.